Category Archives: Stories

Read the photo-story on me: “A fridge too far? Living sustainably in NYC by unplugging” from the Associated Press

on January 26, 2023 in Leadership, Nature, Stories, Visualization

Katherine Roth interviewed me about unplugging my fridge and apartment from the electric grid and Bebeto Matthews photographed me cooking and putting my solar panels on my roof. Read the story and see the pictures at A fridge too far? Living sustainably in NYC by unplugging. I hope it helps achieve one of my main goals for this experiment: for a few people to say “You can do that!? I[…] Keep reading →

Read my piece in Ars Technica: “I disconnected from the electric grid for 8 months—in Manhattan”

on January 13, 2023 in Leadership, Nature, Stories

Ars Technica published a piece I wrote on my experiment disconnecting my apartment from the grid, I disconnected from the electric grid for 8 months—in Manhattan. It goes into more depth than my TIME piece I’ve Been Living Off-Grid In Manhattan for Half-a-Year. It’s in my voice, unlike the New Yorker‘s Off the Grid in the Big City. One of my main points was seeing the experiment like the Wright[…] Keep reading →

The New Yorker profiled my living off the grid

on January 9, 2023 in Leadership, Nature, Stories

My letter to the New Yorker’s editor in September led to a reporter, Zach Helfand, visiting and writing a story on me. They published it today (including spotlighting it, see below): Off the Grid in the Big City: It begins, “Josh Spodek disconnected the circuit breaker in his apartment, and now—thanks to solar-powered vegan stew—his carbon footprint is about that of three house cats.“ Along with the New Yorker piece,[…] Keep reading →

Waking before the alarm, writing in the dark

on January 6, 2023 in Habits, Nonjudgment, Stories

I told a friend how sometimes when I wake up before the alarm I get my best ideas. Most of the time I don’t write them down, figuring if they’re important enough, I’ll remember them when I wake up for the day. I learned the habit of not trying to save everything during my first silent meditation retreat. They don’t let attendees bring anything to write with. At first I[…] Keep reading →

Doing What It Takes

on December 27, 2022 in Leadership, Nature, Stories

When I spoke to Tom Szaky, founder of Terracycle, on the podcast, he shared an origin story. He had bought a used industrial composting machine and arranged with Princeton’s food services team to take a few barrels of their food scraps. it was summer, the composting machine arrived late, and the barrels of scraps were mostly sealed. When they opened the barrels, the stench was revolting, the maggots everywhere, and[…] Keep reading →

A silly moment showing the joy in disconnecting from the grid, even when it means climbing a lot of stairs

on December 15, 2022 in Stories

The backstory: I emailed a reporter doing a story on me to ask when the story would post, sharing that I’m using the story to motivate me keeping the apartment off the grid. She wrote back, “Please please don’t continue on in this dark and freezing weather because of this story!” She then explained what was setting the pace, then continued, “please please don’t risk your health by going on[…] Keep reading →

RIP Frances Hesselbein, one of my great inspirations

on December 12, 2022 in Leadership, Stories

I received this email this morning from the Director of Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership and Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs: Dear Friends, It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of Frances Hesselbein, our mentor, friend, and the namesake of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum. Frances was an inspiration to all of us,[…] Keep reading →

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