MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Off-the-Grid Living: Background information when reading California

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

California

by Edan Lepucki

California by Edan Lepucki X
California by Edan Lepucki
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jul 2014, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2015, 400 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte
Buy This Book

About this Book

Off-the-Grid Living

This article relates to California

Print Review

off-the-grid adobe houseIn California, Frida and Cal Friedman are forced to live off the land without electricity or running water, growing the food they eat. While the couple has no choice but to adopt such a lifestyle, off-the-grid living has been gaining traction in contemporary society. Traditionally, the term refers to living without public utilities, particularly electricity. One doesn't have to be cut off from the food system as well to qualify. However, in recent years, off grid living has taken on a wider connotation - of somebody living apart from, or under the radar of, modern society.

The motivations for going off the grid can include environmental and economic concerns and a desire to lead a homesteader's life. Even if most home alterations (such as extensive networks of solar panels) do require a significant financial investment upfront, the long-term advantage to the pocketbook is apparent. Electricity needs can be met through use of solar panels and any extra generated can be diverted to storage batteries for backup use. Residential wind turbines are also an option and can be used in tandem with solar panels.

off-the-grid artist's studio and houseWells can tap groundwater but these can be an expensive option costing thousands of dollars and, additionally, are not a reliable solution in areas where groundwater tables are already low. A cistern, a large tank, is often used to store and use water. Water coming into the home through the cistern needs to be filtered before use. A septic tank in which bacteria can break down wastewater is useful for going off the grid. Composting toilets are another option.

While generated electricity can be used to heat the home, consumption might exceed capacity, in which case giant propane tanks can be used as backup for heat. Generators running on biodiesel or propane are also used for electricity in case existing, more environmentally friendly options don't meet needs.

off-the-grid boathouseIt is obvious that going off the grid necessitates decreased consumption and serious lifestyle changes. Adoptees of such a lifestyle will often hand wash clothes and dry them on outside lines, for example. Not surprisingly, off-the-grid living is closely tied with the tiny house movement whereby a typical house is 100 to 400 feet. Living in such small quarters poses its own kind of challenges but minimizes the resources needed to live off the grid.

An off-the-grid adobe house, courtesy of theinnovationdiaries.com
An off-the-grid artist's studio and living space, courtesy of emergencyresponsestudio.org
An off-the-grid boathouse, courtesy of shantyboatliving.com

Filed under Cultural Curiosities

Article by Poornima Apte

This "beyond the book article" relates to California. It originally ran in August 2014 and has been updated for the July 2015 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Death in Mud Lick
    Death in Mud Lick
    by Eric Eyre
    When Eric Eyre, investigative and statehouse reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Daily, began ...
  • Book Jacket
    Orange World and Other Stories
    by Karen Russell
    Karen Russell has a tremendous gift for crafting uncanny, through-the-looking glass worlds that are ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of Longings
    The Book of Longings
    by Sue Monk Kidd
    The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd follows the life of Ana, a woman born in the Galilean city of ...
  • Book Jacket: Master Class
    Master Class
    by Christina Dalcher
    Christina Dalcher's Master Class shows America sleepwalking into a perfectionist eventuality not ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Paris Hours
by Alex George

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.