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Dec 29, 2011 9:20PM
I have seen the houses outside of Taos, NM. They are impressive, However, I must share a humorous situation that I recalled when watching a story about a man building his house with bundles of magazines, etc in a suburb outside Denver, Co. He had all these bundles of magazines that were sorta shredded and baled like HAY delivered to insulate the house. The problem was some of these bundles were XXX magazines and some of the "loose" papers flew around the neighborhood. Many parents were not too happy like their juniors who packed them into their bedrooms. So THERE are some advantages!! OKAY-----THIS IS A TRUE JOKE-it really happened!  NOW on a serious note--until local governments loosen up about building codes and encourage alternative living that DOES NOT look like TRASHY neigborhoods we will not see fruition of these on a large scale. Example--out here in WEST Texas we have the worlds largest windfarms-yet you go EAST to Fort Worth/Dallas you encounter ANTI-windmills billboards, etc. It was amazing a couple of years ago that we had "Junkers for Clunkers" to remove older polluting cars-guess what? Oil went down quiet a bit-so OBAMA had to have the offshore well fiasco to shut down virtually all offshore wells many that have produced for decades. Then oil creeped back up to $100 a barrel. Guess what you are getting screwed again---when I was younger a BARREL of oil was 50(FIFTY) gallons-now it is 42(forty-two) gallons. Okay, I want to get off electric grid-ever priced a solar/wind alternative choice-it is outrageous!! Will take years-possibly 2-3 generations to recoop cost!! I will say that recently the "Weather Channel" did a report on these homes near Taos-some are a true marvel-but drive by on the highway-most look eerily similar to trailer trash homes. There are free tours to at least the nicer looking ones. The best advertisements you could ever make for off-grid living is make them pretty, people can you at least not look like leftover hippieland. If you would choose your PR people carefully so people cannot get past the appearance factor I feel more would listen and be open. Please, I am not trying to bash you-you are doing good and WHAT YOU DID IN HAITI-rebuilding was and is wonderful!!!!!!! Show us how to do this for the realistic average family-not just the network mougals, etc. Otherwise, keep it up!! Seriously!! Okeydookie
Dec 29, 2011 8:53PM

Well,sounds nice,but i dont think i could give up tech products that easy.I know ,thats sad,but it would do a lot for stress.

Just my rant.

Dec 29, 2011 8:11PM
Wow! It is impressive the amount of people, who would "talk down" to others who would see the world for its potential. 
Does that make us less in your eyes, that we would choose to live off the grid?  
Off grid doesn't mean no cell phone! or internet! or Netflix! sheesh!! I would NOT be able to do that! 
Off grid simply means, you don't have to rely on the massive amounts of electricity being tunneled, carried, ran through wires, made in factories...etc. It simply means you produce your own power using the power of the sun and wind. 
What happens in a big storm and power is knocked out for thousands of people across the state. Not I.  I happily carry on surfing the net, eating cold food or hot food, playing online games with the kiddies and momma and daddy snuggling in for a netflix movie. We're not cold. We're not to hot. We're just right!! :)
Why don't more people do this? $ Money$. Do you think big electric companies are going to be happy you don't have a $120 bill every month? NO! Do you think they don't want everyone to know? Of course!! They lose money!!
I think this particular course of discussion can fall in with any other category.  
Anything we humans don't understand, we instinctively shy away from, hate, make fun of, or try to destroy. It is our nature. Sad but factual. 
One should look at these people trying to make something...out of seemingly nothing...and GIVE that to the world. Their own country shuns them, cyber bullies them under false internet nicknames, yet those same people get upset when our own children bully or get bullied. see where they get it?  
I am ALL for "green" living. I wont stop eating meat I can't become a Vegan or a vegetarian..just couldn't do it! But I will try to recycle what I can to build a house out of - that will cost me $0 in heating and cooling, and will make it's own electricity. 
Perhaps that makes me a freak in some of your eyes..but to me...I can stay home with the kids, show them what life SHOULD be...and it's not chasing a dollar to pay a mortgage and bills..its being there to watch your babies grow up, deciding how YOU will spend YOUR time...NOT how others will MAKE you spend your time.
 It's being there for the first words, first steps, kindergarten concerts, rainy days drawing pictures and sunny days at the county fair. 
I can do this. You who laugh at those who would see life for what it can offer, I WISH you the best happiness you can find, chasing money all day, while missing all the little things...that life REALLY is. :D
Dec 29, 2011 8:11PM
Living off-the-grid is a wonderful idea,but you must build up resources and lots of money  in order to pull it off.In order to live off grid in comfort and be self sustaining,you probably would want a large garden that requires quite a lot of effort to maintain.Then there is the very costly solar panels,batteries and high power inverter needed to power your house.I deal a lot with people who have sold their house and bought a big honking diesel pusher RV and just cruise around in that;you know,the baby boomer crowd.So you see,off-the-grid living is out of reach for most of us,including me.Check out the Jamaican pig farmers.They have waste "pig gas" that I have put to use by converting a Propane freezer to operate on it!So much for that-perhaps some of these communities are trying to be creative and living closer to the land.Smile
Dec 29, 2011 7:47PM
It may interest a bunch of sick in the head people, they'll get tired of it rather soon and go back to the dear comfort of all good  Americans traditional  homes.
Dec 29, 2011 7:47PM
I would be willing to give something like this a try (accept for the $800k community) that sounds more like a resort. But anyway here is my point why I would try this. All this technology that is now in our everyday lives has created such a social distraction instead of bringing us closer together. There have been so many times when I will go into a restaurant and see a whole table of people not even talking to each other because they are all starring at the screen of their smart phones. Neighbors dont even talk to each other like they use to. People just sit inside now playing video games, surfing the net, or are watching TV. All of them are mindless antisocial activity's.

If I could just walk away now and give this a shot I would do it in a heartbeat. Living in a working community you would get a sense of accomplishment. Because its a work that is a benefit to all involved. As well as social interaction.

I have lived in my neighborhood for two years and I dont even know my neighbors names or what they do for a living. I'm 38 and am glad I got to experience the tail end of when your neighbors would stop by and say hi. If society hadn't shifted away from basic social interactions, people wouldn't even think of going to these community's.
Dec 29, 2011 7:44PM
Too Didonai:  I was raised in rural Mississippi on a cotton farm.  It was a very nice place to be raised, I have many fond memories of my childhood.  Where did you live as a child ?  If you respond to this post I am sure it will be something about "Oh, you are so thin skinned".   I can not help it man, I just am getting tired of shallow minded remarks like the reference you made to rural Mississippi.
Dec 29, 2011 7:44PM
I spent the of 1975 @ 16yrs of age living in a 115 yr  old log cabin in the Mts of the Cascades in Wa . No elec, no running water, cooked with wood stove even in heat of summer, listened to battery radio only on Sat nights. Baths were outside in a tub where you built a fire underneath to heat water that was drawn from a well,  dug the holes for and used an outhouse, hunted for food and loved it, Since then; I joined  the US Marines, went to 1st Recon Bn and have learned more about survival than most learn in a lifetime, Most of you wouldn't last a month let alone any extended period of time. But if you still think your of this caliber? quite your bitchin and get the f--- after it people. Show what you're made of.
Dec 29, 2011 6:37PM
Safe Haven...? The dragon on the hut makes it look like a padded room at a mental facility.
Is it really safe? I am not psychotic and I'd rather not sleep in the same room with one...
Do I have to draw dragons all day? How boring. I am not into lizards, really. Thanks, but no thanks.

Dec 29, 2011 6:33PM
The definition of "living off the grid" is no electricity piped in, and no water or sewer provided. It usually means no tax paid road clearing in the winter. It someone wishes, using solar panels and satellite usage will provide internet service and if you can deliver building materials to your site you can have as large a palace as you wish. So an $800,000 house with internet is possible in an off the grid home. Not on my budget maybe, but still possible.
Dec 29, 2011 6:26PM
Wake up, folks... Off the grid is the new Middle Class... what's left of the old Middle Class.
Jobless and nothing left but your two hands and some sweat and a few pounds you never wanted to begin with? Well, off the grid is made for ewe. Jump in and do something, anything... just remember... ef U don't work..U don't eat.  Everybody ready to jump OFF THE GRID? Too bad you were already PUSHED by the US Congress. Congratulations! You're gonna survive, or you're gonna DIE. Its up to ewe which it is. You don't have to go Cob it to survive. You can do it with anyone who has clear deed on some land. Good luck. If you're still around when you have learned to make living OFF THE GRID work for ewe, then you can advertise on the Net for interns and other wannabee weenie greenines and make a living fleecing other sheep. These will have money and then so will EWE.

Dec 29, 2011 6:14PM
You're not really off the grid if you're telecommuting or using a cell phone or updating your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.
Dec 29, 2011 4:37PM
I think the MO guy is bang on. I would love to be off the grid, but obviously that is an expensive proposition. As usual, any thing with benefits goes to the rich, in this world.... in the end, I won't be drinking the kool-aid, Aren't these "green yuppies" the ones who drank the electric Kool-aid the first time? 2012..the year of increased spiritual emptiness.

Dec 29, 2011 3:53PM
Alot of these communitys  sound like you shouldn't drink the Kool-aide
Dec 29, 2011 3:33PM

Notice they all WORK to keep there community going. Now if we all had that attitude we'd have a much better society.


Dec 29, 2011 2:58PM
at $800k  I could start my own. Id love to fine one to live on But hell Im just a poor guy. I live off of 7k a year. Im 100% for Sustainable Living Am Im been a veagon for the last 3 years,
Dec 29, 2011 2:53PM
I would like to live off the grid but not because of my carbon foot print but because of my very large electric bill. I have thought about at least 80 acres and designing my own power source of solar wind and a backup diesel generator with a battery pack like the ones in electrical substations. I want at least 80 acres because I do not want people close by. Just a thought that I hope to make happen soon
Dec 29, 2011 2:21PM
It's funny how these urban yuppies write these articles on how simple people CHOOSE to live. What they don't realize is that in southern MO, there are people that live even simpler than those green types that CHOOSE to live simple. In south MO, they didn't get to CHOOSE, they were born poor, they will always be poor, and will survive a lot longer than the green yuppies that are doing this because it's a fad.  These green yuppies don't know what it is to be poor, the real reason they are doing this is because they sense their is some spiritual void in their measly little lives. So they 'get back to the land' to try to find spirituality.  If they find it, that's great. But I hope they don't expect  anybody to worship them because of what they are doing. 
Dec 29, 2011 1:53PM
Been there, done it and bought the t-shirt. Lived off a cistern and 2 wood stoves for 19 years. Sooooo what???  Last I heard the place was still standing and that was 20 years ago.
Dec 29, 2011 12:49PM
Has anyone told those Utah folks about the viability of Cold fusion?, not happening anytime soon.  The article starts out these aren't hippies?, all of the places sounded like hippie places, except they require them to do some work.
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