The Interwebs for Off-Gridders

I just read a post on Reddit promoting an off-grid festival in the UK. Many commenters siezed the opportunity to ridicule the irony. Posting about an off-grid event using the grid (the internet)? I don’t think there is an irony at all and responded:

“I sympathise with the idea off-gridness. Mostly because I don’t subscribe to the idea that the best way to deliver utilities is via the grid. Telecommunications, including the internet, necessarily depends on networking – on the grid as a conduit to share data. Just as our words (and ability to convey them) do when sharing information on a smaller scale – perhaps in the same room, with a friend. Do we need the grid to deliver electricity? In some situations, perhaps. But certainly not in all, or most. I own a small bush block in rural Australia. To connect to the grid (sewage and electricity, I do have access to a community bore for non-potable water) would cost me several thousand dollars (in actual fact it probably costs a lot more, it’s just city folk would be subsidising me). For the same money I can get a good solar system with battery bank and install a greywater management system.”


I get quizzed all the time about internet access and mobile phone coverage. But the thing is, I don’t even aspire to being off-grid. I just choose to be off-grid where it is most sensible – from an environmental and economical point-of-view. To follow off-gridness to its logical conclusion would mean that we would even use roads. Roads are part of the grid. They allow the movement of people and goods the same way telecommunications allow the sharing of data. 



2 thoughts on “The Interwebs for Off-Gridders

  1. It’s true, we are (as a species) herd animals; we need each other. To be totally off grid is to reject everything about our fellow humans and very few people go that far. I aspire to be independent of the things people rely on ‘the grid’ to provide; electricity, water, some foods and maybe even clothes one day, but I still enjoy the company of my fellow human and am willing to share my surplus to create my own (hopefully more sustainable) grid.

  2. Losing reliance on the grid is probably a good way to be. We are looking to install solar panels here in the next couple of months and will hopefully begin to slowly build up a battery bank. It means with a hybrid system we will run off our own power as long as it’s available, be it sun to lightbulb or via battery. The reliance on the grid is lowered or possibly even removed.

    As for off grid events being advertised or talked about via grid tied technology, it’s common sense. We are a grid connected society. Even the promotion of events that are off the grid must needs be done via the grid. Word of mouth will still spread a long way but mostly it’s word of twitter, facebook or email these days.

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