Living off the grid is a trend that has caught traction within the last few decades as individuals and families have sought to live a self-sustaining, environment-friendly, and independent lifestyle. Many feel trapped and unhappy in their urban or suburban residences, caught in the monotony of a 9-to-5 job and a consumer culture that encourages excess and waste, and the prospect of a lifestyle that is the complete opposite of this materialistic existence looks all too appealing.
Off-grid living, in its most basic definition, means living in a residence close to nature, independent of the traditional utility companies that provide services such as water, electricity, gas, or sewage. For people who are changing to off-the-grid living, however, it is more than just about cutting ties with the utility companies. It is about adopting a lifestyle that is simpler and more meaningful.
I am one of those people who desired to escape the rat race and live a freer, more enriching life. I had a normal job that required me to be in the office by 9 AM each day, slaving away in the corporate world and accomplishing mundane tasks, then heading home at 5 PM. Aside from my work responsibilities, I had bills to pay, debts to repay, and other duties to finish to make sure my family was taken care of.
My job paid well, which allowed me to purchase a nice, spacious home in a quiet suburb, drive a nice car, buy the best home equipment, take vacations, and even have money for other hobbies such as fishing, golf, and attending concerts and theatrical productions. My family lived a comfortable life, and we had everything we needed. But after a while, it all seemed like a routine, and I began to wonder if I was missing something else.
The work I was doing involved a lot of research and development into current technological trends, so I always had a pulse on the latest technological innovations. A number of years ago, I was assigned to a project that focused on renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. The idea of harnessing the sun and wind to produce electricity fascinated me, and this led me to more study and exploration of this subject.
This exploration led me to discover the trend of off-grid living. I began to learn about individuals and families who decided to move to places where they can live sustainably from the earth’s natural resources, not worrying about utility bills anymore, and discovering what they can do independently using their own skills and creativity. What attracted me about off-grid living was how the lifestyle had an appreciation of the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and how changes to daily lifestyle and purchasing decisions can help lessen our environmental impact.
In fact, this eco-friendly awareness is one of the main reasons so many others have also decided to live sustainable off-grid lifestyles. They realize that much of what we are doing in modern society has a negative impact on the planet, and if we continue our activities unabated and with no care for the future, the next generations will suffer the effects tremendously—even worse than the consequences we are experiencing now.