Going Off Grid

A remote island in New Zealand is a draw for those seeking a sustainable lifestyle

Going Off Grid The coronavirus pandemic has driven many to rethink their lives and the climate crisis is pushing some towards more sustainable ways of living. But what happens when everyone wants a piece of utopia?
On Great Barrier Island self-sufficiency is key, everyone lives off the grid. This small community has seen a 30% increase in new arrivals, such as Kat: 'We went into lockdown and we'd heard about this place, so we thought we'd check it out - and then one year on, we're still here'. Many newcomers aren't used to living as frugally, according to landfill manager Brett: 'They create more waste than the people that have been here for a long time and are used to making the most of everything they have'. Long-time island resident Sven believes the issue is inevitable: 'As soon as you put human beings somewhere, in considerable numbers, it changes the whole dimension of everything'.

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