Off the Grid Tuesday: A Lot of Work

When I mention our goal of getting off the grid, or at least reducing our dependence on it, people usually have the same reaction: Do I know how much work that will be?

We decided to start driving a grease-powered car. We had to talk to the restaurant owners, pick up the oil, run it through our filtering system (that we made ourselves), and pump it into the car. While we were setting this up, Rob read that when you handle your fuel this much, you will naturally want to conserve it. This was true. We weren’t paying much at the pump, but we were more aware than ever of the energy required to run our car.

When we take the time to make our own food–bone broths, bread, tortillas–we take the time to enjoy it. We use leftovers creatively, so that we don’t waste them.

Most homes are units of consumption. People are now called “consumers.” All we are expected to do is consume, to use. Once, homes were places where things were created as well. There is a freedom in producing within your home. When you fill that car and take a free road trip, when you bite into that warm and tangy loaf of sourdough, or when you velcro on that homemade cloth diaper. Yes, this all takes work. We spend much more time producing things for our home, than most people do. However, we find this to be much more gratifying than watching a television show.

It is empowering to get your hands dirty, and to make something. It is extremely pleasing to eat a soup that has simmered for longer than a day. This is how we choose to spend our time.

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