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What is Off-Grid Living?

February 5, 2014       Green-Minded
What Is Off-Grid Living?

Living off-grid literally means disconnecting access to ALL utility services. You can still keep within the city, live in your suburban home or you can go out in the middle of nowhere and set up shop ( or house ). Living off-grid means cutting one's reliance on the electric grid, on the sewage system, on city tap water services, and with garbage pick-up services. Living off-grid also means disappearing completely from all urban contact and choosing a smaller isolated community or solo existence for those hardy enough and prepared for such a lifestyle.

Instead of an electric meter running up your electric bill, you switch to solar PV panels installed on your roof with energy storage batteries or hook up to a local commune with access to a wind energy device like one area of Ilocos Norte.

Septic tanks have always been used in the Philippines for most residential communities and few actually depend on a city system sewage disposal. For tap water you might need to dig a well near your home or have a catch basin / cistern system for collecting rain water since we have rain almost year round.

This might not be your choice for keeping a water source so you can get a ration from the local supplier, every month or so to replenish your drinking water stock just so you won't end up recycling sewage. A water storage tank ( a cistern ) in your abode will provide a steady source of potable water without need for connecting to the grid.

Living off-grid means a lot of discipline in using scarce resources—you can't let the shower run while you are bathing.  And you will actually schedule appliance use and conserve electricity, but doing so only requires getting used to a way of life that is greener.

When water is scarce, dishes might pile up and your toilet might have to be rigged like pre-American era latrines. Rain barrels for collecting rain water will be a necessary survival method for keeping water available. If you do have modern conveniences requiring power, choose appliances with energy star ratings and efficiency.

Even shopping for your groceries or merchandise, you have to choose products that do not leave too much plastic or paper waste. True off-grid living means you will grow your own food. Have a planter box with tomatoes and herbs growing. Raising chickens and goats for milk and eggs will be very handy but make sure it is allowed in your neighborhood if you live in an urban area,

One last advisory about living off-grid is that you will choose a more manageable place, usually a smaller living space that requires less energy needs than the traditional suburban house. But like moving out of the house when you can pay for your own upkeep, living off-grid is your next goal as a smarter individual, just because you can.


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