Winter Break Assignment #2

“Living of the grid” is a concept we often hear people talking about in response to concerns about human consumption and the environment.  The phrase refers to generating your own power and food.

Please read this article about living off the grid.

It’s a lengthy article with a great video.

After you’ve watched and read it, choose and answer ONE of the following questions:

1. What is one way that individuals in the city can reduce their use of resources like electricity and oil?

2. Which of the 10 “lessons” made the biggest impression on you? Why?

3. What skills might we teach in school that would help people become more self-sufficient?

4. Describe a factor that you think might contribute to our reliance on resources, or that might make it hard for individuals or families to make environmentally sound choices?

Happy New Year to you all!  See you next Monday!


  1. Ginger

    One of the ways that you can reduce the usage of electricity is to turn your lights of. Everyone knows that they should do it and try’s but it still doesn’t happen. I am writing this with experience because I often leave the lights on and I try not too, but it is hard to remember. It is so easy to do all you have to do is flip a tiny switch and it will turn of in an instant. I think that the people of North America have started taking electric lightbulbs for granted and think that they only make light and not increase global warming. Another thing you can do to reduce the use of electricity is to use LED lights as a substitute for your average lightbulb, they save energy and last longer.

    • ST Carl

      Great idea, Ginger. I agree that it can be easy to forget to turn off the lights when we are not using it. For myself, the habit to turn off a light to a room I am not returning to has reached the point that I sometimes accidentally turn off the light when others are still in the room.

  2. Scarletcat

    #2 One of the “lessons” that really stood out to me was how living off grid teaches you things that you may have forgotten,like how to reduce energy and live off only what you need.It amazes me how we take so many things for granted ,and forget about saving,and carefully using energy.We live in a society where we have so many things and have too much energy sources.I think if people tried living off the grid it would make them open their eyes and really have a change of heart towards how to live.

  3. coolschoolscout

    #1 One way people can save the usage of oil and gasoline is to walk, bike or use other methods of energy-free transport. This would definitely not destroy the ozone layer and would give the opportunity to actually get to know the outdoor beauty. There are so many cars in the world and oil spills occurring on bodies of water that are destroying many species of animals, in ways such as obliterating habitats for aquatic and land creatures, particularly birds of prey, insects and many types of fish. It is so easy to avoid exercise by saying, ” It’s 5 blocks away. Let’s drive instead of walking.” This is the wrong type of decision. A simple month where people carpooled or biked to their destinations would amaze what we would be doing to the world. True, it may be cold in the winter, so dress warmly! Our living area depends on OUR decisions!

  4. petrinied4000

    #1 I think that using public transit saves energy because a sky train, for example, can carry more people at a time and there are less of them then there are cars. also if you are not using something, turn it off or put it away. Many people leave their devices on because they are to lazy to turn them off. I think that if people want to do something for the environment, they don’t have to go out into the wilderness by themselves but they can use less electricity and if they don’t need something then they wouldn’t buy it. In the winter if you have a fireplace then instead of using the furnace, make it a challenge to live though the winter by burning wood and in the summer, try to only make salads with vegetables from your garden.

    • coolschoolscout

      I agree with your idea, but some types of wood release carbon dioxide when burnt so use it carefully, and if everyone used wooden fireplaces, there could be a logging issue with people cutting down too many trees.

    • ST Carl

      Did you know you that even though you ‘turn off’ some of your devices, that they might still using electricity? For example, a computer or television that you turn off is actually only on standby. To completely stop it from using electricity would be to unplug it.

  5. Subway2go

    #1 One of the ways we can save resources is by turning off the water when we are not using it. For example, if you are brushing your teeth and you are keeping the water on when you don’t you need to us it. Another way to save resources, like oil, is by taking public transit because the transit systems can move large numbers of people more efficiently than cars. One of the easiest ways to save energy is to turn off the lights in the rooms that are not being used. Lots of peole say they are going to turn off the lights to save enegry but they do not.

  6. The awesomest

    #2 the lesson that made the biggest impression on me is, life off grid is simple but not uncomplicated. I think this is true because if you live off grid you dont have to worry about living in a city with a big house to clean and you dont have to pay for electricity but you dont have basic needs that modern houses provide.

  7. cheese curds

    The way we could save electricity is only to use technology one day of the week. So the rest of the time, you wouldn’t use electricity so much. The lesson about the off-the-grid home is not the hands off home, I thought that was the best lesson.
    Skills to teach kids: How to use public transport more, save electricity at home and where to buy local grown food. Question 4: Technology is addictive, for example, for people who are in an office they need to use computers. Also, it’s hard for families to switch off all that technology when they use it all the time.
    Also, how could we answer these blog questions if we couldn’t use computers or ipads?

    • ST Carl

      Technology has become integrated with everything we do. Do you think it is possible to only use technology for one day of the week? You might need to redefine which technology you are referring to because that is a very broad term. Yes, you wouldn’t be able to answer the blog if you couldn’t use your electronic device, you would have to ask for the question and write it down!

  8. PointyHedgehog11

    #3 I think we should teach children the importance of growing and cooking there own food through hands on experience .
    In grade 3 we had a person come in and teach us how to do things, like make compost or preserve food . They also taught us what to plant in a certain season . I personally really enjoyed it a lot because i like doing things like that . Kids in school are the next generation and if they learn to conserve and reuse then they will make the world a better place. The young people today are the producers and consumers of tomorrow .

    • ST Carl

      Learning to grow and cook your own food is a good skill to know and can teach other things like safety and responsibility. A great resource to learn how to cook is from your own family while they prepare meals! (if they let you in the kitchen during that time)

  9. purplegiraffe47

    some ways of conserving energy would be to not even have lights. The human eye adjusts to light so your eyes adjust, you could also use sun light to cook things like in the video and to walk and bike places instead of drive and/or bus places that would save gas. You could grow your food instead of buy it and to have a fireplace instead of heating the house ❤ ❤ 😉 😉 ❤

    • ST Carl

      Great ideas purplegiraffe47. You would need to have a very well designed building to allow sunlight in if you wanted to work without lights. It might be interesting to know that there has been research done about classrooms and how lighting affects student behaviour.

  10. balloongirl123

    To save electricity you can turn off the lights when you leave a room or use less hot water. For saving oil people who usually use the car to get to places can walk or bike.


    #1 To save oil is to not drive a car and stead you can walk, bike,skate board, scooter,run, roller skate and jog and to save electricity you can turn off lights when you leave a room and if you were to have an a electric car walk or bike.

  12. Lightningboy123

    1# people can turn off the tv,lights when they don’t be to use them turn off the water and don’t use that much hot water and saving oil you can use scooters,bikes or walk

  13. cooperraine

    #3 i think science would help you live off the grid because it teaches you about solar power so you can power your house and you can be a lot more eco plus science would teach you how to make stuff like ovens powered by the sun thinking about compost for your garden and stuff like that

  14. Jr.fruitcake

    The lesson that made the most impression on me was “living of the grid is living with not in a place” because it makes so much sense you take what is provided and use it to your advantage. I would like to live off the grid for a month or so to see what it is like to really be independent of the things I take for a given here in the city.

  15. reader

    1. Here are five ways that our city can reduce electricity and oil: walking or biking to work or school, turning off all the lights when you leave your house, using your car less or getting an electric car.


    i think that a way to save electricity and oil is to keep lights off in rooms that are not being used,to try and walk more then taking public transit and cars.taking a bike would be good too.i think that people should start walking and biking more to save energy and to prevent globe warming.

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