There are an amazing 200,000+ people who are living off of the grid in the United States. Living off of the grid may include the postal, garbage pick-up, sewer and power grid. Living off of the grid provides a person with an opportunity to live a more natural lifestyle and reduce their footprint in regards to energy consumption. To live off the grid will require a few lifestyle changes or alternatives. This article will provide a few of the things to consider on living off the grid successfully.
When choosing a place to live it would be advisable to choose a location that has solar or wind energy. Therefore, it will be important to choose a windy or sunny location but if you can find a location that offers both then that will help you to achieve your off the grid goals. When deciding to live this type of lifestyle you will be required come up with an initial investment so that you can build an energy-efficient home and provide alternative energy sources.
You can choose to find an independent location for your home or you can choose to live in a pre-made off the grid community. For example, there are off grid communities in Oregon, Missouri, North Carolina, Arizona, and New Mexico. The community in New Mexico provides houses that are completely built from recycled and natural materials. To purchase property in this community it will cost you anywhere between $75,000 and $400,000.
If you decide to live independently you will need to purchase a plot of land that can provide water for your water and waste management requirements. You will need to come up with a plan for your home that will provide approximately 10,000 kW hours of electricity each year. This is the total that an average American household uses. Look into areas such as wind energy, solar panels, and other electricity storage options.
Besides having a storage device to store your energy you will also need to have a backup energy system such as a propane generator. Some homeowners drill a well for water and this can cost an additional $15,000 for the cost of drilling and a pump. Other homeowners decide to collect rainwater and store it in a cistern type storage unit. It will be important to manager water usage when you shower, wash clothes, or flush the toilet.
Some of the lifestyle changes that may be required are a reduction in overall electricity consumption. You can do this by eliminating appliances that consume high energy such as clothes dryers, microwaves, blow dryers and anything else that is not essential. You also will not have a garbage pickup service which means that you should start to learn more about composting and recycling. Composting and recycling are an excellent ways to get rid of household waste.
Most off grid properties are in the country and therefore you will need to set up a PO Box in the nearest town. Living off the grid is best accomplished by becoming a farmer and growing your own food and raising your own animals.