Have you ever wondered if you could get your house off the grid? Completely and totally independent. It’s kind of a crazy thought, but why? We’re not talking about going completely off the grid in the sense that you want to hide in the forest and not let anyone know about your existence(although we suppose you could do this, too, if you wanted). But to be completely rent free, and not have to pay any electrical or water bills, that would be living off the grid. And that sounds pretty appealing. That’s money that could be going somewhere much more productive, right? If you’ve ever wondered what it would really take to get your house off the grid, here are a few tips!
Location is essential
Living off grid isn’t as easy as constructing a tiny house and slapping a few solar panels onto it. There’s a lot of planning that goes into a lifestyle like that. You have to provide all of the necessities for daily life, which is a lot more than you probably realize.
Are you wanting to live on the road? Or are you hoping to settle down into the home you’ll live in for the rest of your life? If living on the road sounds appealing to you, a sustainable mobile home is probably the best decision for your situation. You can also build your own small homes, or you can go through a Green Home company to purchase a pre-fabricated model. Before you make your decision, make sure you are familiar with the laws and regulations where you’re hoping to live. Since you’ll have to provide all of your own resources, you’ll have to make sure your home is somewhere you actually can do that.
Humans need a lot of water. Living off grid means that you’ll have to be in charge of harvesting and harnessing your own water. This can look like a lot of different things. Installation of rain barrels, constructing swales, or cultivating living mulch are all great ways to harvest your own water. You can also find ways to capture water.
If you’re off the grid, you aren’t going to your local neighborhood grocer when you’re out of food. You’ll have to go to your backyard, and harvest food from your garden. If you have planted your roots in a permanent home, you can plant some perennials such as fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, and mushroom patches, that will all continue to produce food for you year after year. How you get your food depends on how “off the grid” you want to be. You can want to be off the grid, and still want to go to the store to stock up on toiletries and produce.
Energy is a huge part of your quest to live off the grid. You don’t want to be relying on hand pumping water and using candles for light. There are a lot of great options for alternative energy. One of the most popular alternative energy options, is solar power. Solar panels are a lot less expensive than most people seem to think, and they not only add incredible value to your home, but you’ll save thousands of dollars on electric and energy bills. Even if you have a small space, or a home that you feel like may not be very accomodating to solar panels, we promise you can find a way to make it work! You can have them installed onto your roof, or even have your current roofing replaced with solar roofing. There are also other solar panels that can be placed in various places throughout your property to maximize your usable sustainable energy.
The great thing about deciding to live off the grid, is that you can do it however you want. If you just want to be a little bit more sustainable and self efficient, these tips are a great place to start to lower your monthly utility bills, and make you feel a bit better about your carbon footprint.