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September 12, 2011 at 12:00 am #62942elnavMember
In most of the off-grid forums and websites I have looked at there is a great deal of thought given to the technical solutions required to provide power, potable water and heat, shelter etc. but less if any effort on how to deal with the psychology of going off grid.
Men tends to be adventurous and eager for new challenges whereas most women tend to be nurturing and protective of the home hearth and family.
I realize there are women willing and even eager to move off-grid but for every one that is eager I suspect there are ten who are reluctant.
In order to encourage and support these reluctant people we need to provide better guidance and advice on how to accomplish this transition from urban dweller to rural off-grdder. Perhaps an interim stage of nearly off-grid but still within reach of the conveniences and comforts found in urban and sub urban environments.September 12, 2011 at 12:00 am #65532DustofferParticipant
Well, in the planning and preparation stages, my wife and son had some idea of what was going to happen. The initial house was much like other houses.
You hit the switch, the light came on. You turn on the water and got good water.
It was bigger than the trailer we lived in and quieter with a much nicer view. Over time we learned to take care of dead loads, and how to conserve electricity and water while still living well. No XBox, or daytime TV. Cloudy days meant less TV, and maybe skipping doing a wash load. One pressure tank, 10 gallons, for showers every other day.
A little sacrifice, but not that much. We had already known to keep dead loads down and shut of lights when not needed. No excessive TV, and keep the thermostat lower, wearing more clothes in winter.
Guests are tough. We let them live normally. My friend came and had to have a 20 gallon shower every day. In the summer, we have more power for the pump, anyway. Just had him pee at least twice before flushing.September 12, 2011 at 12:00 am #65534elnavMember
Dustoffer its not people like yourself I was thinking of but the countless silent readers wo read but do not necessarily participate or even ask questions. Last year someone asked me how someone with no savings and renting an apartment in the city could go off grid. At the time I had no good answer but the question kept nagging me. AS I mulled over possible answers it gradually occurred to me why advice like you and I offer may not really reach those people who need it the most. I have been helping a family in their efforts to adjust to going off grid. I presently live in a small community where at least 8 homes are presently off grid. I know there are at least half a dozen more that I do not know. Several dozen more are partially off grid.
This led me to wonder why many of them failed to follow good advice. And in some cases did not take the final step to go off grid. Instead they continue to complain about big utility bills.September 27, 2011 at 12:00 am #65539DustofferParticipant
Well, the psychology has to be one of first, caring about AGW and wanting to help. The second part has to be a lot of determination to learn and save up money. Financial responsibility also helps increase your credit rating because you may need it to initially go off grid.
Some people can learn a lot by getting the $150 Harbor Freight 45 watt kit with a $40 inverter and $60 deep cycle 12VDC battery. It can be used at home, or with a trailer.
Those stuck in apartment living might be able to go to a similar cost per month, or less, trailer payments. A lot of off gridders start with a little travel trailer on some cheap land, and from there, gradually build their off grid house. A “base camp” is a good thing (travel trailer, mobile home, or even existing small cabin or shell), maybe a little rustic compared to the big city. Off grid in the big city is easier when you own a home and can put an expandable solar electric system on your roof as you can afford it. Usually a 15 amp or less system requires no permit, but everyone should check first.
The simplest psychology is just wanting to do it.
It is unfortunate that some that may want to do it, are stuck in a low buck job, barely making it, no credit, no savings. If they have a high power bill, it can be cut down and the savings applied to a savings account. Thermostat down, no TV or games. $20/month adds up over time.
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