I'm not sure what struck me more about this photo: that the woman was ironing outdoors, or that she was ironing while camping. Who the heck wants to iron while camping? Even if it is a solar-pwoered iron, like the one this woman is using?

Nonetheless, the article that this photo accompanies - "How To Unplug From the Grid," in the Dec. 3 issue of New Scientist - is a great read about how more and more people who are disconnecting from the power grid that tethers us to expensive, globe-bashing, non-renewable power.

"Once the preserve of mavericks, hippies and survivalists," the story goes, "there are now approximately 200,000 off-grid households in the US, a figure that ... has been increasing by a third every year for the past decade.

"In addition, nearly 30,000 grid-connected US households supplement their supply with renewables, according to the non-profit Interstate Renewable Energy Council. In the UK there are around 40,000 off-grid homes: the number has also risen in recent years due to escalating house prices and now to more expensive home loans, both of which have driven buyers far from conventional utility networks in search of properties they can afford."

Not sure if those properties come with their own solar-powered clothes irons, but what a buyer's perk that would be!