Living without electricity in the heart of Seoul

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Living without electricity in the heart of Seoul
A commune in the heart of Seoul is living without electricity – and even running a no-power coffee shop.

There’s a lot of hustle and bustle in Seoul – and then there’s NoPlug, a small community that aims to minimise its energy use in the highly industrialised city. Its name comes from the idea at the heart of the commune: no electricity, no plugs.

With South Korea among the highest carbon dioxide emitters globally, NoPlug hopes their community can make an impact by reducing their carbon footprint. Although it’s not possible to be entirely emission free, the idea is to put electricity consumption at zero, and try to keep any energy generation from sustainable sources. Their living situation is a very different take on what it means to have a functional home; foregoing electricity, they rely on fuel sources such as solar and fire to do daily tasks (and even run a power-free coffee shop that’s open from dawn until dusk).

Dr Yasuyuki Fujimura, visits the NoPlug community from Japan each month to educate people on how to approach every day needs without electricity and appliances. “I want to give a dream to young people who are now losing their hope,” he says. “It’s our duty.”