Note: This post was sent to Student Caffé by Keilah Keizer. We would like to thank her for her submission and honor her as the author of this blog post.
For many people, off-grid life tends to evoke a wild west notion of pre-of-the-world preppers stocking up on MREs and ammunition. Survivors hide in a remote underground bunker. Neanderthals-like people dig for mushrooms. or maybe criminals trying to evade capture.
Life outside of the power grid is a foreign word, especially in our digitally networked age. Hence, it is not surprising that most of the people think of the above descriptions. However, reality is very different from perception. Under the umbrella of the off-grid, you’ll find homesteaders and preppers, hippies and farmers, homeschoolers and college graduates. Living off the grid is an alternative lifestyle and an incredible way to experience a different side of life – one not too far removed from our ancestral past. And in doing so, many people find a sense of reward that conventionally cannot achieve.
At its core, “getting offline” means leading a self-sufficient lifestyle that is free from the use of government and society products and services. People go offline for all sorts of reasons. The biggest problem is arguably the pursuit of a less stressful and disjointed life, but there is much more to it than that – including a lot of hard work. In this way, living off the grid gives you skills that are harder to acquire with a modern way of life. Some of these include:
- Environmental responsibility
- A healthier lifestyle
- A smaller footprint
- Knowledge of conservation
- How to get back to our roots
As society places increasing emphasis on a green and sustainable lifestyle, getting offline can be very appealing, but learning where and when to consider this alternative is a challenge in itself.
WWOOFing is a great place to start for those looking to explore life off the grid. WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a hospitality service operated by a loose network of national organizations that allow host families on organic farms. This program is a great way to dip your toes in the waters of the homestead and off-grid living, especially because you can work out long or short term engagements in your home country or abroad. As a volunteer, you live next to a host, do daily chores and experience life as a farmer.
If you are looking to experience life off the grid specifically in the US, there are some unique, well-known, and innovative communities across the country. The following resource highlights 10 of the top tips for off-grid and sustainable communities. To give you a better understanding of what to expect, each location is rated based on three criteria: how environmentally friendly, how accessible, and what amenities are offered. These ratings are represented by symbols in the manual to make your research easier. Because the communities are distributed from coast to coast, weather and best time to visit are also taken into account – a great way to test life off the grid while also determining if it is the right choice for your lifestyle. To learn more about these communities, read on.