Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Off The Grid

Believe it or not,I actually know people who choose to live with no electricity provided for by a corporate company,people call this "being off the grid."
Though it may sound very grandiose,the sad truth is most of us do not have the luxury of this choice since we tend to work full time jobs and can not afford the amount of time,labor or money it cost to live by sources like solar or wind.
My nephew and his wife for several years did indeed live this lifestyle,since they where both young retired engineers,it was a challenge they felt they could meet.
So they ended up with a house smaller then 9oo sq. feet and a cellar filled with batteries,to store the sun energy from their solar panels which accumulated through out the day.
Now living up in Vermont can be a challenge,what with short days and cold nights,but between their wood stove and batteries they did very well,except for the part where you could not even leave a night light on while sleeping for fear there would be no power left in the batteries by morning.
I like doing with out most things but unfortunately lack of power at my finger tips is not one of them.
Some might think it quite comfy to live like the colonialist did except when you realize most of them did not live long,due to harsh lifestyle and all lived by their modern day technologies.
Trust me if they had heat at their finger tips they would not have choosen to haul wood and stoke a fire place to try and keep warm.
Modern technologies are not all bad things,especially when you live in the country and work at a job where you need to commute.
I'm all for green but even that can make you a fanatic.
During Orthodox Lent we give up all sorts of foods,things like dairy,meat,fish,egg,olive oil,wine and on it goes,basically we try to live a Vegan Diet.
Now we do this for restraint purposes but when it gets to the point where you are thinking more about the food ingredients and less about the spiritual parts then you've lost the reason for why your doing this.
Not everyone can be that good just as not everyone can be that green.
Twice,at our house this year we lost our electricity,first when Irene struck and last weekend storm.
Irene left us with one week of no power and this past storm we went without for three days.
Its always kind of fun the first day,quiet and challenging,but I can tell you by day seven with a generator and camping stoves,it sure turns into hard work rather quickly,like fasting,you begin to calculate everything in your mind before hand.
I personally like having convinces at my finger tips.
Hot water and heat all seem like a blessing to me and why not?
The best situation now seems to be embrace one green thing in our daily life and do it,lets face it most of us are not meant to be off the grid be it mentally or
physically, and personally I can not work 40 plus hours a week and haul wood or remember not to run a night light when I go to bed.
After spending one week with no electricity I learned its no fun having to heat water on a stove at 6 am to simply wash my face and brush my teeth.
Maybe some day,in my retirement years,I can devote my life to green living on a full time basis and enjoy it to boot,until then I will make do with modern technologies and convinces,trying to remain conscious of how I can daily make small changes to my consumption areas.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Excellent Linda! This is one of your best posts. Now that is how I feel about Green. Years prior, people had to chop wood, shovel coal and carry remaining and dirty ash to remove it to garden areas. I just learned recently that the coal cannot be placed on the ground as it is a hazardous substance. Can we really go back, especially with the shortage of wood world wide? Producing electricity for consumption is a full-time job if your using solar panels in the winter, not to mention the danger of cleaning ice and snow from panels. Monitoring usage makes sense as well as small attempts at going green. But lets get real here! Especially if there are children and elderly involved...