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Forum Replies Created
June 26, 2008 at 12:00 am in reply to: the amish – an eco friendly community who are off grid #63979
Sunny, I know there are many people who use this forum like 12vman and myself who live off grid and have done for many years.
Don’t rule out renewable energy being used to create and enjoy high technology solutions.
You could do a search for off-grid blogs or off-grid forums – there are a lot of them about full of people who live without a grid tie where you’ll get a wealth of knowledge and experience which could help you design your own system.
What works for one person may not “work” for the expectations of another and the whole issue of being off grid depends so much on finance and personal capability.
What kind of system do you want to know about ?
We’ve been off-grid for about 16 years and we did wash dishes in a stream and cook on an open fire in our little cabin for a few years. That was my way of getting down to basics and changing my lifestyle which I felt I needed to do to determine what my priorities were.
Little by little we started adding more and more comfort to our lives by building a well-insulated solar heated house, having solar and wood heated hot water, panels to provide us with good lighting so we can now read, work and not trip over the dogs at night time. We can listen to music, have a ‘fridge in the summer, charge electrical equipment and power tools and all this extra energy mean that we have more time too – because really living at a basic level – carrying a load of dishes to a freezing stream, cutting wood by hand etc. takes an enormous amount of time and is physically exhausting – believe me.
We go shopping for things we can’t grow, raise or make ourselves or get from the neighbours. We buy things which we could do without if we had to but it’s nice to have treats sometimes!
We need to pay 10,000$ a year in taxes and social security contributions so we have to cover those costs and the internet is a great tool to help us to do that. It’s one of the greenest ways I know of of keeping in touch with friends, sharing photos and ideas and getting information on what’s happening outside our little world which helps to keep us interesting and sociable to outsiders.
I don’t think being completely self-sufficient means cutting yourself off or being a martyr and it’s not a competition either. It’s a question of getting the balance right for your and your family’s real “needs” and perhaps realising that many of the most wonderful things in life are free and on your doorstep.
I’ve just joined the group – here’s the link to the group in Facebook:
I’d love to see other people’s photographs in there too !!!
Instead of having to use a stove in the summer why not tie in the system with a solar collector to heat the water ?
We’re naughty and use an open fire, but the system works fine – there are some details of our system in here:
Hi there !
Wikipedia has some good information and great photographs to explain the system.
Here’s more information on “puis Canadiens” or heat pumps – good for DIY projects :
If you type “puis Canadien” in your browser, you’ll find a lot of information on the ‘net, but the best sites and blogs are in French.