There are many different approaches you can take if you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. One of the most effective strategies is to reduce your addiction to consumerism.
You can take a very drastic step and live off the grid. You will have a very low carbon footprint and consume few natural resources if you try to live outside of our decadent culture.
Living off the grid to become a better steward of the planet
In the United States, at least 180,000 families are currently living off-grid. Many of them are engaged in green living. Living on the grid is attractive for its ecological and self-sustaining benefits, living off the grid is a rewarding, cheaper and simpler way of life.
If you are currently a city dweller looking to get off the grid, there are a number of simple but effective ways to start preparing for this change now. By starting to think about possible off-grid water sources now, examining how much energy you are currently using, and learning how to grow your own food, you can better prepare to embark on this adventure in the future. .
Consider your water source options
Finding a supply of clean, safe water is one of your top priorities in preparing for an off-grid life. Overall, you will need enough water for drinking, bathing, cooking, and gardening on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are several options available to you depending on the terrain you have chosen. For example, a water well is one of the most common off-grid water sources. If there is not already a well on the ground, you will need to drill a new one. Drilling a 150-foot-deep well costs on average about $ 5,500. However, if you want to increase the depth, the price also increases accordingly. Generally, more humid regions can get away with shallower wells while drier climates require deeper wells. You will also need a pump to draw water from your well. In addition to the basic manual pumps, you also have the choice of solar or electric pumps. A good pump is essential for improving the efficiency of your well water collection.
Alternatively, you can harvest your own rainwater, which is a particularly good option if you are moving to an area with heavy rainfall. Installing a rain catchment system on the roof of your property will divert rainwater that hits your roof and collect it in a storage container. You can also calculate how much rainwater you will be able to harvest this way based on your roof area and the average amount of precipitation in your area. However, this system is only suitable for slate or metal roofs. Asphalt roofs, on the other hand, are not safe to use to divert rainwater for consumption. You will also need to invest in a filter to make sure your rainwater is safe to drink.
See how much energy you are currently using
If you currently rely on the grid for your energy use, you probably aren’t living a lifestyle that would be sustainable off the grid. So take a close look at how much energy you are currently using and work to keep your expenses as low as possible. Check your monthly electricity bill to find out the number of kilowatt-hours consumed each month. And, to get a clear idea of how much energy and money each specific device in your home uses, invest in a plug-in kilowattmeter (for under $ 20). With this knowledge, you can identify ways to reduce your energy use – small changes will add up over time. At the end of this process, you will know how much minimum power you will need to live off the grid, which can help you plan more efficiently and accurately. You can even start to familiarize yourself with renewable energy sources. In particular, solar, wind, hydro and geothermal energy are popular alternative energy sources.
Building your own home solar water heater, for example, is an affordable and surprisingly simple project that can prepare you for living off the grid and help lower your current energy bills.
Practice growing your own food
Growing your own food can be a learning curve, but it’s also a rewarding part of life off the grid. Not only does growing your own food decrease your monthly living expenses, but knowing exactly what went into your food and where it came from can give you significant peace of mind. It also tastes amazing. Best of all, growing your own food is a skill you can start teaching yourself right now. You don’t need a lot of space to grow your own food, or even a garden. Starting with a few pots of herbs on your windowsill is a good start. You can also search for community gardens in your area. Community gardens are not only a great opportunity to start learning how to grow your own food when space is at a premium, but they are also great for meeting new people, including experienced growers who will likely be happy to share their tips with you. you.
Live off-grid to reduce your carbon footprint
Off-grid living offers a more peaceful, sustainable and relaxed way of life. It can also be a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. By starting to think about your potential water options now, examining how much energy you are currently using, and practicing growing your own food, you can better prepare to change this life in the near future. .