Why am I inspired to live Off-Grid in the Solar Cottage?
It’s hard to believe I actually live off the grid. Had you told me 3 years ago that I would be “off-grid” I would not have believed you. But alas, Joe and I do live “off grid”. Our home is powered by the sun 24/7/365. It’s been an amazing journey to get here, and I’m so thankful for the life experience of building our own place and learning through research, hard work and perseverance. I consider our lifestyle to be what I would call a “modern off-grider” because we don’t live off the land, we don’t have livestock or animals, and we don’t need these things to sustain us (although all these things sound wonderful and I’ll probably try many of them). Joe and I don’t rely on the land for our livelihood; we both work corporate jobs and commute into work. You might be asking, “Why in the world would you want to live “off-grid” when you don’t have to?”. Well, here are 11 reasons that inspire me.
1. Living small. I’ve gotten rid of clutter, excess and unnecessary stuff. I am now surrounded by things I find more important, beautiful, or useful and enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle. I find ways to entertain and live large in a small space.
2. I don’t have a big mortgage hanging over my head. We built a solar-designed home, so it had to be small to efficiently run on solar 24/7/365. The price of our small home was a fraction of what our former home cost. Building small also meant we could have the pleasure of added upgrades, yet still be within budget. It also means our earnings go to other things we enjoy-such as traveling.
3. Before building The Solar Cottage, Joe and I spent time collecting, planning and dreaming of what our solar cottage would look like. Planning our home, designing the garden and collecting special items that enhanced our life was a fun process we started early on. I had my farmhouse sink and my Chambers stove long before we started building. Although we are conscious of our space limitations, we still enjoy finding treasures that will enhance our homestead.
4. I love learning new things. Learning about solar energy, greywater systems, composting and rainwater harvesting has been a very fun chapter of my life. I never dreamed I’d be learning these skills at this stage of my life, but I can say it’s been extremely rewarding!
5. I may want to raise animals, certainly grow a garden, keep bees, hunt, or learn any number of skills that can bring joy and satisfaction. We are now able to carve out a homesteading lifestyle that makes sense to us.
6. Living a sustainable lifestyle is something I strive to accomplish. I’m changing my lifestyle from being a consumer to a producer. Conserving and doing my part to keep our beautiful planet green is important to me. Even if I have a full tank of water or a battery bank full of electricity, I try to be mindful of how precious water is, how valuable energy is, and understand their important role in our lives.
7. I’m OK with using large appliances (washer/dryer, dishwasher) only when I have plenty of daylight or enough battery storage. Let me explain: We usually have excess power stored in our batteries to run these appliances any time of the day we like- I just know that if I wash clothes when it’s cloudy, I’m using precious stored energy. If I’m washing when the sun is out-It’s all free and I can use as much as I want! It’s kinda become a fun personal challenge for me to see if I can live within these parameters. THAT makes me happy.
8. I love being close to nature. I’m comfortable when it’s quiet around me and I only hear the birds. I love sitting on my porch and looking out over our property. I’m in my happy place!
9. I enjoy eating nutritious foods and cooking at home. I love to eat out or have drinks with friends, but I also love entertaining at our little cottage, or sitting with Joe on our porch, glass of wine in hand, eating a healthy homemade meal, and enjoying the sunset.
10. If I need an answer to a question, there is a friend willing to share his or her vast knowledge. There are many people that are chock full of wisdom and advice on any number of subjects; from building, to growing, to raising animals, to canning. With the huge network of homesteaders, I know there’s help if I need it!
11. I’m OK with commuting. I have a career that I love and a home in the country that I love. When we first started looking for land, our objective was to find property within commuting distance and have family somewhere within that distance. My commute is the perfect amount of time for a podcast. If you are able to live full time out in the country and work from home, more power to you! I think that’s awesome!
So, do I love living off the grid? Absolutely-yes. Is it for everyone? Probably not. For those of you who are considering building an off-grid-home, a solar powered cottage or living in a tiny home, shoot us an email if you have questions. We also have a News and Events subscription you can sign up for.
Greetings from the The Solar Cottage!
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Karin and Joe