You might have heard the term before from someone who looked well-suited to work the land and create a self-sufficient homestead. Living off the grid means you don't rely on a city to supply your power or water, and it often goes as far as growing your own food if you're dedicated enough. It can definitely seem intimidating to be entirely self-reliant, so why do so many people do it? The short answer is because you can save a ton of money each year by using solar power and well water! And if you get to a point where you grow most of your food, then your grocery bill will be minuscule too.
The Grass is Greener Off the Grid
Okay, maybe not the grass, but definitely your home! Most off-grid houses run on a solar power battery or use solar panels to channel energy directly into their homes. After the initial investment and set-up, these panels can pay for themselves. A good idea for any solar home is to keep a back-up, charged generator in the winter when you might see less sun, or any week that's supposed to excessively cloudy. This will help ensure you don't have to go a few days without power until the sun comes back out.
Another important consideration if you're searching for the eco-friendly experience, is to consider the laws in your area about going off-grid. Some states will allow people to set up however they like off the beaten path, but others require certain types of plumbing or waste removal systems to ensure the protection of public health. You'll want to be sure you know the rules in your state and town before investing thousands of dollars in moving your home.
Breaking away from contemporary living can be a huge undertaking, but there are plenty of benefits to make it worth your while. For example, living off-grid means you have to find ways to be self-sustainable. This means you'll no longer rely on complex market or systems for food, water, or other important resources. So when the price of gas sky-rockets or meat prices soar due to shortages, you'll be sitting pretty in your home without a care in the world because you've already provided for yourself.
The off-grid lifestyle is also better for your health and the planet's. Reducing your carbon footprint by using renewable energy and planting vegetables and herbs will help to reduce the amount of harmful gasses released into the atmosphere and nurture the soil for future growing seasons. It's also great for your health because keeping up a farm, even a small one, is hard work. You'll get the cardio workout you need daily just by tending to your garden and keeping up with the property. Not to mention you'll have a healthier diet if you aren't tempted by chips and cookies in the grocery aisles.
There are a lot of things to consider before making the decision to leave municipalities behind. The first is the return on your investment. You'll want to do some quick math to make sure you'll see some payback in decreased bills from the investments you made in things like solar panels, solar batteries, and other energy saving techniques. You should also keep in mind how much roof space you have on your home and determine if it's large enough to house enough solar panels to be your main power source. There are also ongoing costs of living off-grid such as keeping land maintained or solar panels functioning, so add those into your yearly expenditure estimations. Finally, remember what going completely off-grid could do to your property value. If you intend to sell your home one day, think about keeping it grid connected or compatible to reach a wider buyer's market.
Going off the grid is a big decision, but it can have equally large benefits if you plan it out and do it right.
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