Off the grid and back to the Earth

January 30, 2015
Vancouver Sun
Tara Carman

A Vancouver Sun feature about people who live off the grid showcases Prof. Phillip Vannini and alumnus Jonathan Taggarts research, book and film. 

An excerpt from the story:

One thing that surprised Vannini and Taggart about the people they met over their two years of research was how normal their lives were.

“You walk into some of these houses, you wouldn’t even know they’re off the grid. They’re absolutely gorgeous villas somewhere in a beautiful landscape ... and you look up and there are solar panels on the roof,” Vannini said. “I think that’s one of the beauties of this project. It wasn’t just a lot of freaks and hermits.”

They also learned that being disconnected from the grid did not necessarily mean disconnected from society. Some of the people they visited had cellular phones and even Internet.

“If you believe that you absolutely must have enough wattage to power Internet because you work as a consultant and you need to check your email every hour, then you put in an extra couple of solar panels,” Vannini said. “It’s really all choices that you make.”