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  • Writer's pictureBuchanan's Bighorn Ranch

8 Simple Ways to Be More Off-Grid

I'm sure that most people have thought about how dependent we've become on electricity and the power grid. If you live in a city then there's also the added grid of public transportation that we're all plugged into as well. At what point do you consider your self-sufficient enough as an individual? Are there things you can do to reduce your footprint and become more self-sustainable or off-grid?


Going off-grid can seem like a daunting task but it doesn't have to be that way. There are many ways you can begin to lessen your reliance on the grid. Let me show you some easy ways to get started being more off-grid and self-sufficient.


Grow Your Own Food

Growing your own food is a great way to be more off-grid. You can grow fruits, vegetables and herbs that can give you the nutrients your body needs for good health. Growing your own food will also help you save money on groceries because once your plants are mature, you will harvest them and then use them as ingredients in meals.

Growing your own food can take many forms, from planting a garden in your backyard to raising chickens for eggs. Here are some ways to get started:


Plant a Garden

This is one of the most popular ways to grow your own food. Planting a garden can be as simple as planting seeds in pots on your patio or balcony or as complex as creating an entire greenhouse or vertical garden within your home.


Raise Chickens

Chickens are great for producing eggs, but they also provide fertilizing fertilizer, pest control, and entertainment value! If you're not ready to take on the responsibility of raising chickens full time but still want the benefits they provide, consider buying eggs from local farmers or joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program that allows members to purchase produce weekly from local farms.


Develop a Water-Purification System

Water is a precious resource, and that means it's important to make sure there's enough of it for everyone. But what if you're off-grid? How do you ensure that your family has enough water to bathe, drink and cook with?


The answer is simple: You develop a water-purification system. It's easy to do, but it can be difficult to figure out which method works best for you. Luckily, we've got some tips on how to get started.


What Kind of Water Purification System Is Right for You?

There are several methods of water purification that are commonly used by off-gridders, including distillation and filtration. Distillation involves boiling water until all its contaminants evaporate — this method is most often used in areas where the water supply has been contaminated by chemicals or microorganisms. Filters remove particulates from water by passing it through a fine mesh screen or other filter media before being delivered back into the potable water system — this method is most often used in areas where turbidity (cloudiness) is an issue rather than chemical contamination or microbiological contamination (such as bacteria).


Have a Backup Generator

If you live in an area prone to power outages, consider installing a backup generator. Generators run on gas and propane and help keep your home livable during a blackout by providing electricity to essential appliances such as refrigerators and freezers. The downside is that they can be noisy and smelly, so they’re not ideal for use all the time. However, they’re great for emergencies when you need them most.


Install LED Lights

LED lights last longer than traditional lightbulbs and they're much more energy efficient, which means they won't cost as much over time. They also come in all shapes and sizes, meaning there's no reason not to have them in every room of your house!


Make Use of Solar Power

If you're looking for a way to reduce your dependence on external sources of energy, then solar power is the way to go. The technology has come a long way in recent years and it's now possible to install solar panels on your home relatively easily and cheaply. However, if you don't have enough space on your roof or aren't keen on installing panels there, then you can always buy an off-grid solar generator instead. These portable devices can be used in almost any location and they're very simple to use: just plug them into an outlet and let them charge up over time (typically 12 hours). Once fully charged, they provide enough power for basic use — such as charging phones or running lights — when there's no other electricity around.


Start Collecting and Using Rainwater

Rainwater harvesting is something we should all be doing — not only because it's good for the environment but also because it can save you money on your water bill!


You don't need any special equipment to start collecting rainwater; if you live in a climate where it rains regularly, all you need is a large container – like an unused storage bin or large bucket – that has holes in its bottom so water can drain into it. If you live in an area where it doesn't rain very often, consider investing in a rain barrel attachment for your downspout so that more of your roof's runoff goes into your storage container instead of running down into the street or storm drain system (which leads directly to our waterways).


Compost

Composting is one of the best ways to reduce your dependence on fossil fuels. Composting uses microorganisms like bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes to break down organic matter into humus. The process creates heat that speeds up decomposition and also releases carbon dioxide into the air as a byproduct of metabolism in these organisms. This process is how nature recycles dead plants and animals back into soil for new growth.


Composting food waste keeps it out of landfills where it would otherwise decompose slowly in anaerobic conditions without producing any useful byproducts, like heat energy or CO2 gas which plants need to grow. It also reduces landfill space needed for trash, which helps save natural resources like trees that would otherwise be cut down for paper products made from virgin trees rather than recycled paper products


Hang Up a Clothesline

This one is a classic. It's cheap and easy, and it doesn't require any special equipment or even electricity. You can just string some rope between two trees or posts and hang your clothes out to dry. This is also good for airing out bedding or blankets that might otherwise get musty from being stored away for too long. With a clothesline, you won't have to use your dryer most of the time, saving energy.


Become more self-sufficient and independent

If you think you can't be self-sufficient, think again. It doesn't have to mean growing your own food or saving for an off-grid retreat. You can make simple changes that can shift your life towards a more sustainable existence and benefit the planet as well. Growing some of your own veggies is just one step on that path. You can also recycle, compost, install solar panels, and many other small things that will add up to a big difference over time.


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