I have seen several articles about folks who have run into legal problems when trying to do an off the grid home in an urban or suburban environment. Some of the issues that come up seem to arise after someone makes the mistake of opening their mouth and doing a local article, a news piece, or make the mistake of getting on some national or widely followed show or site. Then the "authorities" pick up on it for whatever reason and your life becomes a living stretch of torture as you battle the "establishment" which has only an interest in ensuring you keep paying those bills and keeping their system alive. You see the real issue many times is not just control, but one of financial jeopardy for the power company, the water and sewage treatment facilities. Many times your city is up to its eyeballs in bills, and debt. They have bonds that have been issued to fund these massive infrastructure systems so they have bills to pay... So anyone who says you don't need them anymore puts them in a bind. If the idea catches on then their house of cards collapses. So keep this in mind first and foremost. The system is trying to stay alive. It isn't about the overall well being of people. Anyone who has done their homework knows how to do off grid things without endangering everyone. Of course there are some I am sure that are clueless and maybe that is where some sort of policing has to come into play, but how that is done that is sane and reasonable has not been even discussed yet as far as I can tell.
Well here is an example of one of these folks that are in a battle with the local authorities. I love her libertarian idealism, and some of the things she has done to make herself off grid. However I do not agree with her methods when there appears to be questions of her morals and integrity and possible illegal activity such as possibly forging documents to steal a house from a friend.... Just the sort of things you expect from a bank, not from a principal minded person standing up for ethics, justice, freedom, and the ability to live as any person sees fit. I enjoyed looking at the things she has done to go off grid. So my question to you is how many of these things have you already done in your home? Would the code compliance police be evicting you from your home? :-D
Florida Urban Off Grid fight!
In most of these examples the problems seem to come up after making the mistake of telling others how they live. I am sure my blog isn't followed by the local authorities so I don't mind sharing my own adventures to being more sustainable here, but I sure won't be doing any interviews or calling attention to myself in any public way in my local community. The purpose of my blog is to share news of interest, how to change our lives to be more sustainable, to be prepared and live a life that is abundant where we can thrive. Those around us don't understand that and will probably never understand it until the stuff hits the fan and much of what they know vanishes like the mirage that it is build on vulnerable systems they never understood.
So I am curious, look over the article and look at the things this lady did to be able to be off grid. How many are you doing today? How many after reading the article will you add to your own practices? I found it funny that I am already doing some of these things in the article. She needs to seriously make some changes and get a garden going. Her attempt was to buy a survival seed bank and plant that... Bad idea folks. First off learn the seeds the best you can and know the seasons, length of time, and your growing climate. Secondly STOP tilling and digging... Lay down compost and mulch and plant in that. Your just promoting weeds and disturbing the living soil organisms that you need every time you till. She also needs to get a humanure composting system going. Simple, easy, safe, and will feed your plants. This woman is too busy fighting and not busy enough making her life sustainable. Her morals aside, we can learn from this lady's examples of what she has done to extract herself from the system.
I do want to point out that at some point you have to ask if fighting the system or being able to live as you want is the priority. In the case with this lady if she had just paid the water bill to keep the water/sewer paid and connected she could have continued to live the way she wanted without using the water and sewer. The fight goes away and you get to live the way you want. So for a $30 a month fee to stay connected you could avoid the battle and get what you want. Sometimes maybe it isn't the fight, but our way to live that matters. So it comes down to hard choices. Are you in this for the fight or the ability to live as you want? I understand the principal of the reasoning, but what is important to you... Only you can answer that question.
Take care, and God Bless,