Monday, May 23, 2011

The Unintentional Off Grid Lifestyle Part Two

As I have stated before my off grid lifestyle was unintentional, which is why I call this series in the blog, "The Unintentional Off Grid Lifestyle." I think out biggest accomplishment is that we haven't owned a car in about six years. (We traded it to remove a tree that was hovering over our house.) If we do use a car, we ride share. I know this may sound strange but when you don't have a car you really do appreciate the the little things in life, such as going to the grocery store on your own time, and taking your time there as well. It really does change your life though, you become healthier by walking or bicycling, and you become mentally stronger as well, I'll explain. What I mean by you become healthier is, when you need to go to the store for say, a gallon of milk, you have two options, you can either go by bicycle or by foot. Either way you go, you have to carry home about 7 lbs of liquid home with you. I have to say carrying your things home in a bag sounds like a good idea but it is HELL, so don't overestimate yourself. Never in my life have my shoulders been so sore. Then again with us we buy everything in bulk so whenever we come back from shopping we have a lot of luggage to take home. I think I lost about thirty pounds since we stopped using a vehicle as our main means of transportation, imagine what it can do for all of you dieters out there. As far as the mentally being stronger part goes, I mean that you appreciate being at home, everyday is a stay cation. Of course you have to appreciate it because or else you'll hate it, it's best to see the positive side of things. I really can't tell you how bad the withdrawal was from not having a vehicle and being able to just get out and drive in the country side for a while, or some other type of whimsical trip. You become content with what you have. When I tell people about not having a vehicle I always say, "I'm as happy as I allow," all I'm trying to state is that I allow myself to be happy and to be grateful for the things I have. They look at me like I'm nuts and it is somewhat true, but then they smile and laugh as they see me walking down the street, with that gallon of milk.

Now I'm not telling you to put your little priuses for sale on craigs list, keep your cars! You will need them to drive junior to the hospital if he falls on his arse and blood is splattered everywhere. You can however walk or ride your bicycle to do little errands, or you can ride share. It's very difficult to ride home with a fifty pound bag of feed on your lap while riding a bicycle, don't ask, just trust me it is. So you will need a vehicle to do those types of things, but like I said you can ride share or you can spend $40,000 on some eco car to save you $100 of gas each month, the choice is yours. You just have to have good friends and schedules that are alike that way you can go to the store at the same time and kill two birds with one stone, more if possible.

 I prefer to do things by bike, it's so  much easier and quicker, I also like the feeling of the outdoors, just don't get run over by a car. Find bike lanes or short cuts.

Rounded up in a cheese cloth, it's not for everyone, I understand a lot of you have kids that have soccer practice and things of that nature, and you wouldn't be the same without your minivan, or you may just live too far from a store to walk or ride a bike to, but you can make little changes. They don't have to be big ones at all, like I said work it into your schedule and don't put yourself through hell. We only did it because we had the time and the will power (and we needed our tree gone) , but don't be afraid to try new things. Let me forewarn you all though, it is NOT easy, I repeat NOT easy, but I do encourage you to try it for at least on day if it's possible, to help the environment, to help your mental sanity (although you will go crazy for the first few weeks if you do this cold turkey), and to better your health.

Here is our bike lane, I just wanted to show you all that yes that's what those little lines are for, designated off grid living participants.

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