documentary life off grid A brief synopsis of what I learnt from watching this documentary. Earlier this year I watched a documentary screened at Govindas restaurant/ theatre (a lovely vegan Indian buffet in Kings Cross, Sydney. Do yourself a favour and check it out). I was so intrigued by the idea of living off the grid and what it truly entailed – the environmental benefits, the living conditions, communicating with the ‘real world’. This documentary captured the beauty, the hardships and the realities of doing just this. “Off grid simply means living without a connection to the electric and natural gas infrastructure.” (IMDB, 2016) Based around the scenic Canada, this short film/documentary interviewed and showed snippets of the lives of multiple people living off grid. The interesting part was my preconceived idea that being off-grid was solely focused on environmental sustainability. This documentary highlighted differing perspectives in which most focused on sustainability, however, there were some that decided to live off grid due to enjoyment or grew up with this lifestyle. This bred many moments of contradiction between interviewees such as the belief that traditionally electronic utilities such as televisions, washing machines and dish washers should not be allowed when considering yourself living ‘off grid’. However, others believed it was okay as long as the electricity generated for each item was through means other than a power pole. Further, most would survive by having a diet consisting of plants grown and food from visitors once year, while others would make monthly trips to the closest on grid grocery stores. Despite differing views presented in this documentary, in a sense, sustainability is still an underlying factor when living off grid as this lifestyle is very focused on using the earth’s natural resources – such as water and the sun to generate electricity. Ultimately reducing amounts of waste each individual produces, and reusing the little waste each person does create [I’m talking down to using human feces for manure]. By simply detracting away from the use of standardized carbon-fueled electricity, this is one step towards environmental preservation. To live off the grid you need to know the fundamentals of woodwork, wiring and surviving off the earth. Most interviewees built their own homes out of natural resources. The structures they created blew my mind. The ability to create a standing shelter from their bare hands – no machines – just the environment and themselves were insane. While I have no current plans to live off the grid in the near future, I love the concept of flexibility, sustainability and isolation which can be found behind this lifestyle.