Living Off the Grid

Yesterday brought up some interesting conversations in my house. It all began with a posting on craigslist.com for a $700 1982 Winnebago that "ran excellent, needed some cleaning." My husband's first comment was, "that would be so cool. Then we could buy some land, put up a few quick outbuildings, and take our time building a house while we live in it." Well, color me shocked. I mean, I know he likes the idea of building our own place and that he's into green-living, but I never imagined he was so close to my own thoughts on the matter. We were so excited to have this prospect, we were set to buy it before we saw it, planning how we would rent it to his brother for $200 a month until we had some land, or how we could go "camping" in the summer.

So we looked at the 'bago, and WOW, needs some cleaning was an understatement. That vehicle, while great on the outside, was a biohazard inside. The windows were slightly open to air it out for visitors, and we didn't even go inside, but the mold set off my coughing for a good 30 minutes afterwards. The seats and ceiling were totally ripped up, and the carpet was foul. We agreed we'd rather live in a teepee if those were our options!

But it did bring up other thoughts, like how rough would we want to live in the end, with or without power, off grid or not, outhouses, etc... And it turns out he is much more of an off-grid guy than me. While I want to reduce our power consumption and can and grow a lot of food, I also like seeing what the world has to offer, and partaking in it. I would be cool with an outhouse in the summer, for most toilet needs, but in the winter, no way. If given the option, I would much rather spend the money on fancy composting toilets for the house.

And, until the nation is much much greener, I feel that it is my duty as an environmentalist to buy power from the electric company: because see, we buy 100% green energy through an option that our provider gives us. The way I see it, the more of us that ask for these options, the more the power companies will have an incentive to create green energy, and provide the options to more people, and so on. Of course, I am trying to reduce our electricity consumption, but I want to make sure that the power companies know that I exist as a customer. Because if all of us who want green energy go totally off grid, we simply disappear as a voice. The power companies forget about us, and forget about green power. And I, for one, don't want to see that happen.

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