593: How I disconnected from the electric grid in Manhattan for 2 weeks (and counting)

June 11, 2022 by Joshua
in Podcast

Your story is truly inspirational“: feedback from an attendee.

The government advisory Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board invited me to speak on sustainability leadership Wednesday. I spoke on what led to my experiment going off-grid in Manhattan, two-and-a-half weeks at the time. Here’s the video of the presentation, which includes the slides I refer to, though here is the Venn diagram and here is the footprint chart.

Here’s the audio for that presentation. It starts a bit slow, but stresses one of my main discoveries, that my method goes beyond shifting your mindset. It leads to a cycle of continual improvement. Looking back, I see the pattern. My challenge to avoid buying packaged food for a week gave me the humility and curiosity to question sacred cows like that flying is good and expect that experimenting will yield results that idle speculation won’t.

I describe the difference between living by my values and leading others. I don’t think you can lead people to do what you’re doing the opposite of. Living by your values is necessary to lead others. Otherwise you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Then I describe what I did after learning to live without a fridge for most of the year: buying a battery, buying solar panels, testing them, and using them.

Then I describe my results: physical, emotional, skills, my evolving connection to nature, and so on.

Finally I answer audience questions.

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