An inside look at the difficulties of living off grid

What it takes to live truly green


Marcus Field, a journalist that accidentally found himself living as a “climate change warrior,” sheds light upon his 6 years of experience living off the grid. With recent global movements like the Youth Strike 4 Climate being led by generation Z, he wanted to highlight the difficulties that accompany walking the talk of living sustainably.

In 2006 he purchased a home within Los Molinos del Rio Aguas, which is an eco village in Spain. Primary features within this community are homes constructed from local materials, growing food for vegetarian or vegan diets, outdoor compost toilets, and solar energy.

If we had understood the steepness of the learning curve we never would have done it at all

Marcus Field

Relying solely on solar energy can be quite limiting, especially during cloudy weather or the winter months. However, it can provide enough power for lighting, computers, and a fridge kept at the lowest setting. Water is limited to the irrigation line, which is essentially a ditch that can be prone to collapses and leaving residents without water.

Those, amongst other difficulties, make this lifestyle less than desirable to the majority, but incredibly beneficial for the planet and humankind. While this level of dedication will most likely never reach main stream adoption, certain aspects are definitely worth consideration.

“At first I was enchanted by off-grid living. But the hardships quickly became apparent”

The first speakers made of sand, thanks to 3D printing

Fine tuned from natural inspiration


The Spirula speakers designed by Deeptime in the Czech Republic take acoustic and form cues from the cochleae of the human ear and conch shell. They utilized 3D printing to create the body of the speakers from sand, establishing a seamless layered exterior texture resemblant of bare rock sediments.

Nature’s perfect shape enables humans to deeply appreciate the most magical thing we have ever created – music.


Sound direction is perfectly calibrated for the best listening experience regardless of the listener’s location in relation to the speakers. 3 inch cone drivers comprised of bamboo fibre, plus an optimized polymer known as santoprene used for the surround of the cone, combined with the form, all contribute to audiophile level satisfaction.

The paired subwoofer named the Thunderstone resembles the fossils of Black Sea urchins. It features three base ports with longer resonance tubes in thanks to it’s three sided symmetrical shape. Falling in the higher end market of desktop speakers, this unique set is a one off production of 1618 sets.

3D printed speakers made from sand

Wellness takes to the skies as Panasonic works to implement solutions

Flight passengers will be able to access sensory calming applications

@CATK motion graphics

Programs offered through Calm and myNoise for audio and visual stimulation are being added by Panasonic Avionics to participating airlines in order to improve traveller well being. Calm provides sleep, meditation, and relaxation through exercises and stories while myNoise uses soundscapes to aid passengers with focus, falling asleep, or relaxing.

Already being popularly accepted by passengers and airlines, wide adoption can be expected this year amongst a few unnamed major carriers. This serves to aid the trend of wellness tourism as it makes its way into travel and hospitality markets.

The new Netflix nature doc “Our Planet” expresses a powerful central theme

Inspirational footage is centered around the goal of climate change education


Following the captivating series such as Blue Planet, Planet Earth, and Life, Our Planet follows similar formulas with the narrative genius of David Attenborough. However, one primary theme of the eight episode series sets it apart from previous documentaries and that is the direct deliverance of scientific climate change facts.

Scenes capture large scale groups of species struggling to survive in their natural ecosystems, from migrations and hunts to mating rituals and the powerful beauty of our planet. Intensely empathetic storytelling aids the significance of the hard facts that are delivered as a causation of the current displayed environmental states.

The series effectively drives home the severity of human impact on all life and how our choices within the next twenty years will determine the future for the entire planet, including us. It is an inspirational, well synthesized, and comprehensive motivator for change that will hopefully further awareness and spark preventative action.

Mirrored pools found on the Pacific Ocean floor

Discovered during research of microbial life


A research team led by Samantha Joye, an associate professor at the University of Georgia, was studying microorganisms living around ocean floor volcanic vents off the coast of California when they discovered these beautiful mirror like pools. Using a remote sub called the ROV SuBastian, they found essentially an underwater city of diverse life supported on towers formed from mineral deposits.

We discovered remarkable towers where every surface was occupied by some type of life. The vibrant colors found on the ‘living rocks’ was striking, and reflects a diversity in biological composition as well as mineral distributions

Samantha Joye

The towers have many jutting overhangs that collect pools of scalding water from the vents below, which forms the mirror like affects. Combined with beauty of the many organisms and minerals, this truly is a spectacular discovery.

Could floating cities be the answer to rising sea levels?

Coastal cities face the threat of 26 inch sea rise by the end of the century


Climate change is projected to have massive impact on global sea levels, which will also affect many of the world’s larger coastal cities. This is driving innovators to seek out potential solutions, whether that be moving inland or maybe embracing the ocean.

UN Habitat met Wednesday in order to begin discussions about an extensible project proposed by Oceanix City, the brainchild of Marc Collins who has fostered similar projects like Blue Frontiers in the past. Designed by Bjarke Ingels, an acclaimed Danish architect, plus other members from MIT and the UN, the city would be a Utopia championing equality, renewable energy, zero waste, and even plant based diets.

Modular platforms tethered to biorock on the ocean floor would allow for expansion and reconfiguration based on the needs of the community. The biorock anchors could serve for coral growth and help replenish depleted reefs along with supporting eco systems.

Many of the discussed technologies needed to support the project remain in infancy currently, however the merit of the project has inspired optimism as a potential solution to global problems.

Humankind brand combines wellness and sustainability for personal care products

Made with reusable packaging and organic materials


Breaking onto the scene of vastly growing eco products, that make purchasing decisions simple by being good for people and planet, is the personal care offerings by Humankind.

Featuring a refillable plastic deodorant stick, mouthwash, and shampoo in bare form or wrapped in paper, the selection helps cut down on single use plastics. Upon request a freely shipped refill wrapped in paper will be sent for the deodorant and the brand claims the natural ingredients are 40% more effective at masking smell than other natural brands.