I didn’t start out with the sole intention of going off grid – it has crept up on me over the last year. My interest in permaculture, the transition movement and low impact living has certainly driven me, and now I come to the point where the practicalities of off grid life are becoming a reality.
Although I’m not a rampant consumer, what I’m not aiming for is a return to the sevenenteenth century – much of my work is online, and I’m quite happy with hot and cold running water, so this isn’t a survivalist type ‘head for the hills’ type lifestyle move.

More a decision to reduce my impact on resources – consuming less generally, but also by making clever use of technology – old and new I might add – sometimes old, simple technology is more resilient than shiny new solutions.
I’ve recently read ‘The Moneyless Man’ – Mark Boyle’s story of his year (and more now) without money. I certainly admire him for having a go, but his lifestyle is an extreme example, and the book highlights some of the contradictions he has faced. For instance reliance on the concept of reuse of materials. Yes it is good to reuse other folks discarded or unwanted ‘stuff’, but relying on it to any extent as part of a lifestyle does mean that others have to consume and waste in order to provide for you.
An awareness of the issues surrounding peak oil and climate change, and how together, rising oil prices and climate variability will affect every aspect of our daily lives to a growing extent; coupled with a desire not to spend my entire life running on a hamster wheel to pay a mortgage mean that I’ve looked at how I can live in a way that will lower my ecological footprint; give me a more resilient lifestyle, and make me as self reliant as possible.
Part of my involvement with Lammas, and plans to be part of another group there will most likely mean applying for planning permission under the One Planet Development planning guidelines, and an integral part of those is that your ecological footprint should be 2.4 global hectares per person, reducing to 1.8 over a period of some 5 years.
Even reaching 2.4 takes some doing, so this is as good an opportunity to reach it. The average persons footprint is more than twice that – see what yours is using this tool 
So that is the ‘why’ – I want to use less, spend less, most likely earn less, but live more. I’ll start to fill in the ‘how’ over the coming days.

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