When most people think of off grid living they think more of individuals or maybe a single family, living away from society in a secluded cabin. That is simply the image that most people likely think of when the topic comes up. While that may be the case currently, at least for a significant portion of those living off grid, we are also seeing more organized communities or groups deciding to share the experience.
Sometimes this is to help spread out the initial costs, other times it’s due to shared ideals or goals, which may remind people more of old school “hippie communes”. However, there is often much more sophistication and technology involved, partly due to the fact it is widely available, and partly because going off grid isn’t always about simplifying your life or getting in touch with nature.
In some parts of the world the concept is actually becoming part of planned communities. ReGen Villages is an architecture and real estate firm out of the Netherlands and they are behind the newest community concepts for off grid living.
These communities, while still close to cities or towns, will essentially be self sufficient towns unto themselves. From solar powered electric grids, community gardens, to aquaponic systems and livestock of all sorts, it all would be within the community to create a closed loop of sustainable living where one aspect helps provide the resources for another.
Food waste would be used as compost, insects in the compost would feed the fish in the aquaponics system, which would also be used to grow select crops, which could feed both the people and the livestock. It’s planned out off grid living that can also incorporate the latest technology to maximize efficiency and sustainability.
The entire community is setup as a model of sustainability and off grid living. The paths will be lined with herbs and berry bushes, there will be fruit trees for community use, on site chicken coops and livestock too.
Power will be generated with renewable sources and each home will have an attached greenhouse for year round gardening and personal food production. The high tech aspect will include sensors to monitor water and electrical usage to help determine the most efficient methods and procedures for the new off grid community.
Day to day living will be off the grid and yet still communal in nature. You will have plenty of personal space, but there are also community based meeting areas and places you can go for needs outside of just food, water and shelter.
Given how we have covered the need for more people to embrace off grid living due to climate change, this concept could serve as a model for others to follow and the company currently planning and building these communities, ReGen Villages is planning expansion beyond their initial communities in the Netherlands. While some will certainly prefer to go solo for their off grid life, others will be drawn to the more community focused nature that ReGen is providing.