ecoTrain has an interesting question this week that I like to share my opinion about as I think it's important and maybe can be useful for some. It's about the crazy situation created by the pandemic, that needs our attention continuously and we need to think of long term solutions if we want to be prepared for an even worse scenario. I'm going to jump in the middle of it as there's no need to present the situation, I don't think there's one single sole on this planet who doesn't know what it's going on on this front.
Those of you who are community members for some time know that Alex, aka @ecoalex is in the process of going totally offgrid. I'm not sure if he's totally offgrid yet, but he's working on it. I'm not living offgrid and I don't think I will in the foreseeable future, but have a very good idea what it means, what it requires and some skills to survive.
First of all going totally offgrid is a process, don't happen from one day to another for two reasons. One of the reasons is that you have to set up your offgrid establishment and in order to do that, you need supplies, tools, human help and you can only do that by not being offgrid.
Secondly, and this is the most important one, you need to learn to live offgid. Obviously we have different backgrounds and different skills, but jumping from city life to offgrid is just not possible.
This worldwide on and off lockdown has forced us to realize how dependent we are on different services. We have to buy groceries, toiletries, other supplies in order to exist. Some were hit even harder, when they have found out they can't order food from fast food restaurants, takeaways. Many can't even cook a meal at home, let alone bake their own bread. It is the shocking reality and the result of this fast life. We got used to it and now take everything for granted.
Let's see how many can repair a household item? Hands up! Hmmm, do I see any hands in the air? Maybe a few. Obviously we don't know hot to repair anything as we don't have to know, there are specialists for that we can turn to.
Growing your own food is a dream many are flirting with as they can see the benefits. It's the best thing to have homegrown food, I'm telling you from experience. However, no matter how simple it looks, it's not simple at all.
I could go on with the examples but I don't think it's necessary. You just have to lock yourself up for one or two weeks and you'll see how dependent you are on products and services.
As I said, going offgrid is a process, so learning to live offgrid can be started asap. Even though you don't plan to go offgrid, learning to be independent has huge benefits.
Food - We can start with trying to transition from eating processed and takeaway food to preparing our own food at home. Some are already there, others can learn it and enjoy the benefits. The truth is, this is one pandemic, but a similar situation can happen anytime, forcing us to live like this again, not to mention we're still in this mess and no one knows when it's going to be over.
Growing Food - This is again an important piece of the puzzle. If you don't have a piece of land or a small garden around the house, your only option is a small space on your balcony. I've done that but trust me, it's not the same. However, you can start practicing with what you have, learning to care for plants and deal with problems that occur. Look at it as a trial period as you can't grow your necessary groceries at a limited space like that, but also take it seriously as once gone offgrid, you can't go to the supermarket to buy tomatoes or potatoes if you don't get any harvest.
Learn DIY - DIY has become trendy, you can see a lot of tutorials, everyone wants to teach us something, trying to gain fame and wealth in the meantime. When you go offgrid or there's a lockdown, DIY is a must, not an option. You can try to repair, create things yourself, learn new skills and prepare yourself to be independent of others.
Finances - The lockdown has caused a lot of financial problems. People lost their jobs, were forced to reschedule everything in their life and many became homeless. Having multiple credit cards is nice for some as they can buy what they desire but spending more than you can afford is not healthy. Losing your income and having no savings is pure suicide, something you can't risk. Rethinking your spending is a must in these difficult times. Spending what you can afford, building up some savings is the new reality.
Utilities - This is something to consider as well and it's not easy. Water, heating, you need a well and woods, if you want to live totally offgris. Electricity could be provided by a solar panel but only if you live in a sunny country and don't have high expectations. A generator can also do the work, but then you need fuel you can't produce yourself, unless you live in an oil rich country. But even then, using a generator fueled by oil is the exact opposite of going green.
This is again, another important piece of the puzzle. These trying times have shown us how important mental health is and how fragile we are.
I had a plan for the lockdown that worked perfectly for me and can work for anyone for that matter as it's a simple and good one. I created a program, a schedule for myself with the things I wanted to do and had no time for them. I didn't think about the lockdown as a restraining in movement or a punishment, but as an opportunity to do what I wanted and liked. This is how I was able to learn new skills, experiment and do what I wanted. Actually the lockdown was the busiest period of the year for me, the day was never enough. Creativity helps your mind, results and success feed your soul, it's a win-win situation, so no need to be depressed.
Communication is easy these days. We have internet connection and a bunch of platforms that can be used to connect with the whole world. You can actually organize a concert if you want, connecting artists from every corner of the world.
Keeping your mind occupied, staying positive and learning new things to be better than before the lockdown was a plan that worked for me perfectly and I don't see why would not work for others as well.
What can I do to prepare myself for indefinite lockdowns without having to leave your home or move location?
After a year of living with an invisible enemy, I'm pretty much organized for an emergency lockdown. Plus I was brought up learning to live in saving mode to survive, so I have plenty of skills to deal with the situation. My storage room is always full of homemade, canned goodies, rain or shine. That's not an emergency measure but a way of living.
If a lockdown would happen, I would need to buy some food, groceries, medicine for my dad and maybe some supplies for my creative work. Obviously I would not be happy, but I know I can do it. The gardening season starts in two months, give or take, so that is not something I have to worry about, but if we'll be in lockdown again, we will need to say good bye to gardening again, or hope our neighbors can start the most necessary work, like last year.
The sad truth is, we don't need an official lockdown to isolate. Last week I had to go to my first covid funeral that marked me for life. Plus my brother lost two colleagues recently, both his age. Vaccination is going to begin shortly in my country, but only God knows when are we going to get it and how effective it will be.
Till then, we stay safe, stay positive, work on our mind and do something creative :)