There is a secret island serving as a home to off-gridders. This island is about one hour from Vancouver, Canada and its name is Lasqueti. A vast majority of its residents are living entirely off-grid.
The Lasqueti Island is located between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. It is twelve miles long and three miles wide. The off-gridders living in this little known island are proud of their isolation from both mainland Canada and its mainstream culture.
There is very little industry or economy in this island and most of its residents are living simply and getting all the things they need from the land. Thus, they don’t leave any carbon footprint that will adversely affect their environment. Above all, they have very little need for money.
The latest census taken of the Lasqueti Island in 2011 reveals that it has 426 residents. But a more current website says that it has 350 permanent residents. This census includes 70 children.
A statement on the island’s community blog says it is “an island of individuals, with poets, artists, physicists, fishermen, loggers, tree planters, designers, professional musicians, published authors, some small scale manufacturers, some commercial agriculture as well as professional consultants in education, engineering, forestry and alternate energy.”
One would assume that the residents of this island will be using wood burning stoves, water mills, solar panels and wind turbines. Yes, they do, but not all of them. Some of these off-gridders chose not to use electricity at all.
This may sound funny for an average person used to using electricity all his life. But it cannot be argued that the continuous depletion of fossil fuels for generating electricity is definitely not eco-friendly.
Lasqueti’s residents have the belief that living in harmony with nature is not only ethical; it is the way each human being is supposed to live.
Take it from Robert, one of Lasqueti’s residents. He is living on this island in an old converted school bus which he runs using vegetable oil. Robert is one of the most interesting and intelligent people one would ever have the pleasure to meet.
He is skilled in building yurts, canoes, wooden boats, and other ecological structures. Robert is also a nomadic free spirit and speaks six languages. He is also knowledgeable about almost anything and everything anyone could possibly think of.
According to Lasqueti’s website, Robert is by no means an exception in the community. Based on the date from Statistics Canada, Lasqueti’s population “is the most highly educated community in British Columbia.”
Social wise, the island has one bar, one café and a free store where residents and visitors can leave or collect items without the need for any monetary exchange.
The island can be reached by a one hour boat trip from Vancouver Island. It does not have the trappings of a regular mainstream community such as a booming economy, a tourist industry, or any industry for that matter.
But its residents say that they enjoy the sense of community, freedom and timelessness that life in the island provides.
Photo Courtesy of Erik Viik on Flickr