What it's like to go off-grid in Manhattan

Originally published at: What it's like to go off-grid in Manhattan | Boing Boing


While not as urban as Spodek, Steve Wallis up in the Great North shows what stealth camping is all Ah-Boot.


No, he didn’t live off grid. He simply outsourced his energy needs to the surrounding infrastructure and population. He charged at work, when he couldn’t via solar. He absorbed heat from his neighbors, in a large apartment building with central heating. He relied on food made by outsiders in many cases, or ice/etc to preserve what he cooked.

This is not anything significant, especially in a city of the size of New York. If half the population tried this, he’d have froze to death when winter hit and there was no one burning energy to heat that building. He still had pumped water from the city, he still had gas from the city, he still had electric from the city - he just didn’t consume the latter from his own apartment.

First world problems, yo.


I have had solar lights in my bedroom for about 20 years now and been carrying a detachable solar light (and charger) on my backpack for about the same length of time. It becomes my bike light when I need it.

The light, radio or cell phone, small battery charging capacity we should have on hand in case of emergency or disaster is eminently affordable and practical with such small solar devices. They are also entry level electricity for the poorest billion or so who don’t now have access. I estimate it would cost about $7 billion at RETAIL prices to provide them with such power from off the shelf equipment.

Too bad Musk didn’t consider that before spending $44 billion for Twitter.


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