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In this post, I’d like to introduce you to the couple, Margy and Wayne Lutz, who chose to live off-the-grid with comforts of nature, camping in Coastal British Columbia in their dream home: the floating cabin of Powell Lake. This is not a houseboat, but “float cabin”, that is, it is permanently anchored to shore.
Float cabins were originally built on Powell Lake as inexpensive and portable homes for loggers and fishermen. In recent years, they’ve become regulated and the 200 float cabin owners now lease their water lots from the BC government for $500 per year.
The Lutz’s bought their retirement home in 2001 for 35,000 Canadian dollars (about $25,000 USD, at the time), what they considered worth the risk if their experiment in off-grid living didn’t work out. After the Lutzs retired from their Los Angeles school district jobs, they started to move into their floating home (420 square feet, plus a 200 square feet sleeping loft). Back then, there was no indoor plumbing, so they hiked 4 flights of stairs up the granite cliff to an outhouse. But they’ve since installed a composting toilet indoors.
Today, the Lutzs live completely off-the-grid. There is no water heater and no plumbing. They’d hand-pump water from the lake. For washing dishes, they remove most food first and use only biodegradable soap and the water is returned to the lake. There is no trash pickup, so they compost nearly everything. For their energy uses, the Lutzs rely on solar, wind, and thermoelectric power. For heat, they rely on a wood stove fueled mostly with driftwood. The wood stove has been rigged with an experimental thermoelectric system generating a trickle charge to their batteries. This buoyant home doesn’t make gardening easy, but Margy has found a way to provide much of the summertime produce by creating a hillside potato garden and a floating vegetable garden. Take a look at this float cabin of the Lutzs, below, in the video:
I am not saying we should all go out and move into a float cabin immediately, but I can definitely see the merit in Lutzs’ ingenuity in being able to live in a comfortable manner with nature, without much carbon footprint. Let us all simply try to make a greater effort in making all of our daily decisions more consciously. Let’s all simply take one more step toward the renewable on a daily basis…in turning off the light when not in use…in changing our light bulbs to compact flourescent bulbs…in installing an attic fan or more insulation in our attics…in contemplating starting a community solar garden in the community…in planning on getting solar hot water heater…. in participating in petitioning for Renewable FIT For Sunshine State or any other state or country (that does not have FIT yet)…there is always more we can do. Just look at the Lutzs!
~have a bright and sunny day~
gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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Tags: Coastal British Columbia, Feed-In-Tariffs, FIT, Lutz, off-grid, off-the-grid, Powell Lake, renewable, solar, Sun Is The Future, sunisthefuture, sunisthefuture.net, susan sun nunamaker, thermoelectric, wind