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監製:Shirley Lee


Have you ever thought of living a self-sustainable life?

Every day we try to keep pace with the fast urban development, doing our jobs in exchange for fulfilling basic needs and enhancing living quality. The city’s infrastructure that we rely heavily upon is a safety net for lives as well as an indicator of a civilised society. Yet, the more sophisticated development becomes, the more it resembles an intertwining net that covers our lives and city.

It sounds like a natural way to live, but not everyone agrees.

Some of us choose to do things the opposite way. They leave their own living area and refuse to be limited to a life over-reliant on the city. They return to the basics and wish to develop their own ways of life and attitude. People call them the “off-gridders”. Cutting off the urban supply of water and electricity, they instead make use of the materials in the surroundings and the nature for infrastructure. Not only do they lead unique lives, but they also manage to solve the issues of survival.

So do these off-gridders choose to do so to protect the environment, defy the mainstream, demonstrate self-directedness in their fate, or for other complicated reasons? How many challenges can we cope with in life when we are away from the comfort zone that we are familiar with?

This five-episode series follows the life of “Wild Man” MOK Ho-kwong, who has long craved for a life in the countryside, and sees how he travels to Canada and Japan with a view to putting complete self-sustainability into practice. He will weave across forests and cities as he visits off-gridders from different countries and explores with them how they should start a life “off the grid”.

最新

LATEST
03/03/2020
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For days, MOK Ho-kwong (Yeah Man) has been visiting off-gridders who either live individually or as low-density communities. Because of their remote locations, limited resources, hygienic concerns, as well as various issues, their living space cannot accommodate too many people in general. However, Yeah Man has found an exception towards the end of his journey.

On Lasqueti Island near Vancouver, Canada, off-grid living has a history of more than half a century. There are 400 off-gridders residing on the island, including elderly, young families, and single individuals, most of whom came to the island in order to escape from crowded and stressful urban life, hoping to rebuild their living space. To cater for the needs of residents, the regional authority even established off-grid public facilities such as a clinic and a school. This is a demonstration of how local government and people cooperate in gradually developing a large off-grid community.

Although the idea of living off the grid is a personal decision, support from policies, government, and private organisations is still necessary if a certain scale is to be achieved. For instance, in Japan where the off-grid culture has thrived rather recently, an off-grid town named “Sustainable Smart Town” has been developed in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, thanks to the research and development of advanced technologies, as well as support of a privately-owned group. In this town, every family is solely powered by solar energy, with smart technologies keeping track of energy consumption in the household, which boosts people’s awareness of energy conservation enormously. In fact, solar energy is gradually becoming a source of public renewable energy in Japan. In Chiba Prefecture, a floating solar plant alone is able to supply electricity to 5 000 households.

Having understood various ways of living off-grid – as individuals, groups or urban-rural communities – Yeah Man assimilates his experiences from the journey and concludes with his own life philosophy. How exactly has this trip changed his ideals? And how is he starting his own “off-grid life”?

重溫

CATCHUP
02 - 03
2020
RTHK 31
  • The Future

    The Future

    For days, MOK Ho-kwong (Yeah Man) has been visiting off-gridders who either live individually or as low-density communities. Because of their remote locations, limited resources, hygienic concerns, as well as various issues, their living space cannot accommodate too many people in general. However, Yeah Man has found an exception towards the end of his journey.

    On Lasqueti Island near Vancouver, Canada, off-grid living has a history of more than half a century. There are 400 off-gridders residing on the island, including elderly, young families, and single individuals, most of whom came to the island in order to escape from crowded and stressful urban life, hoping to rebuild their living space. To cater for the needs of residents, the regional authority even established off-grid public facilities such as a clinic and a school. This is a demonstration of how local government and people cooperate in gradually developing a large off-grid community.

    Although the idea of living off the grid is a personal decision, support from policies, government, and private organisations is still necessary if a certain scale is to be achieved. For instance, in Japan where the off-grid culture has thrived rather recently, an off-grid town named “Sustainable Smart Town” has been developed in Fujisawa City, Kanagawa Prefecture, thanks to the research and development of advanced technologies, as well as support of a privately-owned group. In this town, every family is solely powered by solar energy, with smart technologies keeping track of energy consumption in the household, which boosts people’s awareness of energy conservation enormously. In fact, solar energy is gradually becoming a source of public renewable energy in Japan. In Chiba Prefecture, a floating solar plant alone is able to supply electricity to 5 000 households.

    Having understood various ways of living off-grid – as individuals, groups or urban-rural communities – Yeah Man assimilates his experiences from the journey and concludes with his own life philosophy. How exactly has this trip changed his ideals? And how is he starting his own “off-grid life”?

    03/03/2020
  • Neighbours

    Neighbours

    Off-griders often face a lot of work requiring physical labour, and every minute of their lives is full of challenges. However, as the saying goes: “A single thread cannot become a cord, and a single tree does not make a forest”, as long as we can gather our individual strengths to lead a group life, we just may be able to resolve many problems related to self-sustainability.

    Henry is the owner of a farm on Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada. He bought a piece of land and started to live off-the-grid with his family in the 90s. Initially, he intended to be independent from the rest of the world. But he gradually found that he could not cope with their daily needs. Therefore, he opened the “Blue Jay Lake Farm” and invited other people to stay with them. The only condition for stay is to do some work in the farm; and as long as a certain number of working hours is achieved, they can share the crops and living resources. Yeah Man asks the owner for tips to manage a small village, and he also experiences the various kinds of problems arise from leading a group life.

    This “collaborate and co-live” lifestyle can also be found under Mount Fuji in Japan. Yet, the scope is even bigger – for there are already nearly a hundred people living there. The off-grid tradition of Konohana Family has been there for 24 years. Everyone who came from different parts of the world decided to stay there because of different reasons. As the Konohana Family has its own rich history, it already has its own mature system of division of labour, people are assigned to different positions in accordance with their individual expertise. For instance, they are responsible for duties such as making food sauces, cooking, farming and beekeeping. In the absence of income, they share their work and maintain self-sustainability in the entire village in terms of food, thereby weaving into a huge network of resource sharing.

    After visiting the Henry’s farm and the Konohana Family, Yeah Man man feels the different ways of group lives in the two countries. And he now has a completely different idea of a small village in his mind.

    25/02/2020
  • Put into Practice

    Put into Practice

    Living in a metropolis means that every necessity is easily accessible. Nonetheless, Off-grid living emphasises putting things into practice. Whether one can lead this type of life as they wish depends on whether he / she can master the knowledge and skills required.

    In the Town of Golden, Canada live several off-gridders who are willing to experiment and attempt. They build a kind of house called the “Earthship”, which is designed by an American architect. In order to allow the house owners to be self-sustainable even not going outdoors, he invented this type of house which has attracted quite a lot of off-gridders to build their own homes following the design blueprint. Another feature of the Earthship is that it makes use of waste as construction materials, and the construction of it puts together the laws of nature and science, which gives birth to a kind of housing that does absoluely no harm to the environment. MOK Ho-kwong (Yeah Man) visited these off-gridders to find out the secret behind the Earthship.

    Life should have been inseparably related to resources. Having experienced a great power blackout throughout the country, numerous people in Japan have had profound feelings about the hidden problems behind the dependence on the public electricity supply. As a result, Mr SUZUKI and a group of folks living in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture co-developed some renewable energy techniques. They formed a volunteer team called “Fujino Power” and devote themselves to assist and teach the locals to generate electricity at home on their own. Even living in a big city, there are still methods to arouse people’s awareness to save energy.

    Yeah Man’s off-grid techniques have not been very skillful. This time, he will learn the knack from these off-grid experts, not only to bring some mind-blowing new ideas, but also to let himself have a useful lesson, and he even wants to bring these innovative concepts back to Hong Kong.

    18/02/2020
  • Passing On

    Passing On

    Upholding the idea of self-sustainability, off-gridders are mainly couples and singletons. However, for off-gridders who live with their entire family or invite people around them to lead this kind of life, their pursuit of and perseverance towards their ideal life are not understandable to ordinary people.

    Jeff and Rose, a couple who lives in central British Columbia in Canada, bring their five daughters to lead a life of a different kind in the forest. The couple left the city just to nurture their children. Differing from ordinary families, Jeff and Rose teach their daughters survival skills personally, including hunting, house building and fishing skills. They even do not allow their daughters to go to school, trying to set them free from the bindings of traditional education. In an environment where they have to provide for themselves, they want to educate their daughters to be independent and learn how to determine their own lives.

    Having experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and hovered between life and death, Tic tac dancer Asaki realised the meaning of life. He resolutely abandoned his job at a dance studio in Tokyo and moved to Okayama Prefecture to lead an off-grid life in the mountains. All the hustle and bustle have turned into a simple life, which gave Asaki a brand new feeling. Thus, he was resolved to share this way of life with people around him and established the “Asaki University”, in order to encourage everyone to find his / her new mode of life in nature.

    In this episode, being a father himself, nature programme instructor MOK Ho-kwong (Yeah Man), will visit Asaki and Jeff and Rose’ family respectively, who strive to pass on the idea of life off-the-grid, to think through together how to live harmoniously with nature on the one hand, and to pass on the off-gridders’ spirit on the other.

    11/02/2020
  • Going Back in Time

    Going Back in Time

    Off-gridders are often called the “rebels of the era”, for doing things their own way and not caring about how people look at them. They cut off completely from their original lives only to seek their ideal ways of life. After years of self-sustainable life, “Yeah Man” MOK Ho-kwong is eager to pay a visit to these unparalleled, unworldly, dedicated off-gridders.

    In Canada and Japan, where living off the grid is popular, numerous families, married couples, or even individuals put this way of life to practice. In Tofino on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, artists Wayne and Catherine built their own home “Freedom Cove” in the middle of a lake with old rafts that were used in fish culture. There is no access to their home via land. The husband and wife have lived on the island for 26 years on farming and fishing. They intentionally keep a distance from the city, all in the hope of being entirely free in their lives.

    It may seem natural to live off the grid in the nature, yet being an off-gridder and a metropolis dweller at the same time is not nonsense either. In the city of Kunitachi, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan lives Ms FUJII, a textile-dyeing artist also known as “Solar Girl”. Her experience in the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 prompted her to cut off electricity supplied by the government and live off the grid at home in the city. Relying on solar power and all kinds of little household gadgets she designs by herself to fulfill basic needs, she is able to reshape the way she lives. Yeah Man will visit these two households in Canada and Japan, get to understand their daily lives, and take the opportunity to think about the reason behind his going off-grid in the first place.

    04/02/2020
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