Robin Speronis lives off the grid in Florida, completely independent of the city’s water and electric system. A few weeks ago, officials ruled her off-grid home illegal. Officials cited the International Property Maintenance Code, which mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source.
That’s like saying our dependency on corporations isn’t even a choice. The choice to live without most utilities has been ongoing for Robin, the self-sufficient woman has lived for more than a year and a half using solar energy, a propane camping stove, and rain water.
In the end, she was found not guilty of not having a proper sewer or electrical system; but was guilty of not being hooked up to an approved water supply.
Speronis is still being hassled by the municipality of Cape Coral for not having a connection to city water, nor proper sewage. This is regardless of the fact that the city capped her sewers themselves.
Is Off-Grid Really Illegal?
In essence, yes. To live off the grid means to not have to hook up to any corporate or municipal utilities. If a municipality makes it illegal to disconnect from any given utility, they are in essence making off grid living illegal.
“It means living independently, mainly living independently of the utility companies. Providing your own power. It does not mean living in the stone age, it’s not about bush craft. It’s about generating your own power, your own water, dealing with your own waste. Probably as part of a community, not living on your own like a hermit. It’s also about being more self-reliant and being less dependent on the system. Perhaps realizing that the system isn’t really protecting us anymore and we have to look after ourselves.” – George Noory
Exploring Our Potential Beyond The Grid
Our potential as a human race is quite extraordinary, we just don’t realize it. Sustainable living is not about giving up a certain lifestyle. We can still have all the modern amenities, design and beyond. We simply need to transition from one way of seeing housing to another.
One potential issue with off the grid living is that corporations will lose their control of the market and, therefore, the majority of their profits. It is this type of political and corporate agreements that give people like Speronis issues to begin with.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozled has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” – Carl Sagan
Moving Away From Dependence
The human race does not need to be dependent on these corporations for basic needs in the manner we are now. While we continue to feed this dependency, the planet continues to suffer. In order to move forward, we must start cooperating with each other, and realize just how much potential we have to create something we can take into our own hands and do sustainably. We can’t wait for these corporations to come up with solutions, as they will likely be very profit oriented.
Another Case of State Hassle
Earlier this year, Texas state brought several SWAT teams to a sustainable community and threatened to shut it down. Each one of the community members were initially handcuffed at gunpoint. It was called “The Garden of Eden Community,” and was totally self sustainable. You can read more about that here.