UO Interviews: Life Off Grid

Justin Mailloux
What do you think of when you hear the term "off grid?" The first thing that usually comes to mind is someone on the run, or someone trying to be unfindable. Well, while that may be right in some ways, people that live off the grid do it for an entirely different purpose: to live with the land they reside on rather than living on it. It's simple, really. If you can generate power and heat for yourself, you are officially living off the grid.
After being intrigued about people leading off-the-grid lives during a research project, writer Phillip Vannini, along with photojournalist Jonathan Taggart, trekked across the whole of Canada to tell the individual stories of people living this way. The end result after two and half years and 65,000 miles traveled: a documentary film and book called Life Off Grid about the people choosing to disconnect from the grid and live with the land they occupy.
With Earth Day happening this month, it's inspirational to see how some people are choosing to live in a more environmentally friendly way. We can all learn a little from them and start making changes to better ourselves along with the world around us: from conserving energy to taking a shot at growing our own food. We had a chance to sit down with with Phillip to talk about his travels, the people he was able to meet and learn through, and how everyone can start making steps towards a more renewable lifestyle.