Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Off-grid

A great article in The Guardian today by Nick Rosen extolling the virtues of off-grid living, first cousin to shedworking. He estimates that 75,000 people in the UK are living in 25,000 off-grid homes including 'benders', shelters made from saplings bent into a lattice frame which support a canvas roof and walls (for more on this, see our post on growing your garden office here). Rosen says there were 10,000 of these recorded in 1815 and are now making a comeback. "The rest of us can learn from these ecological footsoldiers about how to live low-energy, low-impact, low-carbon lives," he writes.
"Perhaps the nation's off-grid housing stock can be classed as an investment in a carbon-free future. Every off-gridder automatically reduces their energy and water consumption by up to 90% compared with a typical household. They live each day aware of the sun and the wind - dependent on the elements, and so closer to them."

He adds that off-grid living could help the government meet two of its main aims - more affordable homes and lower domestic carbon consumption - but that this would require a major change in planning laws. Well worth a read.

For more on the subject go to the excellent off-grid. Rosen has a book out, How to live off-grid, published by Doubleday.

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