See Reuters Video on Me. The headline: “New Yorker lives sustainable life off electric grid”

April 22, 2023 by Joshua
in Leadership, Nature

The video shows me cooking, fermenting, climbing, setting panels up, volunteering, picking up litter, and more.

They recorded hours of footage. I like what they edited and only wish they could include more. For example, pulling the cart, I was bringing overstock, perfectly good food to the community center for people to pick up free.

My favorite moments they couldn’t include:

  • When the interviewer tasted the famous no-packaging solar-powered vegan stew I made while they recorded. She said she liked it a lot.
  • When I shared my three main goals:
    • To alleviate suffering of people kicked off their land and on the receiving end of polluting and depleting, and minimize directly contributing to it.
    • To lead leaders: you can’t lead someone to live by values you live the opposite of. My solo work is like playing scales so I know what I’m doing.
    • To explore the frontier of what’s possible. More than 4 billion people live in cities. If no one thinks resilience and reduction like this is possible and creates not deprivation but freedom, fun, and joy, they won’t try.
  • Delivering the food to people at the community center. Barriers came down and hungry people spoke with the TV crew and me. The crew was surprised at how much overstock food would have been thrown away.

See the text from the video below.

A few notes

Did you notice the apples were bruised? I make vinegar and kombucha from apples I get free because they’re bruised.

I got the solar panel and battery used from Craigslist.

I climb the eleven flights most days twice. Sometimes when the battery has enough charge that it won’t take too long to reach 100%, I’ll stay up the whole time. Or if it’s a nice day and I feel like working on the roof for a while.

You can tell I’m sunburned from working on the roof so much since spring arrived.

German TV coverage from last month

For those who missed it, here was coverage of me from German TV last month:

The Reuters Video Text

STORY: This New Yorker has been living off the electric grid for nearly a year

(Joshua Spodek, Sustainability practitioner)

“I’m exploring the frontier. 4 billion people live in cities, and up until last, this time last year, I would never have believed what I’m doing is possible. And if someone said, try it, I would, I wouldn’t bother. But I’m showing that it’s possible.”

Spodek relies on a 576-watt-hour power station

and a 200-watt foldable solar panel

Once a day he carries his equipment up and down 11 flights

to the rooftop of his apartment building to charge

“What I’ve discovered by actually doing it is – everyone always thinks the opposite. Everyone thinks, Oh, it’s a burden, it’s a chore. It’s glorious. It’s more delicious. It saves money, it’s fun.”

Over a decade, Spodek has taken steps towards an increasingly sustainable lifestyle

He gave up packaged food ten years ago

and hasn’t flown since 2016

“I used to think that acting more sustainably, it would be – it’s a burden to bother people to do these things. But on the other side of trying there’s always connection, there’s always people, it’s always community.”

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