Living Off the Grid: How to Make It Work
- May 16, 2018
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Do you like the idea of being in complete control of how you power your home?
If so, you’ll probably find that living off the grid is an extremely appealing alternative to the conventional alternative.
What Is Living Off the Grid?
The “grid” in “off-grid living” refers to the electrical grid. This is the government-run infrastructure responsible for delivering electricity to the vast majority of homes throughout the country.
However, that doesn’t mean that living off the grid necessarily means living without electricity. It simply means that, if you do harvest electricity, your source is something other than the one the government provides.
There are a number of reasons people decide to live off the grid, but one of the most common is that they don’t want to rely on the government for electricity. This can be because they don’t think the grid is stable or because they don’t think it’s cost-effective or environmentally friendly.
How to Live Off the Grid
Whatever your reasons are for considering off-grid living, you’ll need to do some planning before making the switch. Here are your three main options for going off the grid.
1. Roughing It
Completely living off the grid generally means building a dry cabin.
This land also needs to offer nearby water supply as indoor plumbing won’t be a feature. That means you’ll also need to build an outhouse.
As you won’t have refrigeration, your ability to store food will be very limited, as well. Planting a garden will be very helpful, but you’ll also need to plan out your meals for the week in advance so your other items don’t go bad.
Obviously, this would be quite the adjustment for the vast majority of people, but if you really want to try going off the grid, overcoming these challenges is essential.
2. Going (Half) Off the Grid
For most people, this is a much more realistic version of living off the grid.
While you still rely on the grid for electricity, you make every other adjustment possible to secure your independence. Among other things, this means purchasing a generator so you can still produce some amount of electricity if the grid goes down.
You use a well and a septic pump for your sewage needs. You can still use modern appliances to cook your food, but most people who go half-off the grid still like to grow their own food as much as possible.
3. Modern Off-Grid Living
Modern off-grid living is centered on finding an alternative form of electricity. This could mean hydro-, wind-, or solar-powered devices or some combination of the three. The option that works best for your needs will depend on which resource is most readily available where you live.
Once you’ve secured a source of energy, you’re technically living off-grid. While the time and money that goes into securing a source shouldn’t be underestimated, after you have taken care of your electricity needs, you have a number of options available.
Technically, there’s no reason you couldn’t live in a suburb among other people who are definitely not living off the grid. However, you could also have your home in a much more remote location and still enjoy plenty of modern conveniences.
Consider a Gradual Adjustment to Going Off the Grid
As you’ve just seen, going off the grid entails three main options.
While many people consider “roughing it” to be the ideal, you may want to slowly transition into this lifestyle.
Start by going half-off or trying the modern version first. After a year or so of adjusting to this new way of life, you’ll not only know whether or not roughing it is right for you, but you’ll be in a much better position to complete the full transition.