A common accusation that I’ve seen made to those who live off grid seems to be ‘you’re off grid and living self sufficiently, but you’ll be quick enough to use the NHS when you get sick, and you’re using a laptop that couldn’t be made if it wasn’t for big business and oil’.
The other one is ‘why should you live for nothing when the rest of us have to work all hours’.
People also point out that ‘If everyone decided to live like this there wouldn’t be enough land’.
The people who make these points seem to misunderstand where the off grid / low impact community are coming from. Firstly, the vast majority are employed or self employed, and have been paying their taxes, frequently for a long time. Doesn’t this entitle them to use the NHS?
Secondly they will still end up paying council tax, just like you. That entitles them to get their bins emptied, which they largely won’t need; for street lighting, which they don’t want.
They will probably treat their own waste, supply their own water, and make the their own electricity.
Perhaps they should be entitled to some sort of rebate, as they are just propping up the people who are complaining about them?
They also own their own land, by and large. They aren’t squatting or stealing, it is theirs, or they are renting it.
I’ve also yet to see a definition of off-grid that includes ‘totally cut off from society’, or a definition of ‘low impact’ that includes the phrase ‘no impact’.
How about we turn the situation around, and ask whether those living a ‘conventional’ lifestyle should even consider saving energy at home, as surely that is at odds with the rest of their way of life.
Of course not. So why should living in a cob house that requires no heating and cost little to build from recycled materials be at odds with using a laptop and modern solar PV? Yes of course they needed industry to create them, but surely the there is room for low impact living, and industry?
In the end, most of the irrational criticism I see levelled at those living low impact is down to fear of the unknown, and I wonder how we can reach the critics and show them there is nothing to be afraid of.