A guest post by Karen
[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win - First Prize a 10 Person Deluxe Family Survival Kit, Second Prize an Herb Seed Bank or Third Prize a copy of Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat. For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]
In a busy world filled with modern conveniences and ever-evolving technology, an off-the-grid lifestyle may seem too challenging to adapt to. The truth is, it is entirely possible to live off the grid, and embracing a green lifestyle such as this can be rewarding in so many ways.
Living off the grid allows you to get away from the hustle and bustle of our hectic world, and to appreciate and enjoy the simpler things in life that come from the Earth itself. By getting back to the basics, you will save money over time, and you’ll reduce the number of carbon footprints you leave on the planet for future generations to come. If you’re thinking that an off-the-grid lifestyle might be for you, read on–here are some tips to keep in mind.
If you want your lifestyle transition to be successful, you need to take some time to research everything involved with off-the-grid living so that you can formulate a plan that will help you ease into it. For most people it’s impossible to make the change instantly–you may need to invest in some land, materials, equipment, and more to help you get started. You will also need to tie-up any loose ends that will give you the liberty to make a clean switch. Determine how extreme you want to go and start thinking about where you want to live, what your energy needs will be, what kind of power you might want to use, what things you should get rid of, and what you need to acquire in order to make the whole thing a go.
It’s much easier to live off the grid if you get rid of your debt first. In order to discontinue utilities you’ll need to make sure all of your bills have been paid. Paying off loans and credit cards will make you more independent and going forward you can pay cash for necessities. All in all, eliminating debt eliminates ties to the outside world–if you don’t owe anyone anything, you will have less chances of being bothered.
Find Land and Establish Your Homestead
A very important decision you will need to make if you decide to live off the grid is where you will actually live. If your current residence isn’t ideal, you might need to invest in some land, and maybe even a home as well. Think carefully about where you’d like to live, taking into consideration things like weather, surrounding resources, and the likelihood of neighbors, just to name a few. If you will be working outside of the home, you should choose a location that will allow you to live off the beaten path but still maintain a reasonable commute time to work.
Take Up Some Productive Hobbies
Living off the grid is a choice to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle, and adapting some new hobbies is a great way to provide for yourself and your family while learning something new and having fun in the process. By taking up gardening you can learn how to grow your own fruits and vegetables, and sewing, knitting, or crocheting will allow you to make your own clothing, blankets, toys, and gifts. You can also learn how to make your own bath and beauty products, cleaning products, and more. New hobbies like these are both enjoyable and rewarding.
Get Some Helpful Advice
One of the best ways to learn the ins and outs of living off the grid is to ask those who have pioneered the way for you. If you know anyone who maintains this type of lifestyle, ask questions and get some suggestions. Someone who is already living this way has undoubtedly run into road-blocks at some time or other and has found a way to get around them. Discussing off-the-grid living with someone who’s been there and done that will help you weigh out the pros and cons, establish a solid plan, and transition as painlessly as possible into this unique yet age-old way of living.
Living off the grid is not for everyone. Most of us are very dependent on technology and all of the conveniences it has afforded us. If you think this type of lifestyle is right for you, make the transition gradually and thoughtfully. With some careful planning and a can-do attitude, you can certainly pull it off.