You might not be familiar with the term “Off the Grid”. It’s a term that has been around for some time and in the past people living “off the grid” were usually considered survivalists, hippies, or maybe someone wanting to hide. It’s a term that refers to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities, usually electricity. Today the term is becoming mainstream as many people are turning to solar for their power needs. Here are a few reasons listed below you might consider going “off the grid”.
1. Sustainability: Along with harvesting all your electricity from the sun, in many areas, you can work the land, grow your own food, raise animals, use grey water to irrigate, compost and recycle, and harvest rainwater. These are some of the best reasons for living off the grid!
2. No energy bills-YAY!! So let’s say your energy bill is 150. dollars per month. That means you are paying out 1,800. dollars per year for electricity. Over 20 years, that amounts to 36,000. dollars! That’s a conservative number, considering most homes’ electrical bills are twice that amount. Also, small space living means you save money on cleaning supplies and furnishing your home. An off the grid battery bank may last 10 to 15 or more years. When including the cost of replacing an old battery bank every 10 to 15 years, you are still way ahead in terms of savings.
3. Freedom: Freedom to travel, explore and dream without worrying about your manicured yard dying. Ok, so you might need someone to feed the chickens while you’re gone.
4. Simple living: Simple living means less items, less purchases, less cleaning, less clutter. Because you are living small you have less cleaning chores (another YAY!) and you make room for only the things you truly love. I choose to spend more money on a few quality items that will last a lifetime and avoid purchasing items I’m not really passionate about or that will be considered junk in a year’s time (which also helps to live a more sustainable, environmentally friendly life).
5. Peaceful: Living off grid usually means less noise, less congestion, less traffic, less pollution, or not having to listen to your neighbors’ lawn mower/weed eater at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday.
6. It’s easier than ever: New technology makes it easier to collect and store your solar energy. The solar battery technology is ever changing for the better, as are LED lighting, A/C and heating options. Living off the grid with modern conveniences has never been easier!
7. You can choose your location: You don’t have to live in suburbia – on the grid - to enjoy modern conveniences. In the past, living completely off the grid year around in a humid and hot climate was almost impossible to do, but now Joe has created a solar harvesting system that allows you to do just that! More on the solar harvesting system in the posts to come!
8. Off Grid Living-helps you connect with nature. If you harvest rainwater for all your water and of course, harvest the energy from the sun for all of your power, your thoughts are regularly on the weather and the effects of the different seasons (We love when it rains and shines at the same time)! You become more aware of the natural elements and how weather effects your solar production, how critical clean water is, and how to conserve and preserve them both.
9. You aren’t trying to keep up with the Jones’. You are content with what you are accomplishing in your own space, you have your own ideas and dreams on what to do within your own space, and you’re happy with creating a space that reflect your personality. You’re out of the comparison game.
10. You aren’t confined to traditional building practices. Sure you can use the traditional building techniques of brick and mortar, you can have someone build it for you, or you can build your own home. You can also think outside the box and build it with cob, straw bale, concrete forms, and many other creative, innovative sustainable ways.
11. You can learn new homesteading skills such as woodworking, beekeeping, canning or gardening, just to name a few. You will become a lifelong learner, have time for your creative side and never live a boring, sedentary life.
Solar living isn’t for everyone, but if any of these reasons to go off-grid appeal to you, please follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter! We will be posting more information on building solar, small space living, and how you can make it possible.