My name is Rusty, I'm living off grid at the Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center in New Mexico to learn about sustainable living. Ask Me Anything.

Rusty Good
Jun 17, 2017

I have decided to travel to some off grid places to learn more about sustainable living.

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Hey Rusty, what do you define as sustainable living? And how deep are you into sustainability

Jun 18, 7:01AM EDT0

How does the US compare to other countries for sustainability?

Jun 17, 3:43AM EDT0

What is the typical stereotype about people who live off-grid?

Jun 16, 10:56PM EDT0

About how many people in the US are living off the grid?

Jun 16, 2:12AM EDT0

Have you thought about travelling so far, Rusty?

Jun 15, 8:25PM EDT0

Who are considered the experts on living off the grid?

Jun 15, 9:25AM EDT0

Are you preparing for the apocalypse by living off the grid?

Jun 15, 9:20AM EDT0

No. Some people called "preppers" do that. I'm just doing it to living in harmony with nature and reduce the amount of money I spend.

Jun 15, 6:32PM EDT0

Do you have to pay at this centre in New Mexico?

Jun 15, 1:33AM EDT0

I'm doing the WWOOF program. There is no money involved. It's a work - trade agreement.

Jun 15, 6:32PM EDT0

I think people today feel so pressed by work and surroundings they often want to get away from all this, to disappear. Do you agree?

Jun 15, 12:46AM EDT0

Yes, I agree. I would like to have more of a balance in my life so that doesn't happen.

Jun 15, 6:33PM EDT0

Do you have any favorite TV shows about off the grid living?

Jun 14, 10:30PM EDT0

I like the TV show Trailer Park Boys. One guy on that show lives in his car.

Jun 15, 6:34PM EDT0

How much money can you save yearly by going off-grid?

Jun 14, 9:43PM EDT0

There are too many factors to answer this question.

Jun 15, 6:35PM EDT0

What are some good tech tools for sustainable living?

Jun 14, 9:32PM EDT0

Who are the founders of the Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center?

Jun 14, 8:45PM EDT0

Amanda Bramble. She is one of the most wonderful people I've ever met.


Jun 15, 6:37PM EDT0

What are some simple DIY projects for sustainable living?

Jun 14, 8:28PM EDT0
  • Simple rainwater catchment project
  • Small solar panel project
  • Garden/Greenhouse
Jun 15, 6:38PM EDT0

What are simple sustainable practices for people not ready to go off-grid?

Jun 14, 2:34PM EDT0

Try using recycled building materials: https://www.habitat.org/restores

Try cooking your own food from your own garden.

Try to reduce the amount you consume from outside sources and increase the amount you create from what you have. Example: Instead of buying skin care products, I just use the coconut oil from my kitchen on my skin. There's a ton of different ideas to try like that.

Jun 15, 6:44PM EDT0

Hi Rusty! How would you define sustainable living?

Jun 14, 9:55AM EDT0

What is the single biggest expense for someone going off grid?

Jun 14, 9:38AM EDT0

What should I know about sustainable living? Never heard of this before

Jun 14, 5:12AM EDT0

How is your daily life different since going off the grid?

Jun 14, 5:11AM EDT0

Why have you decided to live off-grid?

Jun 14, 4:56AM EDT0

What are some good websites for sustainable living?

Jun 14, 3:34AM EDT0

How long should a person live like that?

Jun 14, 2:45AM EDT0

I think people should live like this as long as possible!

Jun 15, 6:45PM EDT0

How did you learn about and choose the Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center?

Jun 14, 12:08AM EDT0

I learned about it through the WWOOF program.

Jun 15, 6:44PM EDT0

What does the concept of sustainable living mean to you?

Jun 13, 8:54PM EDT0

What sustainable living skills did you learn at the center?

Jun 13, 7:31PM EDT0

What are your options for alternative forms of energy?

Jun 13, 6:24PM EDT0

What modern conveniences will you give up when you go off-grid?

Jun 13, 5:52PM EDT0

None. If you want to give up modern conveniences when you go off grid, you can. If you don't want to, you don't have to.

Jun 15, 6:47PM EDT0

Do you do yoga?

Jun 13, 1:33PM EDT0

Yes, I go through phases where I do a lot. Sometimes I don't do any at all though. I always keep up with my stretches though.

Jun 15, 6:46PM EDT0

How do doomsday preppers fit into off-the grid living?

Jun 13, 12:42PM EDT0

They are just a subset of people who enjoy off-grid living.

Jun 15, 6:48PM EDT0

Hi! How long do you have to live in this center?

Jun 13, 12:39PM EDT0

I will be here about two and a half weeks.

Jun 15, 6:48PM EDT0

Can you recommend any online tutorials for living off-grid?

Jun 13, 12:28PM EDT0

Hi! How did your family react to this?

Jun 13, 11:32AM EDT0

They thought it would be interesting.

Jun 15, 6:50PM EDT0

What are the main difficulties you need to overcome to reach sustainable living?

Jun 13, 11:19AM EDT0

What are the benefits of living off the grid?

Jun 13, 9:51AM EDT0

No utility bills. You are more in touch with nature how you have to work with nature to get what you need from it.

Jun 13, 10:54AM EDT0

What will you miss most when you go off the grid?

Jun 13, 9:14AM EDT0

There is still electricity via solar power, and I have internet access through my phone service provider. I don't really feel like I'm missing anything.

Jun 13, 10:56AM EDT0

What are the biggest drawbacks to living off the grid?

Jun 13, 6:25AM EDT0

You have to do a lot of things yourself. It really depends on how you're set up. If you have no electricity, you're going to have to work harder or sacrifice more than someone without it. I would say the biggest drawback (which I don't consider a drawback) is that you have to get everything for yourself. No one gets it's for you.

Jun 13, 11:02AM EDT0

How hard is it to convert a standard home to an off-the grid home?

Jun 13, 6:03AM EDT0

The hardest part will be converting electric, sewer, and water. Some places won't even allow you to do it if you live in town. I would say if you live in town, it may not be possible to legally convert your house to off grid. If you live out of town, you may be able to do it with quite a bit of work.

Jun 13, 11:05AM EDT0

How long will you stay at the Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center?

Jun 13, 5:04AM EDT0

I'm going to be here about two and a half weeks.

Jun 13, 11:05AM EDT0

Rusty, hello! What do they teach at that centre?

Jun 13, 1:10AM EDT0

They teach sustainable living: https://ampersandproject.org/

Jun 13, 11:07AM EDT0

Hello! What do you think about Buddhist reclusion? That's what springs to my mind when I hear "off-grid".

Jun 13, 12:26AM EDT0

I think it can be good depending on the person. A lot of people would lose their minds, so it's important to start small. There are a lot of off-grid retreat centers. I think the tow ideas work well together.

Jun 13, 11:12AM EDT0

Are there any more such centres?

Jun 12, 10:55PM EDT0

Yes. I found this through the WWOOF program.

Jun 13, 11:13AM EDT0

How do you want to live in general - alone or with your beloved ones?

Jun 12, 10:54PM EDT0

What are your plans now?

Jun 12, 10:12PM EDT0

What was your reaction to Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Accord?

Jun 12, 9:17PM EDT0

What are some of the best states for living off the grid?

Jun 12, 8:43PM EDT0

What are some good books with advice for living off-grid?

Jun 12, 8:23PM EDT0

Is sustainable living a risky thing?

Jun 12, 4:49PM EDT0

It's less risky than unsustainable living.

Jun 13, 11:14AM EDT0

How do you explain your reasoning for going off the grid?

Jun 12, 3:36PM EDT0

I wanted to learn about sustainable living.

Jun 13, 11:14AM EDT0

How do friends and family react to your choice to go off-grid?

Jun 12, 3:31PM EDT0

They think it's interesting, but they don't want to do it themselves.

Jun 13, 11:15AM EDT0

How will you generate enough power to live off the grid?

Jun 12, 1:54PM EDT0

It's actually pretty easy with passive and active solar power.

Jun 13, 11:15AM EDT0

What are some of the most sustainable cities in the US?

Jun 12, 1:44PM EDT0

What does 'living off the grid' mean in simple terms?

Jun 12, 1:06PM EDT0

How well does the digital age mesh with sustainable living?

Jun 12, 12:20PM EDT0

I think they mesh very well. Things like active solar power are a great example of this.

Jun 13, 11:18AM EDT0

How much do you expect to spend to go off the grid?

Jun 12, 12:14PM EDT0

I'm staying at someone else's house in a work-trade type situation so I don't have to spend anything.

Jun 13, 11:19AM EDT0

Hi, do you feel tired of people sometimes?

Jun 12, 7:18AM EDT0

Sometimes yes.

Jun 13, 11:19AM EDT0

What is the main idea of living off grid?

Jun 12, 6:29AM EDT0

Is living at this center expensive?

Jun 12, 5:04AM EDT0