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Off the grid

From the "30 Days" website:

Two 30-year-old professionals who are friends and typical Americans—i.e., ravenous consumers of fossil fuels such as gas and electricity—go ‘back to the future’ and learn to live without the natural resources that will be depleted from our earth in the not-too-distant future. To do this they’ll uproot themselves and move to an ‘eco village’ in Missouri to live 100% OFF THE GRID.

As they set up house in a former 3,000 bushel grain bin, they will sustain themselves on a clean power such as solar and wind, recycle all their waste (both food and human), live in a car-free culture, grow and eat only organic foods and conserve their water use with solar showers and rain-catch systems. Can these fossil fuel addicts wean themselves from their consumptive habits without their lives falling apart? Will they thrive in a community that is the total opposite their New Jersey neighborhood? And will the ecological solutions they learn stick once their Thirty Days are up?

The Off-The-Grid episode in Morgan Spurlock's "30 Days" is due to air on FX Wednesday evening, July 13.

30 Days with Morgan Spurlock - Vito Summa Talks about being Off-The-Grid (Reality TV Magazine):

Reality TV Magazine: Did you have any concern for the environment before pariticipating in the show?

Vito Summa: Environment? Oh yeah, this was my concern about the environment. That the street cleaners in the Bronx should not leave so much crap on the streets! It clutters up my Bronx environment.

Reality TV Magazine: Was it a struggle learning to live without the traditional comforts of modern life like fossil fuels?

Vito Summa: YES! We even had to heat up the water for our showers with real fire! I had to start the fire each morning for Johari and I. I became the Fire Master.
...
Reality TV Magazine: Do you have any regrets about the experience?

Vito Summa: Negative. This was a great experience and I really learned a lot about fossil fuels, our dependency and just how false the rumors are about how red meat is bad for us. Organic red meat is so delicious and I will never eat that dyed red stuff at the grocery store ever again! ...

Reality TV Magazine: Did the experience change the way you live now?

Vito Summa: Yes. I have purchased compact fluorescent light bulbs for my home and I am trying to recycle more. As far as gas conservation I fear that is a hard pill to swallow. I still have dreams of owning a larger SUV........sorry!

JC resident Jenkins participant on Fox cable show, spent month living in rural setting (Jersey City Reporter)

In the case of Jenkins and Summa, it was living a rural, agrarian lifestyle, 180 degrees from Jenkins' current work as an events coordinator and club DJ and Summa as a bouncer. That episode, "Off the Grid" will air on Wednesday, July 20.

For Jenkins, the experience would be a very pronounced change of pace.

"I am always on my cell phone, I check my e-mails all the time on my Sidekick pager, and I can't live without my TV," said Jenkins. "And now I am going out to the middle of nowhere."
...
That was just the beginning of the education that she would receive in a major way when Jenkins and Summa arrived at the ecovillage. Jenkins began to wonder what she had gotten herself into.

"I was having second thoughts, wondering can I survive this for a whole month," said Jenkins.

What Jenkins saw was a village of over 20 people who engage daily in a rural ecological existence. That meant growing your own foods, taking solar heated showers and making your own fuel.

Jenkins and Summa lived in a converted grain bin with available light initially provided by candles and sunlight until solar panels arrived.

Jenkins said that it took some time to adjust, and at times was frustrating. But she found what seemed like "hippies" living a backwards lifestyle becoming more interesting to her with each passing day.

FX Series, 30 Days, To Feature Dancing Rabbit (Memphis Democrat)

Former New York City residents Johari Jenkins, an events organizer, and Vito Summa, a nightclub bouncer and aspiring law student, spent 30 days living at Dancing Rabbit (DR) ecovillage near Rutledge...“Can these fossil fuel addicts wean themselves from their consumptive habits without their lives falling apart,” the show’s promo says.

The two “ravenous consumers of fossil fuels such as gas and electricity” are transplanted in rural Missouri at Dancing Rabbit, where residents strive to utilize renewable resources.

The program will contrast their fast-paced lives where little thought was given to consumption of resources. During their 30 Days, Johari and Vito lived in a 3,000-bushel grain bin that Dancing Rabbit transformed into living quarters. The duo spent the month helping plant and cultivate the organic gardens that supply much of Dancing Rabbit’s daily menu. They also learned about water conservation, recycling and benefited from solar and wind power, both renewable energy sources.
...
The camera followed closely as the duo learned to convert a diesel car from the DR vehicle co-op to run on veggie oil in the summer and biodiesel in the winter. Later, they teamed up with DR members to plaster the walls of a strawbale building using more than two tons of clay and sand.

General reviews of 30 Days:

30 Days from TV.com

From Academy Award nominee Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) comes 30 Days, a new series where Morgan will explore what life changing experiences are possible in 30 days. The concept for the show stemmed from the transformation Spurlock underwent when he ate nothing but fast food for 30 days in his movie Super Size Me. In this new FX series, Morgan Spurlock asks the question, what would happen if people spend 30 days living in someone else’s shoes?"

Trying on other identities for size -- another super undertaking (SF Chronicle)

Morgan Spurlock takes walks in someone else's shoes in 30 Days (NY Times)

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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