Abandoning Luxury Life in Dubai For Offgrid Living In The Desert. And Never Looking Back.

One recent migrant to Sunseed had a great high paying job in Dubai, one of the world’s most opulent centers of luxury, where you’re born a captain of industry. Money doesn’t mean anything because everybody has so much of it there, it’s just a way of life.

Traffic on a street at night, long exposure.

What is Sunseed you say?

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Tucked in the lower Andalusia area of Spain, Sunseed is a place where people shun technology, where they find escape from the nagging need to check Facebook and Instagram every two minutes, among many other things. Those who come here have a certain broader outlook, opting to live within limits, off the grid, using sustainable resources to live comfortably. A nomadic sort of life.

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While the area might be bleak, a sort of desolate desert you’d find in a Clint Eastwood western, a harsh climate that gets exceedingly hot in the day while temperatures at night plummet to bone-chilling lows.

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However, the advantages of tolerating these extremes of living go far, and bring some extreme results.

The average person in Sunseed makes just 3kg to the 478kg of the average American citizen.

Living here brings new opportunity to explore therapeutic treatments that might stray from conventional medicine. They eat better, healthier.

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And there’s a sort of self-governenace where the members meet each week to discuss things, make communal choices, and keep things healthy between others who share in the community.

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When the closest town you can walk to is a 90-minute trip, you learn a bit more about self-sufficiency. You adopt a permaculture, worry-free

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Sources: Inhabitat | Sunseed.org

Washing Clothes Offgrid Just Got A Whole Lot Easier

Washing clothes by hand is difficult, time-consuming work. But then, getting a standard washing machine to run off solar panels is pretty difficult too. So aside from trips to the local Laundromat, hand washing, tiresome as it is, has been the best option for many people who live off-grid.

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Now Canadian company YiREGO is looking to change that with a 5-liter foot-powered device that looks a little like a high-tech wastebasket. The size means you can’t wash very many clothes at once, so it wouldn’t work for a family, but for someone living by herself it could probably save a lot of time and effort. Unfortunately it won’t ship until July of 2016, but you can pre-order now to lock in an introductory price of $129.


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Breakthrough Solar Device Turns Saltwater Into Fresh Drinking Water

Here in California we’re entering our fourth consecuitive drought year. The snowpack in the Sierras was a dismal 2% of where it should have been last time I checked, and the swimming holes in my favorite spot, the Yuba River, will most likely be puddles. With so much of our drinking water coming from natural springs and relying on the snowmelt each winter to replenish reservoirs, we need to find alternative ways to get these resources.

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image: MIT

One promising technology comes in the form of desalination. Several large facilities exist in CA and elsewhere around the world, but they’re incredibly expensive and not all that efficient. What about your everyday civilian who wants to do the same? Options are limited thus far, but this solar powered device engineered by some brilliant minds at MIT just won the 2015 Desal Prize, a competition ran by USAID that aims to bring water solutions to developing countries. Desalination is especially important for these areas, as indicated here

It works by using solar panels to capture energy that’s stored in a bank of batteries that power an electrodialysis machine which removes salt from water.

For those of us who aren’t electrodialysis experts:

“Electrodialysis works by passing a stream of water between two electrodes with opposite charges. Because the salt dissolved in water consists of positive and negative ions, the electrodes pull the ions out of the water, Winter says, leaving fresher water at the centre of the flow. A series of membranes separate the freshwater stream from increasingly salty ones.”

Volunteers Get Paid To Live In This Ghost Town

Have you ever driven through an abandoned town and wonderdered what it was like to live there? Well, wonder no more. The Garnet Ghost Town in Montana is a complete ghost town that burgeoned in the 19th century with gold and silver discoveries until it went belly up in the 1940s.

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Today however, a few souls remain there, and we aren’t talking about real ghosts (although what town like this isn’t haunted?). Instead, volunteers wander the streets, chosen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to provide tours and sell souvenirs to tourists passing through.

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The volunteers get a certain number of benefits, including a cabin to live in, a food stipend, and a small paycheck for their work. While there’s no cable/wifi, electricity or running water to speak of, someone who’s accustomed to living off the grid might find the accommodations quite fitting.

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Photos by Daniel Hagerman

While the Montana Standard reports some volunteers have spent as much as a decade living there, the current position calls for openings during August and September. If you are interested, feel free to get in touch with Gainan at the BLM Missoula Field Office at 406-329-3735 or email [email protected] to get an application.