Going Off Grid for Beginners
When you hear the term “living off the road”, what does it mean? Living off the grid doesn’t mean you have to live in a way the hermit does. This way of living is focused on sustainability, independence, and reducing your carbon footprint.
When a person hears “living off the grid”, he or she typically imagines a kind of life in a far-flung area. A person imagines his or her self living in a farm where there are no utilities like electricity. Though some people choose to live in that way, the true meaning of living off the grid is not to depend completely on the usual source of energy that power grids offer. You will be able to be completely self-sufficient when you search for an alternative system to use in generating electricity.
There are various ways a person can live off the grid but, usually, off-grid solar electric systems are used in the remote areas where connecting to a local utility grid can’t be possible or is costly.
Going off grid for beginners can be not only a big decision to just make the move, but also a lot to absorb and think about. Whatever your reason is for choosing to live off the grid, you should consider first what you will need. The following are some things to consider if you are thinking about making this leap!
12 Things You Need to Go Off Grid
- Money – Living off the grid will not be easy if you do not have money inside your pocket. With money, you can buy things you need to prepare and set up your off grid home. Cash is very important especially if you will live off the grid with your family and you will need to care for people other then yourself. Living this way can be a great investment, and in the long run may save money.
- Land – When it comes to living off the grid, first and foremost, you need to look for a place to go. In choosing a place where you can live off the grid, you must choose one with an adequate supply of water. Always take into account that you’ll most likely be far away from everyday resources. In selecting the best location to live off the grid, you should look for a place that has good sun and moderate wind. It must be located close to other natural resources so that you will be living in a safe, manageable and comfortable way. Also something to consider when you have children, you should think about your location in relationship to hospitals, schools and even basic shopping centers.
- Shelter – Whether you choose to build a small cabin, or a larger cottage for your family you have to choose one that is safe, energy-efficient, comfortable and affordable. Cabins and cottages are known to be the most affordable choices and they are also the most attractive ones to most individuals. Converted buses, RVs, and the like are also fun and unique options.
- Water – If you are planning to buy land, you should look for a plot that offers a sufficient supply of water. You may need to search outside of your state or town to locate the best option for living.
- Food – Don’t forget to include foods in your list of necessities when living off the grid. Most people who prefer to live off the grid grow their own foods. There are various foods that are highly suitable for off the grid way of life, and growing these things is the most sustainable and eco-friendly option.
- Livestock – These include chickens, cows and pigs which are known to be the best sources of meat. These meats are rich in protein and you don’t have to harvest them. On the other hand, you don’t have to have livestock, maybe you just want some chickens to produce eggs and your diet will mainly be vegetables and fruits. It all depends on your own personal preference.
- Energy – As we have discussed earlier in this article, when you choose to live off the grid, you will need to have your own source of power. This is where you should consider the use of solar or wind power. The amount of energy you consume every day does not matter because you will be supplying your home with electricity using your own solar or wind power system. With an off the grid system, a tiny wind turbine, solar panels, a micro-hydro system or an amalgamation of the mentioned technologies are used to supply adequate supply of power. In certain off-grid systems, a home-based backup generator might be included as well and it is used to supply power if the renewable technologies are incapable of producing a sufficient supply to suit the needs. Off-grid living relieves completely your dependency on electrical utility.
- Septic – You are responsible for your waste whether you choose to live off the grid or not. Having a septic system can be a good choice. You can even build your own composting toilet or outhouse.
- Cuttings and Seeds – To grow foods, you should have some seeds to start building your garden. You could also ask around to get cuttings from neighbors or family members. The more variety of plants you can get on your land the better, not just for eating purposes but also medicinal and topical.
- Materials – As with any household, there are some supplies you will need like bolts, nuts, lumber, screws, wire, cable, hoses, fencing, rope etc. You can use these things for any repairs or projects for your home.
- Tools and Equipment – Again, with any household it’s important to have a supply of tools for general repairs, chores and building. Examples of these are hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, drill, circular saw, lawnmower or tractor and many more.
- Commitment – This is one you can’t acquire at the store. Your off the grid life will never be complete without commitment. You need to be committed and sincere to meet your goal for choosing to live in this way or else all your efforts will be wasted. It’s important to remind yourself that being off grid is a way of life, and it takes work every single day to have it.
All of these things should be considered and prepared before you start your attempt to make a big change in your life. Always keep in mind that without these things, it will be difficult for you to achieve your goal – to become fully independent.
Living off grid can be an incredibly sustainable way of life. Reducing energy use, emissions, conserving public water, slowing harmful production of foods and animals. Even if you don’t choose to live completely in this way, think about how you can utilize some of these ideas in your own backyard. Together, we can all make change for the greater good.