10 Off-Grid Communities Paving the Way to Sustainability
Moving off-grid has become a massive phenomenon with the rising costs of energy and the increased awareness of energy use and its contribution to global climate change. More off-grid communities are appearing each year, hoping to continue to fight toward a cleaner and healthier way of living.
Living sustainably is starting to show its importance as the world is experiencing more disastrous storms, high prices for natural resources, and increased tensions in the political climate. With sustainable, off-grid communities, you can live a comfortable life with a group of people who are just like you. These communities work together to reduce their ecological impact on the world and increase their positive growth.
There are ten off-grid communities that we have found are doing great work toward paving the way to a sustainable world. Hopefully, with these communities as a good example, more can take root and flourish in the same way.
Off-grid Communities in the US
The United States is one of the easiest places to buy a large chunk of land, making it a great candidate for growing an off-grid community. Many places on both the East and West coasts have a large supply of natural resources that can be used to live sustainably. We even see some off-grid communities popping up in the middle of the country, showing that it can be done all across the span of the 50 states.
EcoVillage at Ithaca - New York
The EcoVillage at Ithaca is one of the older intentional living communities in the United States, formed in 1991. The main emphasis of the EcoVillage is to be a leader in finding a balance between social, ecologic, and economic systems.
Spread across 175 acres, there are more than 200 people that utilize sustainable technologies and programs like passive solar heating, green roofs, and organic gardening. The entire community is dedicated to working towards a sustainable life by car-sharing, riding bikes, composting, using public transit, and developing educational models.
These educational models are one of the most unique parts of the EcoVillage. It seeks to spread the word and help pass on skills for everyone to live more sustainably, inside or outside of their community.
Twin Oaks Community - Virginia
Founded in 1967, the Twin Oaks Community in Virginia is one of the oldest and most well-known communities out there. Their emphasis lies in cooperation and simplicity to promote a sustainable way of living.
There are 100 members that live and work on a 450-acre farm that produces almost all of their food for the entire community. They utilize solar and wind power to provide clean energy for all of the necessary electric appliances and tools used on the farm.
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage - Missouri
Out on 280 acres of land in northeast Missouri there are around 40 people that make up the Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. This group of people utilizes natural building techniques with straw bales, cob, and adobe for all of their buildings. Their power comes from solar and wind sources that help them produce a large amount of energy.
This group has been in several documentaries and is recognized often for its ecological sustainability practices, making them a great example for others to follow.
Emerald Earth - California
In Mendocino County, California, the Emerald Earth community works together to create a sustainable life that others can join in on. There is a lot of organic farming to produce food for everyone, renewable energy sources, and other sustainable living practices.
The group has worked hard to create a sustainable living model that can be transferred over to other places across the world.
Earthaven - North Carolina
Deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are almost 320 acres that about 100 different people call home. The entire property is divided into 12 different neighborhoods with different living spaces inside of them. This community uses micro-hydropower in addition to solar for energy production, making for a more unique setup. Rain is collected from the roofs to provide irrigation for their crops, taking advantage of the rainforest that they live in.
Off-grid Communities in Other Countries
Freedom Cove, Canada
Freedom Cove is an incredibly unique off-grid community. It floats off the coast of Tofino, British Columbia, with 12 different connecting platforms that consist of greenhouses, an art gallery, and even a dance floor.
Catherine King and Wayne Adams decided they wanted to build themselves a home and have since turned it into one of the most famous off-grid communities in the world. It harvests water from the rain and a waterfall close by while pulling energy directly from the sun.
400 residents live on Lasqueti Island off the coast of Canada. This self-sufficient community is home to what Canada has named, “The most educated” community in the country. A wide variety of workers live here while still holding down professional careers and providing all of their basic needs.
Tinkers Bubble, England
This small forest community in England looks like a large collection of overgrown fairy houses. All of their income comes from working the land and creating art or food to sell in the nearby communities. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can go by and volunteer!
Ecovillage Torri Superiore, Italy
There are 162 rooms in this old medieval castle that has been repurposed to become a massive sustainable living community in Italy. Living here is uncommon, as there are only about 20 residents, but it sends you back in time to twisting narrow hallways that one can easily get lost in.
The goal of this community high in the mountains of Spain is to live completely autonomously in the most sustainable and eco-friendly way possible. This abandoned village was taken over to become an eco-friendly off-grid community and has been doing great for years. A quick visit here gives a great insight into the impact our daily lives have on nature.
Off-grid Living Supplies
Food and Water Supplies
Getting food and water is difficult when living far out of the range of big cities. For this reason, many off-grid communities are growing their own food and finding their own water sources. Normally this is either collected from rainwater or pumped out of a well or nearby stream.
Portable Solar Generator
A portable solar generator is one of the most important things to have in an off-grid community. This allows for the solar power you are harnessing to be collected and used at a later date.
Growatt produces incredibly reliable and high-quality portable solar generators. These are portable power stations that can be paired with a set of solar panels to create the generator system.
The Growatt INFINITY 1500, INFINITY 1300, and VITA 550 are designed to store a mass amount of energy and give it out in a simple manner. There are multiple outlets and USB plugs to charge devices and power larger appliances. All of these portable power stations are capable of running larger machines. Pairing these up with a solar panel will make for a long-term sustainable energy solution.
These are great options for those living off-grid because of their power and ease of use. There are no complicated systems that are hard to keep track of. When you’re fully disconnected from the grid, you need something like these portable power stations from Growatt to make sure you have power when you need it.
Since its inception, Growatt has quickly risen to prominence in the solar industry. With over 3.6 million clean energy enthusiasts worldwide, Growatt's portable power stations offer winning features that are recognized by many. Growatt is responsible for pioneering a range of cutting-edge solar power technologies and building a sustainable future. All of these make it a trustworthy brand.
Clothing and Bedding
Having a solid set of clothing and bedding is important to keep yourself warm and safe when living off the grid. There is likely a less powerful source of heat than your furnace at home, meaning you need to dress for the occasion.
The best cookware is that which will last a lifetime. Cast iron tends to be one of the most popular sets of cookware in off-grid communities. They don’t break, and there are no dangerous chemicals in the sealants.
Emergency and First Aid Kits
Finally, having a good emergency and first aid kit is important. In certain communities, like Matavenero, you can be over three hours from the nearest doctor. When you get injured, you need to take care of the problem yourself, without the help of a doctor.
Living in an off-grid community isn’t for everyone, but there are so many different options out there that you can likely find one that lines up with your beliefs. Even if you don’t want to live full-time in one, there are a lot of different ways to find yourself volunteering and getting involved in the communities. And who knows, maybe you’ll end up wanting to move there!