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In today’s society, most people constantly find themselves stressed by mounting phone, cable, and electricity bills. Consequently, there is a growing movement of people adapting the alternative, eco-friendly lifestyle of living off the grid. When people say they live off the grid, what they mean is that they live a completely self-sustaining life by using anything their surroundings provide. By making a few lifestyle modifications, it is possible for anybody to learn how to live off the grid.
How to Live Off the Grid Essentials – Your Electricity Source
The first step in leaving the grid is using an alternative electricity method, since this change will produce the most initial savings. Solar power is one popular way of doing this, which is done by placing solar panels that use the sun’s rays and convert it to AC power. Wind power can also be gathered by installing a wind turbine, which takes rotations of the propeller and converts it into useable power.
These are good setups for those looking for a complimentary power source to go along with the electricity from the electricity company, but if you wish to go completely off the grid, a way to store power is needed. This can be done by having a large battery on-site where usable AC current can be stored as DC current, being converted back when needed.
How to Live Off the Grid Essentials – Water and Sewage
The next step in leaving the grid is to install an alternative plumbing system. For water, a cistern can be used in areas with heavy rain. A cistern is a large metal tank that collects rain water and pumps it back into the house as usable water. If this method is used it is important to limit water use in times of little rain.
A more reliable, but more expensive, method of collecting water is to drill a private well to collect groundwater. Hiring a professional well driller can cost between $3,000 and $10,000, which may be too expensive for those trying to live a simpler life. The truth, however, is that this one-time investment will almost certainly pay for itself in the long run with the money saved from not having water bills.
Another small investment is needed regarding sewage is a septic tank. This will treat the waste that is flushed and release it properly into the environment. It is important to get the septic tank emptied and cleaned once a year by a professional. For a more eco-friendly option, homeowners can go with a composting toilet. While this does not require flushing, it does require frequent maintenance that may be too disgusting for some homeowners!
It is important to remember that living off the grid also requires some life changes. Try not to run more than one electrical appliance at once, and rely on natural sunlight to light your home during the day. Only use the lights at night when absolutely necessary. If possible, try and use a battery powered lantern if light is needed. It is also important to minimize shower times, how often dishes are done, and other general water usage in times of shortages. These lifestyle changes, coupled with the home modifications, are the necessary ingredients to learn how to live off the grid.