Its amazing how much we fail to realize the role of environment on our behavior. I’m talking about our immediate surroundings and how they drive you in one direction or the other.
Part of the reason I decided to live off-grid was to understand what self-reliance felt like again. To really feel the elements and to be the only one who is able to solve the immediate emergency. I had to learn how to conserve water, electricity and even toilet/shower use. Guess how long your showers are in the morning when it was 47 all night long… I would have to be mindful of how much I was using my laptop during the day or I might not have enough power to run my lights at night. I spent many many nights in complete darkness in that 24′ behemoth.
I come back to society and I realize the waste that is built right into the habits of our daily lives. We do not have to turn off the lights because we have never really had to be without them, they are always there. Its just a flick of the switch. I no longer have to ration my gallon of water to boil water to wash my dishes anymore and it bugs me every time the tap water is running too long.
My behavior was affected in a positive way because I was forced to deal with the reality of daily life and how those amenities are provided. This is something we are disconnected from. Who among us would know how to fix their electrical system or their plumbing if they were completely alone? And so I say it was a benefit that I did this trip and an encouragement for others to try such drastic things. Ultimately it comes down to all of us changing our behavior in order to fix the problems we deal with right now.