Episode Information

CMS: Living off the Grid
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In this episode:

What does it take to unplug?


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49:29 minutes (23.75 MB)
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We have this image in America of the rugged individualist taking leave of society and all that binds us to our settled lives.  But then when somebody actually does this, I mean, for real, we're not always ready for that. That's what Mark Perry found out the first couple of times he tried to live off the grid. But, he's found a better way now ...

Doug Fine, an NPR contributor, tried the same thing. He's kind of a modern day Thoreau in New Mexico, raising goats and powering his ridiculously oversized American truck with cooking waste oil.

Later in the show, author Alice Hoffman builds worlds of enchantment, and her latest novel, The Story Sisters, tells of three sisters, one of whom gets sucked into the deepest and darkest recesses of her own fairy tale. Hoffman will open the 2009-2010 Jewish Book Festival at the Mandell JCC in West Hartford Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m.

Also, producer Patrick Skahill and I take a trip downtown and talk to the recently motivated.

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Listener Email from Ellen

My brother-in-law, a “gadget guy” by nature, has progressively moved their suburban Westchester home off the grid.  First it was the pellet stove.  Then the solar panels.  Then the solar powered oven on the porch and the composter powered by the solar panels.  Blake also uses a push mower and organic lawn fertilizers.

My sister and brother-in-law own ECOBAGS.com so they’re in this business but they also have their own garden, buy grains in bulk and are fixtures at their local farmers market. The interesting thing is that they’ve been doing this since 1989…way before it was cool to be green.  They’ve been advocates of bringing your own bags to the store, changing out lights, etc., forever.  Thanks for doing this show!