In the 60s and 70s many communes were formed for groups of “hippies” who no longer wanted to be in society. Many were nudist, others were love-ins, but one thing is for sure, the majority were completely “off the grid”.
Off the grid has become a term given to those who choose to forgo modern conveniences and live closer to nature, essentially. As of late though, it could mean many things to many different people. Some who live in big beautiful homes that use only solar and wind energy can be considered off the grid. Others can live in a cabin with no electricity or heat other than wood can also be considered off the grid. It’s all perspective and up to those who chose this lifestyle.
This family chose to take it quite a few steps further than many.
— Jeff Caruso (@jcaruso7) January 15, 2014
“I’ve always enjoyed rural life, and the thought of sustainability and home-scale energy production intrigued me,” says Abe, who grew up in New Mexico and Texas. “On top of that, I wanted to see how integrating systems to reduce waste and improve efficiency would affect the architecture and other components of this lifestyle.”
This adventure started 12 years ago when Abe Connally left his 9 to 5 job in an advertising firm, to seek the simple life. Purchasing 20 acres of pristine desert in Brewster County, Texas was the catalyst and after he met his future wife, Josie Moores, the couple decided to start building a home for their future.
Although living off the grid wasn’t their main motivation when moving to their desert paradise, it eventually became necessary to fulfill their dream of becoming completely self-sufficient in their wilderness home.
“We lived 30 miles from the nearest small town and amenities, and we had little money, so whatever we wanted to have, we had to provide for ourselves,” Connally says.
And their lifestyle, although not initially motivated by environmental concerns, taught them that conserving their resources became essential to survival, eventually bringing environmental friendliness to the forefront.
“Once you find yourself living in a natural environment, things like sustainability and environmentalism become common sense,” Connally says.
The energy source to the home comes from solar panels and wind turbines. Capturing filtered rainwater from their roof is their main water source.
Connelly and Moores grow and raise their own food, and recycle and waste as little as possible. They work a little at home writing and selling their wares, but mainly their lives are pristine, as Abe describes: “Each and every day, we get to look around ourselves – in the house, when turning on a light or tap, in the food we eat – and we can say ‘I did that. It’s immensely gratifying and empowering. There’s a pride and freedom in creating your own space that cannot be described.”
Images via Facebook