If you haven't seen the Earthship Colonies, some of them even existing within the U.S., you should definitely become familiar with them. One particular colony, in Taos, New Mexico, has existed for over 15 years and is growing exponentially. The homes within the colony are completely off the grid, they create their own electricity and hot water by means of solar power and wind, and are able to catch enough water through rain or snow to be able to sustain themselves even in the arid desert. Their use of recycling water and using natural methods are enlightened, and as the homes are built largely out of recycled materials such as tires, glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastics they are relatively inexpensive as well. The colony resembles something out of Star Wars, with homes that are often built underground to conserve heat and flow with nature, and lush gardens indoor and out to make even their food sustainable and home grown. I am in awe of these communities, I wish I could let myself go that much to really be one with nature, but the draw of the Taos desert is not that strong. Their methods are inspiring though, even for city folk who are trying to just leave less of a footprint. And they do have TV's and even washers and dryers, so they are not so out there. Watch the video from the link, it was great. And the you tube video explains it all better than I ever could.