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Escaping City Life For Living Off The Grid

Escaping City Life For Living Off The Grid

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.

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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.

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  • 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.

Solar Power

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.

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Wind Power

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

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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