Some people reading this may be well versed with the term off-grid living, whereas some of you may be very new to this idea. Off-grid living is a decision to live every day in a fresh environment close to mother nature. The environment gets less exploited by turning to this natural way of living.
Not everyone can live off the land; only the strong-minded people with complete preparation can live off-grid. We all have been so dependent on the facilities around us that it takes more sensible thought to decide to live away from these readymade facilities.
The people choosing to live off-grid are to survive without municipal facilities, grocery stores, and other resources that we tend to take for granted most of the time.
It is not as easy as it sounds. Just imagine selling out all your belongings, leaving off all the facilities, coming out of your comfort zone, and living in the wilderness.
Is Off-Grid Living Sustainable?
Sustainable living is using the resources available at a lesser rate than what can be produced and replaced. It also means meeting our needs carefully without compromising the needs that our future generation would require.
People consider off-grid living as a sustainable way of living. It focuses on producing their resources rather than using up the readymade facilities available, which may directly or indirectly harm our environment.
Below are some of the ways to make off-grid living sustainable—
- By learning how to compost
- Working on recycling water and using solar energy
- Using natural minerals and resources
- Rejuvenating the earth’s soil
- Growing plants, trees, and edibles
Why would you choose off-Grid living?
One of the main reasons for living off-grid is to be independent in every aspect of life. You would be more inclined towards being self-sufficient rather than depending upon the urban facilities. There are many reasons why people would choose Grid Living; let us see a few of them.
1. It is a sustainable way of living
Just think of today’s day, starting right after the eyes were opened in the morning, we are consuming one thing or the other. How much water did you use? How much electricity did you waste? How much food did we waste? The questions won’t end because our dependence on the readymade facilities has made us more dependent.
While living Off-Grid, we not only learn to be self-sufficient, but we also learn the lesson of repairing and reusing stuff rather than replacing it. Everything gradually leads to a sustainable life, from solar power to the water supply to growing food.
The time comes when we wouldn’t run to a maker if anything breaks; instead, we try to repair and reuse it. This sustainable way of living is a blessing, and our future generation will cherish their lives because of our choices.
2. Reconnecting once again with the nature
We all are aware of the nomadic lifestyle the people of early age used to live. Detaching from the chaos and stressful life to getting the required things in seconds is not easy.
Getting your favorite dish within minutes through online order, using unlimited wifi, washing machine, fridge, oven, generator every comfort is not available while living off-grid.
People deciding to live off-grid are based in the beautiful remote areas surrounded by dense forests with natural water supply through lakes, waterfalls, etc. In a way, it is returning to our ancient nomadic era.
When we contact our mother nature, there won’t be any dull day because the character has so many things to make our time worth spending. Be it from watching a bird, swimming in the waterfalls, making fires, planting trees, sowing seeds, harvesting, etc.
There are so many things to do, and you won’t ever miss the times when you mindlessly scroll social media.
Basic Requirements of Off-grid Living
Anyone thinking of living off-grid should be wise enough to consider the basic requirements.
We do not take water as an essential resource when we are in our home’s comfort zone, which has a good water supply facility. When we live off-grid, there won’t be any readymade water supply.
Everything needs to be done by yourself. You can bring the water to your place through different means- it may be through rainwater harvesting, digging wells, or using hand pumps.
It won’t take long for you to realize how precious a resource is the water supply. So be smart and save water in the containers when required.
Stocking up food here doesn’t mean shopping in the supermarket or ordering online, and the case is different here. When started to live off-grid, collecting and stocking up food means being a skilled hunter-gatherer and a farmer.
Sourcing food means hunting an animal, fishing, farming, composting, gardening, and many more. Everything that would be on your plate will be organic.
The shelter is undoubtedly the most important thing to consider when living off-grid. When we are on-grid dwellers, the term “shelter” may mean a constructed building that saves us from the cold, rain, snow, and heat, but when we are into off-grid living, the word “shelter” means so much more.
It is a safe place for us during the cold winds, extreme heat, and heavy rain but another important thing to consider is to protect yourself from any strangers or wild animals. Any shelter that offers you security from all these things is a reliable shelter without any doubt.
How would You Access Energy?
In off-grid living, you have to produce energy by yourself. You won’t have the facility of 24 hrs running electricity, but you need to make way for the energy production. You need to have a general idea of some essential things before making a decision.
Questions like – how much energy do you need, how will it be generated, and the cost price? It needs to be carefully researched.
Solar energy is the most preferred option if we talk about a reliable energy source, and it can be utilized to generate power during sunny, warm weather. Solar power can be a reliable choice on sunny hot days, but what about the winter months?
Most people suggest that a 500-watt wind turbine can be used when cloudy and cold days. Not relying on one source but keeping options is a wiser decision.
How would You Access Water?
We all know how vital water availability is, and the availability of water resources is an important aspect to look at when choosing any location to live off-grid.
When accessing water, a borehole is usually the preferred choice of most off-grid dwellers, and drilling down the land helps access water. A rainwater collection system is also an advised option in accessing water.
Heating your home and keeping the heat in
Since we got energy and water now, another important thing is heating your off-grid home.
Will you heat your home using solar power or a wood burner or boilers etc.? The majority of the people prefer heating their homes using a wood burner. Always choose the option that would cost less and would use less time.
Burning up the waste from cutting woods etc., can be done or building your house so that the windows face the south to get in as much heat during the day. Insulating the home needs to be done to keep the heat in. Stay warm, stay cozy.
Is Off-Grid Living Appropriate for Me?
As earlier discussed, off-grid living is for those people who are interested in living away from the primary comfortable services. Not everyone would be able to live off-grid, and only strong-minded people can.
If you are more inclined toward living in remote places far from the chaotic city life, then it’s appropriate for you as well.
If you love camping, treks, climbing hills, then off-grid living can be your cup of tea, but if you are skeptical of camping in remote areas, if you feel difficult to stay out of your comfort zones, then this is not your type of living. Living off-grid altogether makes you a self-sufficient person.
What would be the mode of earning when living Off-grid Living?
It is one of the most important questions you should be fully prepared for. Earning has no other option, and we need to be financially stable no matter where we live. When we choose to live off-grid, we won’t get the opportunities of working in offices and multinational companies, but our mother nature is always there for our rescue.
You can make your income through growing and selling vegetables, fishing and selling the fish, selling the woods, etc. You will be earning through organic means. There are still many options you can think of as a source of income that will be beneficial in living a smooth life.
Benefits of Living Off-Grid
If you talk about the benefits of living off-grid, there are numerous reasons for it, among which being self-sufficient and independent is on the top list. Let us see a few advantages of living off-grid —
1. The people choosing to live off-grid lowers the stress on the environment. They live in tiny houses, use renewable energy sources, produce minimum waste, and support recycling.
2. It enhances one’s personality. Being capable of making everything by yourself, sowing seeds, harvesting, building things, learning new skills every other day results in developing a fantastic personality
3. It lowers the stress levels of the person. A more simple way of living is more chances of having less anxiety and stress.
4. It improves one’s health as well. Sitting in the office chair and working from 9 to 5 worsens our health in the long run. When we live off-grid, we become more physically active through gardening, fishing, fetching water, etc.
Disadvantages of Living Off-Grid
Everything in the world has its pros and cons, and similarly, off-grid living also has its disadvantages. Let’s see some of them —
1. As on-grid dwellers, we have always been around a society. We spend the least time alone because every time we have someone or the other people around us with whom we communicate and share our heart and time, but when we choose to live off-grid, we would be all alone, and sometimes loneliness may hit us, so you should be mentally prepared for it.
2. The initial costs cannot go unnoticed. The first phase of setting up a home with all the necessities is costly. Smartly investing is the only option you are left with. If not smartly invested, the cost would be so high because of the house construction to arrange the necessary resources. It would be best if you were mentally prepared for this as well.
People living Off-Grid
It might be a very new idea for most people, but according to the reports of the conservation institutes, over 1.7 billion people are happy living off the Grid.
It is no longer a unique thing to decide to live off-grid. No one can restrain you if you think you want to, and nothing can stop.
Off-grid living is not just limited to living away from home, but it means far more than this. It is a gradual process that makes a person self-sufficient and independent, and it enhances a person’s personality and sharpens the skill of various things.
Off-grid living is also helpful to our environment in many ways. The waste produced is far less than what is produced in the cities, and the usage of renewable energy sources lowers the stress rate on our mother nature.
Altogether it is a good way of living life. Still, it is not favorable to everyone since for every person, their strengths and weaknesses differ, and their perception towards off-grid living will also vary.
By now, you may have been evident in which category you fall in, whether you are suitable in living off-grid or not. Above all, be happy and content where you are, be it in cities or the wilderness.