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Living Off The Grid: What Does It Mean?

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What is living off the grid? It’s all about sustainable living and renewable energy. But what does it really mean? Is it just a term? Is there some secret mysterious explanation? Is it simply opinion?

Living off the grid

Living off the grid: escaping “the system”

There’s an ongoing debate in the off grid world about what it really means to “live off the grid“. For some folks it means primitive living, cutting ties with all forms of technology and thumbing your nose at “The Man”.

It’s kind of a political statement to move to the wilderness and separate yourself completely from the system. To divorce yourself from a system of materialism, greed, corruption, and debt slavery becomes more of a proclamation of independence and freedom from a system that one deems oppressive. This is really taking things to the maximum and few people view off grid living in this manner.

Off grid cabin in the woods

Survival and preparedness

Other folks look at living off the grid as a necessity for preparedness and survival purposes. It becomes a mode of survival and a way to live and keep your family safe in the event of an emergency situation. An emergency could mean a simple electrical blackout, a total financial collapse, political upheaval, war, or a natural disaster.

People call it prepping or survival, and there are some die-hard preppers out there who feel that living off grid is all about being prepared, making sure they have enough supplies to take care of their families, and survive and apocalyptic scenario.

Log cabin in the woods

Living a sustainable life

For most people, living off the grid simply means living a sustainable life, reducing the resources they consume, and in fact producing more resources than they use. It means disconnecting not just from the electrical grid, but also creating your own electricity, growing your own food, and living “green”. Some simply call it living off the land.

Sustainable living is using renewable resources at a rate slower than what you can replace and produce. It’s about finding balance in a lifestyle that gives back to the earth rather than taking from it.

Living Off The Grid: What Does it Mean?

The term “off grid“, or “off the grid” has multiple meanings, and many people have different opinions as to what off grid living truly means. The reason for this is simple. Everyone lives their life differently.

I’d like to point out the obvious before we start clouding the issue with definitions, meanings, interpretations, and more debatable opinions.

Before we attempt to define what “off grid” is, we should clarify what “the grid” is, then we can attempt to define what it means to get “off” the grid.

What is “The Grid”?

The Grid” refers to the electrical grid, i.e. the system or network which delivers electrical power to residential and commercial properties, building, homes, and machinery, etc.

The Grid: (Electrical Grid)

“…An electrical grid is an interconnected network for delivering electricity from suppliers to consumers. It consists of generating stations that produce electrical power, high-voltage transmission lines that carry power from distant sources to demand centers, and distribution lines that connect individual customers…” ~Wikipedia Electrical Grid

OK. So now we know what the grid is, we can define what being “off” the grid is.

Pretty simple. It means off, as in disconnected.

Off Grid: (Off the Grid)

“…The term off-grid refers to not being connected to a grid, mainly used in terms of not being connected to the main or national transmission grid in electricity…”

“…The term off-the-grid (OTG) can refer to living in a SELF-SUFFICIENT manner without reliance on one or more PUBLIC UTILITIES…”

“…Off-the-grid homes are AUTONOMOUS; they do not rely on municipal WATER SUPPLYSEWERNATURAL GASELECTRICAL POWER GRID, or similar utility services…”

Living off the grid in an Earthship


Primitive Living?

Does being off grid mean one must live primitively like back in the pioneer days? Not necessarily. Some people might opt to live that lifestyle, however, that is usually based on personal preference. It is not a hard and fast rule of living off grid, and is usually a personal choice. Living off grid does not mean primitive living.

For one person, being off the grid may mean simply being disconnected from the power grid, while another person may have the opinion that to be “truly off the grid” they must disconnect from all utilities and live a completely self-sufficient lifestyle, free from reliance on public sources of utilities, food, or housing.

The point being, BOTH of these opinions of what being off the grid means are correct!

There really is no black and white definition of what living off the grid means, because generally speaking, it means different things to different people.

Simply put, one fact is undeniable. Off grid literally and simply means being disconnected from the electrical grid.

That’s it. Anything above and beyond that is a personal lifestyle choice. You choose how you want to live it.

Log home cabin

Living off the grid is simply a way of life.

Living off the grid

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