Going Off Grid, The How-to Book of Simple Living and Happiness

front of the book 

First I want admit that I started reading this with a prejudice that there's no way 150 page book would provide enough insight on how to build an off-grid place but I was wrong. The author is honest and straightforward, while giving enough overview to make it possible for someone to build the conventional home off grid using professional help in most aspects. I really like the subtitle "the how-to book of simple living and happiness."

The author does fall into the trap of the old way of thinking living off-grid, which historically means moving to the boonies and being your own power/utility, company which is the traditional way. It is unlike what I advocate, which is learning to simplify your life while living within society.

As he writes, "living off the grid as I define it, means creating a home that is autonomous and does not rely on public utility connections." After starting to live off-grid in 1991 and starting to install full-time off-the-grid homes in 1999, I feel that many people can start the living-off-rid mentality within society. The author himself did that as he downsized and simplified his life in preparation for moving to the country. As he wrote, " I believe getting off grid is about a simpler, more streamlined approach to life." 

I agree with the author on not recommending following the tiny house on wheels trend (why not just buy a travel trailer?), however I think a small house (300-1,200 sq ft) well built is better than a regular sized house. I only found two bits of information that I completely disagree with one is him bad-mouthing composting toilets and his formula for figuring out power usage.  

Composting toilets, which if done correctly, the material that comes out the other end is soil. Also he completely skipped the septic system that we use on my Yestermorrow Farm, which is a composting septic system very conventional but it's required because our water cable is within 26 feet of the surface. 

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