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Emergency planning consultant Black (What To Do When the Shit Hits the Fan) defines "living off the grid" as "a state or degree of self-sufficiency with minimal reliance on public utilities, especially the three traditional basics: energy, water, and waste management." His guide for achieving self-sufficiency includes information and suggestions on conservation, shelter, energy, water, waste, and piggybacking off the grid. Some approaches (e.g., wind turbines, solar water heaters, and composting toilets) are more familiar, while others such as straw-clay shelters and biodigestors for converting animal waste into biogas are less conventional. Black also includes case studies of people successfully living off-grid, appendixes on power-system diagrams estimating energy needs, and numerous photographs. Readers should use Black's clearly written nontechnical primer as a starting reference for off-grid living and advance to William H. Kemp's The Renewable Energy Handbook: A Guide to Rural Independence, Off-Grid and Sustainable Living. A good addition for libraries where sustainable living titles are in demand.