One of the benefits of the whole living off grid, alternative homes, low impact lifestyle ‘thing’ is that it is generally seen as something different, (for good or bad) and interesting, by plenty of onlookers. People are often fascinated to see how we ‘survive’ without mains power and a flushing toilet, and if nothing else we are never short of stories.
Like many others in the same situation, we have drawn endless inspiration from reading about the antics of others, whether it is the folks at Lammas, Simon Dale and the hobbit house, the Moneyless man, Nick Rosen and his Living Off grid, or a variety of others. A few (Simon Dale springs to mind) are accidentally famous, and their creativity is what draws others to them – the Hobbit House has certainly ‘gone viral’.
Others obviously realise that their lifestyle is interesting to others and have decided to try and use it to their advantage – why not – publicity can certainly be a good thing.
Another group go that bit further – turn their experiences into a book, maybe a website, maybe a film, maybe a ‘project’, and fair play to them too.
What I can’t understand is when one person who goes down this road, decides to pass judgement on the motives of another. Ultimately if you publish a book, or start a company creating ‘things’, of course you’re in it for the money. Fair enough, you’re entitled to earn a living.
I’m writing this because I spotted Nick Rosen (who has presumably earned a living from his book that relies on the stories of people living off grid), having a pop at Michael Reynolds, (who earns a living talking about and building earthships), for making a living building earthships. Granted, they aren’t perfect, but many dwellings arent.
One of his criticisms is that they are labour intensive, and he implies that Reynolds has made a living on the back of other people’s labour.
That’s called ‘Volunteering’, Nick, and lots of people do it because they like the idea and want to learn something. Many alternative building designs are labour intensive, and rely on volunteer labour. ┬áIts not necessarily a bad thing.
Anyhow, good or bad, I like Reynolds work (can you tell?), and realise that Nick Rosen’s stock in trade is having a pop at the people who are providing his stories (yes, I have the UK version of the book), and its very interesting, don’t get me wrong. His criticism, made solely to get people to read the US version of the book just annoyed me. Rant over.


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