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The fight for sustainable living as legal battles and SWAT teams prevail

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(NaturalNews) Many people want to escape today's fast-paced world of 24/7 connectivity and, instead, reconnect with nature and even themselves. Others opt to forgo the traditional ways of living simply because they wish to create a truly sustainable planet, one that relies more on natural resources and less on environmentally harmful ones that are often controlled by corporations. For many, it's a mix of both, the ongoing threats of societal collapse nudging their decision along.

However, those attempting to do good for the Earth and themselves may end up facing legal battles.

Cape Coral, Florida, resident Robin Speronis is one such person. For over a year, she was living off the grid using solar energy, rain water and a propane camp stove when officials cited the International Property Maintenance Code, which says that homes should be connected to running water sources and an electricity grid, as reason for her to cease her lifestyle. "A code enforcement officer came, knocked on the door then posts a placard that says uninhabitable property, do not enter," said Speronis, a widow who lives alone.(1,2)

Ultimately, it was determined that she was guilty for not being hooked up to an approved water supply while she was found not guilty for not using the correct electrical or sewer system.

Off-the-grid living increasingly commonplace

Her story is not uncommon. It's estimated that upwards of 250,000 people make up the off-the-grid population on a national basis, typically in rural settings (interestingly, Speronis lived in a city).(3)

"The desire to 'get off the grid' is anchored deep in the American psyche," said author of Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America, Nick Rosen. He explains that it's a longing for oneness with nature and of true self-reliance, much like the views expressed by Henry David Thoreau and Daniel Boone, that makes people want to escape the cookie-cutter way of living.(3)

Still, the ongoing struggle persists in the battle between corporate and municipal code and the personal preference to live independently of them.

In the battle between sustainable practices and municipal codes, who will win?

Montana couple James and Frances Babb are eager to install solar panels. However, their request is being met with resistance by city officials who refuse to grant their installation, saying that they present fire safety and construction concerns.(3)

More shocking is the 2013 shake-up in Arlington, Texas, of a sustainable community called the "Garden of Eden." The community was raided by SWAT teams, thought to be part of an intimidation tactic to demonstrate the wrongs of living off the grid. City code violations were given, but not peacefully; many individuals, such as the mother of a 22-month-old baby, were handcuffed at gunpoint, and their manner of entering and moving about the land resulted in the destruction of crops such as okra and blackberries.(3)

The Garden of Eden is a situation which land owner Shellie Smith said should be resolved peacefully, and with an eye on what really took place. "[T]he City codes are in violation of our natural and Constitutional rights to live freely while causing damage to no one, and since there is no damaged party, there has been no crime committed on our part," she said. "Rather, the City of Arlington has trespassed and committed robbery against us, amongst other crimes, and will be held accountable in a court of law in due time. We have been targeted by the system because we are showing people how to live without it. We are growing more than just tomatoes here, we are growing the consciousness that will allow people to live freely and sustainably, and the system doesn't want that to be known."(4)


(1) http://www.collective-evolution.com

(2) http://www.theglobaldispatch.com

(3) http://www.businessweek.com

(4) http://intothegardenofeden.com

About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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