If you try asking ten different people what it means to be “off grid”, you are likely going to get ten different answers. The term “off grid” seems to have taken on a meaning that is beyond the original meaning of the term referring to being off the national electrical grid. It now, seems to have several meanings besides unplugging from the national electrical grid.
It now also describes an attitude held by many that they no longer want to participate in the “rat race” and are seeking a better way of life. Some of them are skeptical of the public intrusion into their privacy (i.e.; “smart meters” on their electricity supply, body searches at airports, unjustified searches at roadblocks on public highways, etc.) and just want to drop out of a system they see as becoming overbearing and intolerable.
Some no longer have confidence that the traditional sources of supply are going to be reliable in the future and are seeking access to replacement sources that will be reliable. Most of these people are discovering that the only really reliable sources of supply are the ones they provide for themselves. This is evidenced by the increase in sales of solar-electric systems, wind generators, and other off grid power sources.
There are people that are stockpiling supplies, including food, against possible shortages. When I type “Food Storage” into Google’s search engine, I get 6,680,000 results. That is an awful lot of people selling storage food, and they would not be there if there were no customers. A significant number of people are obviously becoming insecure about their food supply.
There has been resurgence in interest in vegetable gardening as a source of wholesome food that is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. People are becoming more concerned about what they eat and feed their children, no longer trusting the chain grocery stores to provide them with safe nutritious food.
Real estate companies have noticed an increase in interest in rural properties as people have become discontented with the congestion, crime, and violence in our cities and are trying to find a more desirable environment in which to live and raise their children. As a result of this, the cost of housing in smaller towns and communities has been inching up while housing in cities has been going down.
The desire to get off grid has become a minor movement in our society and around the world. It seems to be growing day by day as more people become dissatisfied and start looking for ways to increase their control over their own lives. Google search engine reports 135,000 global and 90,500 U.S. searches for the term “off grid” in just one month, so a significant number of people are searching for answers. When that many people start looking for answers, they will certainly find them.
Off grid does mean different things to different people but there is no denying it is a movement that is gaining popularity and is here to stay. While it is a near impossibility to be completely self reliant, anything that contributes to self reliance is, in my opinion, a good thing.