Did you know that the world’s first recorded stand-alone, off-grid home was built in 1890? And at the time, it must have seemed like a strange and almost impossible dwelling. Today, however, there seems to be a renewed interest in becoming as self-sufficient as possible. But what does it mean to live off-grid? Well, quite simply put – it means removing yourself from the grid of utility services and instead generating your own power and water.
An off-grid residence is one that has no connection to public utilities i.e. no electricity, water or sewage connection. Adapting an off-grid lifestyle can seem rather daunting for some people but others see it as an opportunity for personal growth and learning new skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. If you’re interested in living this way but aren’t sure where to begin, take a look at these ways to begin living more self-sufficiently and become more off-grid…
Grow Your Own Food
Food is one of the most important aspects of self-sufficiency. Growing your own food means you know exactly what is going into it – no chemicals or pesticides. In general, growing food off-grid is always going to be a little more difficult and challenging than growing it on-grid.
However, there are some vegetables you can grow off-grid all year round. For example, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, broad beans, cucumbers, kohlrabi, lettuce, peas, potatoes, radishes, runner beans, sweetcorn, and tomatoes can be grown in a greenhouse or in a poly tunnel.
In order to grow your own food, you will first need to make sure your land is suitable. Then, you can begin planting and growing your crops. Growing your own food is a great way to become more self-sufficient and off-grid. Not only will it save you money, but it will also mean you know exactly what has gone into it.
Build a Solar Home
Solar power is one of the most effective ways to become off-grid. The great thing about solar energy is that it can be used at home, on the go, and even on the water. A solar home will use solar energy to power all of the appliances in the house and could even include a rooftop greenhouse. Depending on the size and design of your home, it may be possible to have a hybrid solar home or a grid-tied solar power home (if you are not going totally off grid that is).
If you decide to build a solar home, it is important to get a building engineer or architect to make sure that it is safe and that the plans are sound. You will also need to get an electrician to make sure that all of the wiring is done properly and that it is properly grounded. A solar home is very expensive and time-consuming to build and is not for everyone, but if you have the money and the time, it is definitely worth considering.
If you decide not to build a solar home, you can still go solar-powered. This means that you will get a solar array installed on your property and be connected to the grid. This solar power can feed into the grid (if you are not totally off grid) and, therefore, you are able to power your home at any given time using your solar power or that supplied by a utility company, as it will also, in turn, be fed power from the grid when needed.
This means that if the sun isn’t shining, you can still use all of your appliances. As you can see, going solar-powered is a great way to become more off-grid and self-sufficient. You can have a solar-powered water pump installed either on a well or your rainwater harvesting system to make sure that you always have clean, fresh water flowing through your pipes. You can also get a solar-powered refrigerator to make sure that your food is kept nice and cool.
Once you have the essential household appliances and are producing enough energy to power them, you could extend the system by installing batteries. This way, you can store the energy you produce and use it when you need it. This means that you won’t have to rely on the grid for your electricity. You can use the batteries to charge your vehicle and store excess energy for the night-time when there is no sun.
You can even use the energy to charge your cell phone and other devices. This is a great way to become more off-grid and self-sufficient. You can also use the energy generated by your solar panels to heat water in the winter months. This will help you save money on your heating bills and become more self-sufficient in general.
You may find this article on the matter of off grid living and batteries interesting:- https://www.dragonsbreathsolar.co.uk/product/diy-off-grid-solar-system-kits/
Get a Rainwater Harvesting System
If you’re building a solar home, you might also want to consider getting a rainwater harvesting system. This will ensure that you have a constant supply of water even when the rain isn’t falling. You can store this water in a tank and then use it to feed your home. This is especially important if you live in a dry area where there is little rain. With a harvesting system, you can use the water from your roof to fill up a tank and then use it to flush your toilet, water your plants, and even drink if necessary! This is a great way to become a little more off-grid and self-sufficient and will definitely save you money in the long run.
Install a Bio-Toilet
If you go solar-powered, you will want to make sure that your toilet uses very little water. If you get a system that uses electricity, it may come with a large water tank that uses a lot of water and electricity. This is where a bio-toilet comes in. These toilets use very little water and are completely self-contained. You put a small amount of composting material into the toilet and it breaks down the waste and then deposits it into a small compartment where it can be safely removed. You can then take the composting material and use it to fertilize your garden or plant trees. This is a great way to become off-grid and self-sufficient and will definitely be something to talk about when you have guests!
Become an Expert in Living Self-sufficiently
Being an expert in living self-sufficiently is very important. You want to make sure that you are managing your energy consumption at all times. You also want to make sure that you are growing your own food and living as eco-friendly as possible. You can do this on a small scale by growing some of your own food in your garden and planting trees or flowers.
You can also do this by keeping a compost pile to make sure that your food scraps are put to good use and turned into fertilizer. This will help you become more self-sufficient and off-grid. You can also use solar power and batteries to charge your devices and run your home. This will help you reduce your carbon footprint and ensure that you are always living self-sufficiently. You can also make sure that you are using energy responsibly by only turning on the appliances that you need. This will help you cut down on your energy consumption and make it easier to live off-grid.
When we think of living off the grid, we imagine a lifestyle that is disconnected from the rest of the world. Although this is partially true, it is important to remember that living off the grid is actually much more than just being disconnected from the grid. Living off the grid means being fully self-sufficient and sustainable, it means generating your own energy and water and it means making a difference. It means making the world a better place for everyone by simply doing what is necessary for you to survive. With these ways to begin living more self-sufficiently and becoming more off-grid, you can make your life easier, more affordable and eco-friendly.