Photo courtesy of Foxymoron
I live off the grid.
This means that our household (or should I say shed-hold) does not rely on electricity companies and their power grids to provide the energy we need to live and survive.
Our household relies purely on renewable energy. Really and truly.
In our case, the renewable energy source we rely on is solar power. There have been recent talks of wind energy in our shed but so far we still just use solar power.
For a while I was enjoying the thrill of living this alternate lifestyle. I enjoyed not being part of main stream society. I enjoyed being different. I took more pleasure in my creative past times which include reading and writing. Thought-provoking conversations took over the mindlessness of television. We also kept ourselves amused by playing games (I spy with my little eye).
But then we got a satellite dish and connected ourselves to a TV and the rest, as you can say is history.
But now winter has come and so too has the bleak weather (read: lack of sunshine). No sun means no solar energy. So in a nutshell, it has been very, very annoying.
For nearly two weeks, I was coming home to darkness. Bleak weather meant small amounts of solar power which meant usage was limited. Very limited. This meant no TV. This meant that the fridge remained off most of the time. I wasn’t even able to use my laptop and the internet to write my blog, study, pay bills, research, write articles or email friends. Yes, very very annoying.
So guess where I’m writing this? In a hotel room at the Gold Coast. With a working shower. A heating and cooling unit. A TV and a fridge that we don’t have to switch off to conserve energy. Civilisation! Actually it’s my birthday tomorrow so I’m here because my partner was romantic enough to take me away for the weekend. Lucky me !!
But in a few days time I will head back to Maryvale and back to my reality. And you know what? I’m looking forward to it.
Because although it’s uncomfortable and also annoying, winter won’t last forever. Summer will return and life will be (close) to normal. And despite the short-term uncomfortability (a word I made up) I am just as committed to sustainability as ever because I believe in leaving the Earth and the environment in tact for future generations to enjoy.
And besides, if there was an energy crisis tomorrow and the whole system collapsed, our household would be safer and better prepared than most. You’re welcome to come down if this ever happens 🙂
Oh, and we don’t pay any electricity bills. Ever. Jealous?