Day 100 off the electric grid in Manhattan (about 98 days longer than I thought possible). Still going.

August 29, 2022 by Joshua
in Leadership, Nature

Today is day 100 off the grid, a nice milestone, about 98 days longer than I thought I could before starting.

solar roof empire state building

I’m not sure when I’ll reconnect or why. I’m thinking about when my next bill comes, around September 9, which would give me three consecutive bills with 0 kilowatt-hours. My “cheat” I allowed before starting was to plug in at NYU, where I worked before the experiment. I wasn’t trying to solve everything. I didn’t even think I’d make a few days.

Since I’m nearly two months into without even solar power, I’ve learned how to live with zero power. Dried beans I can eat by sprouting. Leafy vegetables I can preserve by keeping in water, which grows them, or fermenting them. Instead of the beard trimmer, I just shaved the beard.

The bigger lessons are what power I don’t need. I’m reading more books, using sunlight for light, volunteering more, and other things that make for a life I like. Cue people accusing me of “privilege.” They don’t know what they’re talking about, but I welcome them to go off the grid for 100 days to learn how much doing so offers to help the people they say I don’t know about, as one factor of many.

If I keep power usage minimal, plugging in at NYU doesn’t save much energy relative to plugging in at home, so I may go back. On the other hand, the solar panel manufacturer finally agreed to send new, working panels, which may restore solar power, along with having getting to climb eleven flights twice a day. I look forward to one of my famous no-packaging vegan stews, solar-powered.

We’ll see. I confess, I’m impressed with 100 days. I’m curious how I’d handle shorter days and cold weather.

Here’s my latest podcast episode about it, if you haven’t listened:

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