Living off-grid is about becoming self-sufficient and removing yourself from many of the constraints of a modern lifestyle. The dream of living a less stressful life away from today’s consumer-driven society is tempting. The ways in which you can do this are often financially economical and eco-friendly.
Moreover, living off-grid can be good for your well-being. Research from Mind.org has shown that “ecotherapy” offers benefits to mental health. Also known as green therapy, this includes things like gardening and environmental conservation, both of which are elements of an off-grid lifestyle.
You don’t have to move out to the country and cut yourself off from the world to enjoy all the benefits of off-grid living. You can live off-grid in the city, too. Disconnecting from the electricity grid, water supply, and gas mains simply means finding another way to supply yourself with the power and utilities you need.
You may not be able to dig your own well or create Wi-Fi where there isn’t any. But there are some fairly simple adjustments that can have a massive effect on both your energy consumption and your utility bills. Living off-grid saves up to 90% of energy and water usage compared to normal homes.
Here are four (easy) steps to living “off-grid” in the city:
- Water Saving Techniques – Start with simple and easy steps like reusing bath and dishwater for the garden, fixing dripping taps, taking shorter showers, and using a water-saving showerhead to save water.
- Electricity to Solar Panels – One of the most popular methods for a household to create its own electricity is by using solar panels. With government grants and incentives, the one-off installation fee can be minimal, and you’ll be saving on your electricity bills every month.
- Gas to Wood Burning Stove – Go for a new, eco-friendly burner and you’ll be reducing particle emissions by 90% compared to an open fire and 80% compared to an old stove type. The cost of materials to burn is far less than gas and if you insulate your house well, the savings will go even further. The bigger and better the system, the more you’ll be able to use it for, including heating the water in your boiler, cooking, underfloor heating, and secondary heating to other rooms.
- Broadband to Free Wi-Fi – We’re used to being “connected” every second of the day, but it’s really not necessary. Unless you need to be online for work, or your gaming or movie streaming is an essential part of your life, then the internet doesn’t need to be something you pay for. Many coffee shops and public places now offer complimentary Wi-Fi, so the ability to get online has never been easier. If you need access to a computer, there are also lots of internet cafes or libraries that allow you to log on for free.
While becoming completely self-sufficient isn’t an option for many people, the number of people trying to incorporate some of the benefits of living off-grid into their more modern lifestyle is on the rise. Despite technology often being seen as the enemy of this style of living, it’s actually making it a lot easier with many gadgets and initiatives helping people to recycle, save waste, and live a more economical and sustainable life.
Here is an infographic from Insulation Express about off-grid living: