Over the past 10 years the number of people living off the grid has increased by 10% every year in the USA. We are now living in what many experts are calling the third wave of survivalism. It is an age where political, environmental and economic factors are pushing people towards a simple choice of continuing to be reliant upon a system that seems designed to fail or moving out of the cities and trying to be self-sufficient.
Living off the grid is generally accepted to mean complete independent living, generating one’s own power, growing one’s own food, drilling a well and doing everything else in one’s power to be completely self-sufficient. There is however no definite accepted definition of what Off The Grid living means, it is often dictated to by the beliefs of those undertaking it.
For example, an environmentalist trying to save the world might describe themselves as off the grid because they generate their own power and grow vegetables. Others wouldn’t consider themselves off the grid until they were entirely self-sufficient, well armed and in a location that was extremely difficult to find! Or others again, the scientists amoung us may suggest that off the grid is irrelevant until we solve the real problem on Earth – which is us humans. As biologist Jeremy Griffith proclaims “Environmental problems are promoted as the ‘Save the World’ issue, but [this is] focusing on the symptoms not the cause of the devastation of our world… which is us humans” (http://www.worldtransformation.com/save-the-world/). This is the most interesting thing about becoming involved in discussions about independent living, you will hear a great many interesting points of view.
Regardless of your reasons, becoming self-sufficient can never be a bad thing. The fact of the matter is that societies can and do change and many think tanks are predicting a century of chaos as food prices rise and levels of poverty increase.
If these think tanks and experts are correct, it would be a much better idea to become self-reliant sooner rather than later. In addition to saving you and your family from potential brutalisation, energy and food independence markedly decreases the amount of environmental and ecological damage your lifestyle inflicts. There are a many environmentalists out there who are advocating that off the grid living is the only way to save the world from resource depletion and pollution. As a plus growing your own organic food is not only doing your duty for mother nature but also leads to some extremely tasty chemical-free meals!
A prime concern when considering off the grid living is obtaining a rural location, whilst many urban places in the Western world are experiencing a drop in property prices due to the economic situation, rural land prices have continued to rise. If you live in a metropolitan area, move quickly to make sure you can still afford to get out. There are numerous forums and books which will help you choose your location, however, the most important thing is food and water so look for arable land.
A common methodology is that of the off the grid community, whereby a group of friends sometimes along with their families buy a plot of land in a rural location and construct their own self-sufficient community. In modern society where constant stress and greed encourages a state of mass neurosis, the appeal of a simpler life fuelled by windmills, solar panels and good honest “soil and toil” is great. In these communities we can learn live alongside each other again, rather than constantly competing with each other in the rat race. Do not think it will be easy though, it takes a lot of work, co-operation and planning.
More and more folk are considering the hard work is worth it. The more people that withdraw from the moneyed system and begin to live a life more in tune with the land, the quicker we can bring about the change in attitudes which will not only benefit the health and happiness of our species, but perhaps even save the world.