With the popularity of off-grid aspects like electricity gaining more and more popularity, those looking to lessen their carbon footprints may also find a solution in taking their living situation completely off the grid.
With off-grid options like tiny houses to van life or even simply making off-grid upgrades to a full-size home, there are a number of choices to suit anyone’s preferences. However, when it comes to the benefits of off-grid living, specifically in terms of energy and water supply, there are some considerations worth keeping in mind.
A Greener Way to Live?
Going off the grid might sound quite complex. However, in reality, it simply involves living off of a system that does not rely on remote infrastructures. Like electrical grids for example. In turn, this not only makes for a more autonomous, independent way of life but greatly benefits the environment as well thanks to the manner that aspects of off-grid life are executed.
From composting toilets to a natural source of water, solar energy is yet another prime example of living off-grid that has a positive impact on the environment, as each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar that is generated will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions like CO2 in addition to other pollutants like sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and even particulate matter.
Off-Grid Water Sourcing Options
When it comes to setting up an off-grid water source, there are a number of options worth taking into account. One of the most common off-grid sources is a water well. While these are low maintenance they can also be very expensive to install. Alternatively, collecting rainwater is a free off-grid water source, and can be done effectively via rainwater catchment systems. This involves collecting rainwater that runs off of your roof.
In addition to a treatment and filtration system for the water before consumption, it’s also necessary to consider the limitations of such systems. For example, rainwater catchment systems are only suitable for certain roof types, such as metal or slate roofs, whereas asphalt roofs aren’t, and drinking the rainwater can be quite dangerous.
Eco-Friendly Energy Considerations
Solar energy is a popular option for those going off the grid. It’s easy to install and leads to cheaper energy bills. Additionally, it has several notable benefits regarding the environment. However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are some downsides as well. For example, the amount of solar energy that solar panels actually depend on a number of factors.
This includes the orientation and tilt of the panels, panel efficiency, and also the climate that you’re living in. A heavily shaded environment could affect results, too. Should solar not be the ideal solution for your situation, however, there are other eco-friendly energy options out there. For instance, the use of wind turbines and even hydroelectric (water) energy.
You can lead a greener life in a myriad of different ways. Going completely off-grid is a great example. You can also reduce your carbon with solar energy and the collection and use of natural water sources. But, it’s important to consider imperative factors. For example, the downfalls of solar energy or the cost of installing a water well.