Going off-grid might seem like a casual saying used by people to express their desires of taking a break and escaping reality. But most people may not realize that it is more than a laid back expression. Off-grid sustainable living is actually a much more complicated and technical process.
Off-grid living refers to a way of life that completely rejects the dependence on publicly owned utilities. This forfeits you and your families’ participation in the production, distribution, and transmission of power by big companies and infrastructures in the industry. As a result, you and your household will have to independently generate the electricity, water, or heat you need to survive and live. Here are the most common reasons why some families choose to live off-grid.
Why Families Go Off-grid
Essentially, some families choose to drop everything and move to a place in the middle of nowhere to cut costs and save money. When your household decides to pursue a sustainable off-grid lifestyle, you will no longer be stressed about paying the bills. From water and phone bills, expenses for air conditioning or heaters, to car maintenance and gas—all of these will no longer exist to worry you and your family. COVID-19 has left so many families without a stable source of income. Most parents are now jobless and struggling with household bills, making a cheap and sustainable lifestyle, not just a convenience but a necessity.
Another reason is that living off the grid can help some families become more self-sufficient. When you live off the grid, you are forced to fend for yourselves and become more independent and resourceful. Having this set-up enables you and your children to be more responsible. You are literally in control of your own lives and survival, which somehow gives people a sense of security and freedom.
Furthermore, some families also consider the environment when they decide to adapt to sustainable off-grid lives. Climate change continues to negatively affect the earth due to the constant rise of carbon dioxide emissions and the earth’s average temperature. By following the practices of sustainability and resourcefulness through off-grid living, your household’s carbon footprint will be drastically reduced. This reduction is already a big step that can contribute to the protection of our planet.
What It’s Like Living Off the Grid as a Family
An estimate of 1.7 billion people worldwide and 180,000 families in America practice a sustainable off-grid lifestyle as of 2013. Life in the middle of nowhere can be imagined as peaceful and serene. Families are more connected to nature and each other because of the amount of quality time in the house. Most find this beneficial since their children are exposed to more responsibilities, especially if they are home-schooled. Having more responsibilities can ultimately help them become capable and self-sufficient adults in the future.
Although there might be difficulties along the way, living a spontaneous and unpredictable life can be stressful at times. We never know what nature could bring in the future. Isolation can also be harsh, even with families that are living off the grid. It is crucial to have effective communication and teamwork in the household to avoid these challenging and demanding instances.
How to Get into Off-grid Living Sustainably
Living off the grid might seem like it’s straight out of a dream, but many major changes will need to be made so that you and your family can adopt.
One big step towards living sustainably is to learn about and eventually switch to solar power. Commercial solar panels are the primary source of power and energy for families living off the grid without electricity. Solar panels produce direct current power through solar energy using the photovoltaic effect. This direct current power will then be used to run household appliances. Solar energy can provide your family with the convenience of not having to lose power because of outages.
Families can efficiently use the environment by collecting water from wells, springs, and rain catchments. These are then treated to be safe to drink and use through different treatment strategies such as filtration and water softening. Sanitation may be a big problem as off-grid homes are not connected to sewer systems. To address this, waste management is done through composting, gray water storage, leaching, and other systems that do not pollute the environment.
Sustainable off-grid living is not an easy task, so it is best to read as much as you can about off-grid sustainable living through stories and real-life experiences. It will take months or even years of patience and determination to achieve that sense of self-sufficiency and independence. But the benefits are definitely worth it, not only to you and your family but also to the environment. We hope you have learned enough from this blog post so you can take the first step to live off the grid.