The Charm of a More Independent, Sustainable Lifestyle
With monthly utility bills on the rise and an increasingly aging infrastructure, the idea of a more independent, sustainable lifestyle is gaining popularity in Australia. More and more families are making a decision to live off the grid and experience the benefits of the true freedom of living and at the same time lessening their impact on the environment.
What it means to go off the grid
Beyond just getting away for a while in your little winter cabin, getting off grid means your home is not connected to public utilities that are in charge of bringing you water, electricity, waste disposal or natural gas. Before the invention of everything we see today, living off the grid was a matter of circumstances rather that choice. Today, living off the grid is a sustainable lifestyle change that is remarkably empowering and liberating as it is rewarding.
You will never have to find a utility bill inside your mailbox!
With a growing trend of self-sufficiency, even homes connected to the grid are pursuing the off-grid technology solar hot water systems and solar cooking.
Once you have found your little slice of heaven, there are a few things you must keep in mind.
The importance of a power generating system
Summer in Australia is hot and winters is cold. Living off the grid means nights will be dark, and this will require you to accommodate accordingly. Solar power can solve all your problems, from heating and cooling the entire house, lighting, and cooking to watching the latest news. Once you change to the off-grid lifestyle, generating your own power will mean staying warm in the winter and having a hot water system to run your home efficiently.
You can combine your solar power with wind energy and an off grid generator as a reliable power backup especially during winter. Other strategies to keep your home energy efficient during winter include
- Smart home designs such as window size and placement
- clever landscaping design
- passive heating using glass doors
- using slow combustion wood to produce heat
water collection system
Living off the grid means self-sufficiency in all aspects including maintaining water tanks. A reliable water supply such as a well or a decent running stream will do just fine. A solar powered water purification system will ensure water safety.
Importance of self-sufficient garden
Now that your solar water heating system is in place, you must also be able to eat. Organic fruits and vegetables will feed your family with just enough leftovers to share with the new neighbour who just moved down the road.