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February 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm #44596
For other uses, see Off the grid (disambiguation).
The term off-grid refers to not being connected to a grid, mainly used in terms of not being connected to the main or national transmission grid in electricity. In electricity off-grid can be stand-alone systems (SHS) or mini-grids typically to provide a smaller community with electricity. Off-grid electrification is an approach to access electricity used in countries and areas with little access to electricity, due to scattered or distant population. It can be any kind of electricity generation.
The term off-the-grid (OTG) can refer to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.
Off-the-grid homes are autonomous; they do not rely on municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas, electrical power grid, or similar utility services. A true off-grid house is able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services. The idea has been recently popularized by certain celebrities including Ed Begley, Jr. who stars in Living with Ed television show on the Home & Garden Television network. Actress Daryl Hannah promotes off-grid living and constructed her home in Colorado according to those principles, as does survival expert and Dual Survival co-star Cody Lundin.February 2, 2013 at 11:10 am #44615
We live off the grid as several others here do also. Each person has their own reasons and definition of living off the grid. We run off solar power (soon some wind power). We have a hand dug well and collect water. We use a composting tolet. We collect all our grey water (shower, sinks) to use on plants. We will be using wood for heat, but will have propane backup heat, propane instant own hot water and cook with propane, our backup generator runs off propane also. Does this make use not on the grid. I think not. Yes we have to BUY propane at 250 gallons but it last a long time and reduces the cost of living and suppling electricity to run electrical appliances.
We do prepare (prep) our food supplies with freeze dried foods and use a canner to preserve what we can and will have a garden to allow us to store more food. . But until we have all the supplies we need we MUST use public stores to purchase our supplies. Now this is our way of life.
Many others live differently. I know Wretha and her Husband live very simular to how we do. We dont have the animals yet since we dont live there 24/7 since we work over the road most of the year.
Reply to this let us all know how you live off the grid. That way others looking to live off the grid will have information to help them achieve this lifestyle. Off the Grid is a LIFE STYLE a life changing event. It is the return to a simple way of living as our grand and great grand parents lived only with a few added benefits they did not have. SO PLEASE reply so others can learn what we all call living off the grid.February 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm #44623
This is from http://enlightentogither.com/calendar/ from another thread;
“Documentarian and journalist Nick Rosen discussed living off-the-grid, typically in alternative communities. This means living independently of the utility companies, and providing your own power, “but it does not mean living in the Stone Age,” he explained. “It’s about being more self reliant, being less dependent on the system, and realizing we have to look after ourselves,” he added.”
I certainly agree with him.
Our off-grid odyssey started with reading “The Solar Living Sourcebook” and “Earthship” from the Public Library, in 1993. More reading followed. In 1997 I bought the land on a loan with construction loan for small frame cabin quickly self built and totally on solar power with deep well and septic system, and small mortgage after refinance. Followed by rammed earth tire/frame addition and then full 2 module Earthship(TM) as an outbuilding 6 ft. at the closest and uphill 3′. The addition has its own solar electric system, backup wood stove, and so does the Earthship which also has a compost toilet. The gardens in there have both red and earth worms, and an exterior large composter is also used with seasonal exterior gardens. All done on weekends, holidays and after work from 1997 to the early spring of 2001. Move in to the solar cabin was 1998, with official Certificate of Occupancy.
The small mortgage was paid off with multiple payments and large payments, as finances permitted, with it being low, and no electric bills. We do have a 500 gallon LP tank which gets filled from 30% to 80% less than twice a year(actual about 380-400 gal/yr). Propane is for Cozy heater, hot water, oven/stove and refrigerator. With backup wood stove in garage on platform, and backup 5 cu. ft. electric refer, plus coolers outside in winter, and some passive solar heat. Climate does not need AC (8,876′ in the “Banana Belt of the Rockies”) and tire walls tend to help cool in summer and warm in winter. House/addition R-21 walls, concrete slab floor under carpet, except kitchen and bath with linoleum on 1/2 sealed OSB glued and shot to concrete slab, R 30 ceilings, R-6 doors and R-4 double pane windows with 3/4″ double thick cleat 1×1 framed added barriers for BR windows in winter. Earthship and other rammed earth tire walls are R-30-38, rake and other exterior frame walls except timber frame window wall are R-26-30 and ceilings R-25-38. 280 ft. deep well with 1 hp pump (220VAC), and 425 gal. rainwater catchment tank in Earthship with purifier and 12VDC pump.
When we finally could afford it in 2009 we bought a Mercury Mariner 4WD Hybrid to complete the deep eco/off-grid independent lifestyle. It is not totally self-sufficient, but we could last around 2 years if TSHTF. Barter and trade, and hunting/fishing, longer.February 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm #44630
My venture was sparked back in the late 70’s reading a Mother Earth magazine. I seen these things in there that would charge batteries if ya put them in the sunlight. I was very interested and caught a fever, ya might say..
The first stereo that I had in my bedroom consisted of a car radio out of a 73 Chevy connected to a trickle charger and a 6″x9″ speaker out of the dash of the car the radio came from. (My brother was drunk and trashed the car so I had my way with it..) I was 14 yrs. old..
Long story short, I purchased the land where I’m at now, (In ’89) moved a 20′ camper in and called it home. Didn’t have any panels yet but carried 2 Marine Deep Cycle batteries around in my work van and charged them as I drove around during the day. Gave me a light and some tunes during the nites..
Now I have a 960 Sq. Ft. shack in the woods with all of the comforts that anyone would need. Ain’t a castle but it works for me. 512 watts of panel suits me just fine. Never went into debt and never was connected to the umbilical cord. Rain water showers everyday, composting bathroom waste system, wood heat, propane fridges and a tankless water heater..
I’m solid proof that IF you have the will, You can do it! I started into a venture that I had no clue of what I was doing. I’ve had many hardships that almost took my life but here I am.. Just typin’ away..
Being totally off grid isn’t possible everywhere. In climates where there is no need to heat a dwelling or deal with cold conditions, it would be pretty easy. In Ohio, no way. Propane might be considered an umbilical cord but if the truth be known, I could survive without it. Propane is a “luxury”, not a necessity..February 10, 2013 at 12:21 pm #44697
Off-Grid off the electrical grid might be the main definition. Next might be off the electrical, natural gas, water, sewer grids. After that you might add more metaphorically food, medicine, transportation, security grids (systems). What else? Communication’s grid. Internet, news media, cell phone’s and land lines. There is CB and Ham radio I suppose for that. I’m not giving up my internet however. Then there is broadcast tv and satellite vs cable TV. What about off the money grid? No debt, using cash or other forms of bartering. With some of this we may only be able to reasonably achieve a percentage of off-gridness.February 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm #44694
Off-Grid can mean electric only I guess. Or it can mean anything from off the electric grid to off the entire energy grid or more. How about Off the food grid. And off the water and sewer grid. Maybe even off the money grid. I’m using grid as a metaphor for systems I guess. Though with many systems its impossible to be 100% off-grid. So what we try to do is gain a measure of independence. Right now I’m 90% off the power grid. I’m off the water and sewer grid 100% (with well water and septic) I’m trying to pay down debt to get more off the money grid. Though my income requirements are still high. How about the medical grid? I don’t have health insurance and I don’t go to the doctor often but I do have two prescription meds I uses and 4 or 5 over the counter meds. I won’t go off the internet grid :) . I am a licensed Ham so I can do radio instead of cell phone. But I won’t go off the cell grid either. No land line. I use propane for heat and cooking. I use electric for a/c. But I’m not home much because of my career. I try to do some shared gardening with friends but don’t really produce much food. I only learn about producing food. I am off the rent/mortgage grid, I have friends that let me park my camper on their land for fee. I have guns which free’s me only a little from the police grid.
There are a lot of ways to look at it actually. Mainly we are talking about being off the energy/water/sewer grids.February 12, 2013 at 9:31 am #44732
100% off the power grid, water grid, sewer grid, mortgage grid, and 100% in a hybrid frame/rammed earth tire eco-home, with backup systems. A/C not required, but heat is 8 months(except in the Earthship).
However, we still need propane and gasoline for our hybrid 4WD SUV. We are remote enough to require satellite TV, but do have a land line and supposedly high speed internet. Cell phones do not have reception here either. We are on the health care ‘grid’ with the VAMC 36 miles away, and can’t grow all our food so must go 18 miles to a grocery store monthly or less. Still pay $400/year each for taxes and insurance. If TSHTF we could last at least 2 years, then have to go more primitive., especially in 8 years when the batteries need replacement.February 13, 2013 at 11:33 am #44734
Board Administrator: I can’t reply in the thread I started because each time I click onto it, I’m logged off. :( So, to Dustoffer, I followed your links and loved the photos! You’re rockin’ it in your greenhouse and you’re right, “plants DO love music!” LOLFebruary 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm #44736
Cahow, just reload the page and you should show as logged in.
WrethaFebruary 13, 2013 at 9:32 pm #44738
Your tip worked like a charm, Wretha! Thank you and enjoy that endless sunshine in Texas. :)February 14, 2013 at 12:11 am #44741
We live off-grid. No wires, pipes or cables within a mile.February 15, 2013 at 1:59 am #44761
something went wrong above and I thought I had to enter the same comment a 2nd time.. oh well. I thought the first one didn’t go through.. I’m not sure which one should be left..May 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm #45659
We live off-grid in the forests in Sweden, we are not connected to any utility service, all electric is supplied by the sun through 4 x 110w solar panels and stored in large capacity batteries, an inverter gives us 220v when needed. All the water comes from a hand operated pump / well, and rain water, heating is by wood, cooking is done on a wood burning stove, we use a compost toilet. All grey water is filtered then used for watering the plants…May 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm #45660
Your Swedish home and surroundings sound like bliss. :)May 5, 2013 at 9:40 pm #45678
A big part of living off the grid for us has been the ability to unplug from the monetary system as much as possible and when we do connect to it we do it through our passion producing and selling natural products, as it turns out its a perfect time to show others how to disconnect from the grid by making or growing most of what you buy when your on or in the grid. http://www.sacredmountainherbals.com/ we use any profits we have above our basic needs to give back to the local community through our small farm http://growraysoflight.com/ the farm we have been homesteading is on the power grid but we had plans to disconnect it and then we found a new property all most 200 acres in North Carolina, smokey mountains and we will with a small group of like mined souls go as off the grid as possible. Glad to have found this forum and thank you all so much for sharing such great information with us all. We are looking forward to connecting to many of you on the new grid we seem to be creating here, Peace, Love and Understanding that we are the ONE’s we have been waiting for and this is our time! Ziggy and Tammy
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