Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Off-The-Grid By Nick Rosen Review

Forest Surrounds Our Home


Nick Rosen, of the Off-The-Grid forum,  recently released his book, Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America in July. I read this book with great interest to learn more about other “off-the-gridders”. I found the history of General Electric eye opening and read aloud many parts of that chapter to my husband. I especially loved the part about General Electric marketing directly to the housewives in those early years to lure them into buying electric appliances. It paid off too. Now nobody can live without many of those items and they are considered essential in most homes.
Nick Rosen is a journalist and documentary filmmaker and writes about living off-the-grid for the London Times, The Guardian and Reuters. He traveled across America interviewing people who were willing to let him into their homes and wrote his opinion of them and their lifestyle for this book. I understand from his book that living full time off-the-grid is not something he does currently but something he would like to do in the future. From his forum I get the feeling that he is promoting going off-the-grid and many of his members are either already doing it or dreaming about it.
One of the things that I find misleading about his book, “off the grid” is that many people will think it is about how to live off the grid, or about how to set up the various systems that the people live with. It is not. It is about what Nick Rosen terms the off the grid movement. I wrote in an earlier post on Solar Baby, “Why We Chose To Live Off-The-Grid”:
I liked reading and learning about so many other people living this way, as personally, I only know a handful. Nick Rosen gives you the picture that people living this way are eccentric characters and living this way out of necessity or political reasons. Many people living this way are doing neither. I won’t mention the pot growers or smokers, as that has nothing to do with being off-the-grid. I know people living on the grid who do both too. One thing I feel we have in common with many of the people interviewed is the need for seclusion. The feeling that the world is too crowded and needing space to live without someone breathing down your neck or at least at the front door. In my father-in-law’s house if you stand at the sink, you can see right into the neighbor’s dining room and see exactly what they are eating! Not for us, that is for sure. Nick introduced me to many people that I would be interested in meeting in person and discussing our systems or how we do certain household chores.


I especially was glad to meet Wretha as she is one of my regular blog readers on Solar Baby. Carolyn Chute I liked because she was the author of the book, The Beans of Egypt, Maine, and I read that many years ago. But for the most part most of the people in the book are not anything like my husband and myself, so I wouldn’t figure that all people living off-the-grid are like them. Makes me wonder if he wrote about us, what kind of picture he would paint about us? Maybe not so good………..hmmmm????
I don’t mean to give the impression that I didn’t enjoy his book because I did. I liked reading his impressions of  the off-the-grid lifestyle here in America since he is from Britain. It is also informative if you are searching for a community where you can go off-the-grid and fit right in. I have so many people contact me on this subject, but they are either just dreaming of it and not really serious, or they are afraid to take those first steps to do away with life as they know it on the grid. This book proves it can be done and that you do not need tons of money to start. Just what I have told people over and over.
So check it out and let me know what your thoughts on the off-the-grid movement is. Is just that you don’t want the electric  bill any longer? Or is that you want to live away from mainstream America in a secluded location? Or is there another reason? I’d be interested in knowing what people are thinking when they request the information from me on going off-the-grid.


Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

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