Off the Grid

Are you considering making changes allowing you to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle? Have you made the decision to live completely off the grid? Whether you have a desire to reduce your environmental footprint, alleviate financial stresses,or simply want to escape today’s consumerist society, you should have a plan to help you acclimate to living off the grid. Let’s look at several tips designed to help you adapt to your new way of living.

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Before You Make the Move

Before you go fully off the grid, make certain to tie up any loose ends and eliminate all of your debt, if possible. In addition, you need to decide how extreme you want to go, what things you need to get rid of, what items you need to acquire, what your energy needs will likely be, and what type of power you want to use.

off the grid homestead

photo by Erik Christensen

Locating a Homestead

When deciding where to settle, you should focus on the proximity to water, community, and cost. Water is absolutely necessary because you can be left in a very precarious position if your supply runs low. It is also a good idea to settle near an area that is supportive of your lifestyle. Keep in mind that you will at some time or another, have to interact with the community and it will be much easier if they aren’t judgmental and hostile.

If you aren’t certain where to begin looking, the internet is the ideal place to start your search for a location.

off the grid vegetable gardenLocation in Regards to Gardening

It is also important to consider the climate and soil of any area you are looking at. While organic gardens are preferred for bartering, any garden is a key element of successfully living off the grid. Not only will gardens allow you to feed your family and any animals you may own, but extra food can used to barter for things you need. In addition, your garden is the best location to grow herbs with medicinal properties to help prevent and cure symptoms of illness. Before you decide to totally go off the grid, make certain you know how to grow a garden.

off the grid log cabinShelter

There are several options for shelter including structures formed in nature, such as a cave. In addition, underground homes can be constructed from shipping containers. If you prefer an above ground structure, you may want to consider a log home or a home constructed from hay bales. You also have the chance to purchase a Green Modern Kit that includes everything needed to construct a safe and secure home. To purchase your own kit, visit Green Modern Kits and explore all the selections you have available.

Power

Of course, a significant aspect of sustainable living involves generating your own energy. When living off the grid, power can be accessed from several sources. Solar power is one of the most popular options, though it will not be sufficient in the long term without a backup plan. Residential-sized wind turbines may work well depending on where you live. Microhydro electricity generation is a lesser known off-grid energy system, but it has the potential to be the most cost effective selection.

off the grid stream

photo by Jake C

Water

It is imperative that you have an adequate well or other water source that is available year-round. However, you also need to store additional water for emergencies. This can easily be done using large covered water tanks.

Transportation

Although you most likely will hardly ever use it, it is important to have a working source of transportation at all times, preferably a 4 wheel drive. If you live a great distance from others, it is not a bad idea to keep a horse and buggy on your property. You never know when something might happen and your horse will be able to get you through tight spots.

off the grid zero energy home

photo by Matt Grocoff

Learn the Art of Bartering

If your goal is to stay out of the retail industry, unless absolutely necessary, bartering is the best way to get the things you need that you cannot produce yourself. Providing a service is a great bartering tool. For example, you may utilize your skills as a mechanic to repair small engines and appliances or use your training in the medical field to provide first aid for something in return. You may use your sewing skills to make clothing repairs for others or your construction skills to help someone repair their home.

Also, look at what you have. For example, if your neighbors want to start a chicken coop, you could seed a few chicks to get them started. If someone only has a female goat and you have a male, offer his services in exchange for something you need. Don’t be afraid to get creative and put your talents to work when bartering.

Never Throw Something Away Without Checking With Others

If you live within a community of individuals participating in an off the grid lifestyle, never get rid of an item with potential value before checking with others. Someone else may have a use for it. Keep the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” in mind.

Use Your Imagination When Recycling

Did you know that the drum out of a broken washing machine is ideal for containing small outdoor fires? It is also perfect for cooking when you place a grill across the top of it. Before you get rid of anything, take a minute to ask yourself, “How can I use this now or in the future?”

Living off the grid is not something you can plan overnight. It takes time, careful planning, and dedication to your new lifestyle. While it is not right for everyone, it certainly has its advantages.



Off the Grid
was last modified: September 23rd, 2017 by Brian Peterson

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