How to live off the grid? Sustainable houses and communities
As we mentioned in the previous Slow Travel article, we are currently living in a time of changes that directly influence our way of doing things and living. It is for this reason that in today’s post we want to talk about what it consists of to live off the grid and how this concept arises as a consequence of the greater awareness that there is for sustainability and ecology.
What is living off the grid?
In order to start with this article, we want to comment first on what it means to live off the grid. Basically, it means living without connection to water or electricity service and therefore, you do not depend on supplies from an electric company, using solar power or other renewable energy.
The term “living off the grid” first appeared around the 1900s and is attributed to environmentalist Nick Rosen. Currently, there is no exact definition of the term and there are no specific reasons that lead people to make this change of life and follow this philosophy. There are multiple reasons since some people do it to be independent of the electricity companies, others to reduce their carbon footprint and other people choose to live this way to get away from the modern world since they consider that it has imposed a series of comforts and specific ways of acting on us.
Off-grid communities: characteristics and benefits
After having briefly explained what the term living off the grid consists of, we will also highlight a series of characteristics and above all, the benefits that you will obtain by living off the grid.
Although the main characteristic of this type of community is to separate from the electricity companies and therefore self-administer electricity, it is important to emphasize what it means this way of living further. And it is that off the grid lifestyle implies adopting a much more sustainable life every day and applying it to all aspects of day to day such as food, housing, and therefore also power generation and energy usage.
Among the most important benefits, we want to point up the following ones:
Reduce the cost of energy
One of the most important benefits arises as a consequence of the greater awareness that there is currently regarding sustainable issues since people who live outside the network tend to live at smaller homes, consume less energy, and therefore produce less waste. This can be achieved with a solar system or a wind turbine, using battery banks and a planned electric system.
Freedom to be independent
Living off-grid also allows you to be independent of the supply network since, as we will comment below, you will become your own electricity supply and therefore, you will have a long term network available to you at any time.
Living outside the network will provide you with personal satisfaction since you will be able to do things for yourself and therefore be self-sufficient in many aspects of your life. Living in this way implies working on the land and growing your own food, doing things with your hands, and being able to learn new skills that you surely did not know you were capable of.
Finally, another of the most important benefits to take into account is that you will have greater awareness and therefore, greater education on sustainable issues and the importance of our actions in the environment. In this way, you will learn to live in a simpler way and you will learn the most effective ways to save.
How to go off the grid? Tips and important info
Making this change in life is not always easy as it involves many factors, for this reason, we will comment below on some of the most important tips to consider in order to make a better transformation:
The most important thing is being willing to be flexible since you will have to take into account that depending on the day and the weather, your electricity may vary, and therefore, you would have to reduce the use of electricity, from time to time. This leads to making better use of artificial light, computers, mobiles, and any other technological devices.
As we discussed previously, living outside the network implies making a change in our life philosophy. Let’s remember that we are used to having everything on-demand and with this new way of living we will have to adapt to the circumstances and the environment.
Learning new skills
As a consequence of the first advice -being flexible-, it is also recommended to learn new skills since you become your own electricity company. Therefore, you must have a minimum knowledge of your facilities to be able to solve those everyday little problems that may suppose unforeseen events.
Enjoy the little things
One of the most important tips to keep in mind is to enjoy the little things and learn to take care of what we have, as this will allow you to extend the life of the products we use in our day to day life. In this way, taking care of your belongings in the best possible way will help you to live well in an off-grid home.
Finally, we want to recommend appreciating nature every day of the year. As a matter of fact, living off the grid implies living from nature and therefore, we must also appreciate the wind, clouds, and storms. As a consequence of this, you will become an observer of nature given that you will have to adapt your lifestyle to the climate. This will increase your interest in weather forecasts and you will value the quality of sunlight for your solar panels, the speed, and the direction of the wind even more.
Off-grid houses: a more sustainable living
As commented throughout the article, living off the grid has a direct consequence on sustainability. This philosophy of life allows you to be aware of the use we make of all the elements that surround us and what is the sustainable impact we have on the environment.
The best places to live off the grid
Summing up, we will show you 2 of the best places to live off the grid, in the world:
The first place we want to highlight is Freedom Cove, located in Canada. It is an artificial island created by two artists known as Catherine and Wayne Adams. It would be an amazing experience to start living off the grid in one of these floating-full of art platforms.
Tristan Da Cunha
The second place on the list is Tristan Da Cunha, located in the United Kingdom. This is a perfect place for those who decide to travel outside the network. Many people make this type of trip in order to forget about the technological devices we use in our day to day and that makes us so dependent.
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