From time to time, people ask me what it means to live off the grid and over the years as I’ve explained what it means to me, one thing that has become quite apparent is that living off grid means something different to many people.
Today I’d like to take a minute and offer my insight into this matter in hopes that it might be of use to some of the readers of BooneyLiving.com.
I’ll explain what it means to me and how my family interpreted living this lifestyle for over eight years.
First Off, What Is “The Grid”?
Whenever you hear the phrase “the grid” it’s usually in reference to “the power grid”. Technically speaking, living off the grid means that you live in a home that doesn’t get any of its electricity supplied by the local power company. That being said, many people have different viewpoints on exactly what it means to live off grid.
Let’s take a look at the most literal interpretation of what this term might mean. Some people believe that if you are truly living green, you are living in an environment with no electricity, no telephone service, and none of the other conveniences that many of us have come to rely upon so much. These are the types of people who believe that the only true way to live off grid would be to get back to basics and live such as people did over 100 years ago.
One particular culture of people that comes to mind that would fit into this category would be the Amish. Granted, they are not choosing to live the lifestyle that they live to satisfy some personal desire to be as environmentally friendly as possible. They live the way that they live to stay within their religious beliefs.
While there are certainly those individuals to embrace a lifestyle that is absent of any forms of technology, most people who live off the grid simply choose to live in a way in which the electricity that they use is generated via some means of an alternative energy source.
I would be willing to wager that the majority of “off gridders” have and enjoy using modern conveniences such as telephones, computers, the Internet, television sets, satellite TVs, and more. The main difference is that instead of paying their local power company to supply electricity that may be generated by burning fossil fuels, they most likely have a large array of solar panels on their roofs or perhaps a few wind turbines in their yards that deliver the electricity they need to supply their homes with.
Some People Have Hybrid Systems
Now that you have a basic understanding of what I believe it means to live this type of lifestyle, there are plenty of people out there who live what some might consider to be a hybrid lifestyle. In many cases, it’s not practical or even possible for people to generate all of the electricity that their home needs themselves. In situations like these, they are often connected to the power grid but they still utilize solar panels and other forms of alternative energy to provide electricity for their home.
The amount of electricity that these types of systems generate varies from home to home. In some cases, the electric grid is simply there to provide a little bit of electricity as a backup source to their alternative energy application. In other cases, the alternative energy producing devices merely provide a little bit of electricity and the bulk of the homes power needs are provided by the traditional power grid.
As I have previously explained in an article entitled, You Don’t Have To Give Up Your Computer To Live Off The Grid, there’s no reason that you have to give up modern conveniences if you want to live in a home that is free from electricity produced by fossil fuels.
Some people who choose to live off the grid do in fact make the personal decision to give up many of the conveniences that are made possible by electronic devices but most of us simply try to generate the electricity that we need in a greener way than burning fossil fuels.
Please Share Your Thoughts With Us!
Now that you know what my interpretation of this type of lifestyle is, I’m really curious to hear what your thoughts on the matter are. Please feel free to take a minute and leave me a comment in the box at the bottom of this page and share your viewpoints with the readers of BooneyLiving.com.