Going off the grid seems appealing, but it is not as easy as it sounds. It takes determination and planning to engineer the successful marriage of energy production, food preservation, and land conservation to get the most out of the available natural resources and become non-dependent on human-made resources. Before you pack your bags and move out to the middle of the woods, it is important to have a plan and to be adequately informed of what you may be getting yourself into, what to look forward to, and what to avoid.
Many people choose to stay within the confines of their regular domicile, incorporating one or two methods either to lower their utility bills, lower their carbon footprint, eat healthier, or simply to develop a closer connection to the Earth and to nature. Regardless of the reason for anyone to want to incorporate eco-friendly methods to live off the grid, there are important needs for every living being to continue to exist.
No Matter Where You Stand On The Grid, You Need These Things To Live
Over the centuries of human development, we have seen great growth in technology and the instant comforts of a highly electrified and automated society. We have become accustomed to being able to access things nearly instantly, without hardly having to work for them or even think about from where food, water, and electricity originate. Living off of the grid doesn’t mean you have to live in darkness or go hungry.
- Having a clean and reliable source of water is essential to survival for plant, animal, and human off-gridders. Undeveloped areas may have a natural underground spring system or need to have a natural well dug to locate fresh water. Rainwater can also be collected and processed through a filtering system to create fresh clean water.
- When living off of the food grid, it is essential that the produce is grown in a sustainable and season oriented manner. This may involve the introduction of growing systems such as aquaponics, greenhouses, hot houses, irrigation systems, and the knowledge of preparing and storing the garden’s bounty for future consumption. Collecting foods for off the grid living also involves gathering such things as wild berries, fruits, nuts, and other seasonal goodies.
- To procure a supply of meat and protein for the invested off grid person, hunting and fishing cannot be avoided. This will involve the knowledge of canning and freezing supplies for such things as trapping, fishing, gun hunting, bow hunting, and for raising livestock/fowl. Chickens, pigs, cows, and other farmyard animals can provide a survivalist with their necessary supply of fresh meat, milk, fruit, veggies. and eggs.
- It doesn’t matter if you go off the grid because you are interested in saving the planet, or just saving some cash off of your electric bill; everyone needs to have a place to live. Whether your home is in the middle of the crowded city, or a hut built in the center of the forest from sticks and mud, using eco-friendly materials and incorporating off the grid policies will benefit both you and the Earth. Many off-the-grid homes use re-purposed materials such as wood or metal for their construction.
One of the easiest ways of creating electricity is to collect sunlight with photovoltaic solar panels that convert the DC current that is produced into an AC current that your home can utilize. Solar technology can be implemented in many different forms such as panels, paints, and cooking vessels.
This method harnesses the power of the wind to turn an airplane-like blade, normally located on a tower, 50-120 feet in the air. The blade system is connected to a ground generator via the center shaft. As the shaft turns, the generator also turns, thus creating a DC current. After passing through an inverter, this energy is converted to the AC current, which then can provide your electrical supply.
Variety Is Key
In many instances of homeowners who have made the choice to go off the grid, more than one method of energy production, food preservation, and land conservation is utilized to get the most out of the available natural resources. It is important to be able to live off of the land without reliance on the use of coal and petroleum-driven businesses, while leaving behind the smallest carbon footprint as possible for sustainability.
Featured photo credit: Joy Green via tnnursery.net.blog