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Homeowners can harness the infinite amount of energy produced by the sun by using pv solar panels. The power of the wind can also be used to produce viable electricity by the use of wind turbines. Solar panels need to be perfectly clean for them to be efficient and properly absorb the suns energy and turn it into usable electricity. Your solar panels may not produce enough electricity on cloudy or overcast days, and with wind turbines you may only get an hour or so of good wind every day. Off the grid living is definitely possible, though you will need a lot of patience, responsibility, and a bit of savings for the equipment. Preparing for disasters can mean the difference between life and death, but putting together plans and kits can be overwhelming. Most relief agencies recommend people put together a 72 hour emergency kit – enough food, water, and medical supplies to keep each person in a household supplied for three days.
This 2 page list from PG Ward includes visuals on what you should include in your 72 hour kit as well as lists for additional things you should include in a car kit, a child kit, and a pet kit.
While not exactly a printable, Top Spec US has put together a nice, simple graphic showing what to pack in a bug out bag.
This lovely home in Bellingham, WA features a massive photovoltaic system in the front yard that allows it to operate completely off-grid. The wood-clad home reflects the spirit of the upper Northwest, and it’s built to efficiently integrate into its surroundings and local climate. The Washington area sees a lot of rain, and this home makes good use of the resource by collecting rainwater using via multiple butterfly-esque roofs. You can use a solar box cooker to bake in and I have made delicious biscuits in them that in fact turned out better than those cooked in the oven. You can buy solar cookers and solar ovens already made but you can also take your time and carefully look over one of the ones on this Hub Page and build your own. When your gluing the tinfoil to your old satellite dish consider using the new baking tinfoil that has the parchment paper on one side and the tin foil on the other side. If you have a pot hanging on the hook on the solar cooker be sure you have a lid on the pot and the pot will get hot quicker.
If you have any tips or suggestions on solar cookers or building solar cookers please post them below in the comments section. I make the logs and set them out to dry for a week to harden up and then I stack them on shelf’s and let them set for at least three months before I use them. If you have any suggestions or tips about making paper or cardboard fire logs feel free to post them below.
Who wouldn’t want to produce their own electricity and be completely independent from the municipal power grid? Multiple photovoltaic cells inside of the solar panel catch absorbs the suns light energy and convert it into usable electricity that can be used to power your homes energy needs such as electrical lighting and appliances. Wind turbines catch the wind using rotating fan blades which then turns the generator inside it to produce electricity. The basic models of each type costs thousands of dollars if you want to power your entire home. This means you will often be on the roof of your house cleaning and polishing your solar panels to a perfect shine. The goal is to be as efficient as possible with your power usage and to save on electricity as much as you can. After all is said and done, you will find that living off the grid can be a rewarding experience and save you money in the long run by not paying huge electric bills in the future. Seattle-based firm Prentiss Architects, designed and built the house for a large family looking for a home with a low environmental impact that reflected their East Asian heritage.

While Washington may not be known for its solar resource, it still receives sun and this family wanted to take advantage of what they could with a large photovoltaic system located in the front yard, which allows the home to operate off-grid.
On a sunny day you can cook as easily outdoors with a solar cooker as you can in your home on your electric stove.
In the first video below it tells you exactly how to build a parabolic solar cooker using a old satellite dish, tin foil, a piece of wood and a hook. They light up well then and one of these pressed paper logs will get any fire going or you can just burn these paper logs if you wish. They work fine as long as you have a fire going before you put the logs made out of cardboard on the fire. Off the grid living.Late at night, at the end of a long day, you have pictured your life off grid. Any extra electricity can be stored in batteries to be used later to sufficiently power your home at night when there is no sun to create energy. Like solar power, the electricity produced through wind power can also be stored in batteries for future use. Wind turbines on the other hand are not very high maintenance, but they are prone to heavy damage when winds get too strong, especially during storms, and repairs can be expensive. Green design features mingle with oriental decor in this beautiful project, dubbed the Chuckanut Ridge home. We have to admit, our favorite feature (after the solar panels of course) is the gorgeous red staircase with built-in storage. If you ever get to the point where you don’t have electricity this would be some valuable information to have. You can get all the old newspapers and cardboard you could ever want and you will also need a good quality paper shredder. You can easily turn out a hundred or more of these in a very short time and if you have all your friends to save their newspapers for you and you get all the cardboard out of dumpsters you can produce these paper fire logs for free.
This coming winter I am going to try to burn a lot of the cardboard logs and see how well that works out and how well they heat.
If you’ve ever thought about living off the grid, there are some things you should consider.
You will also require additional electrical wiring in your house so that it can be powered using these alternative sources of energy.
Some people have even gone as far as turning old satellite dishes into solar grills where they can cook steaks, hamburger, or chicken with the power of the sun just like the meat was on a charcoal grill. So far the only difference is that you need a fire going before you put the cardboard log on it. Maybe you ponder becoming a long bearded man living in the mountains, content to be a hermit.You are not alone in your thoughts, as more people are choosing an off grid lifestyle.
The two most popular methods that people use to get off grid power is solar power and wind power. Adding up all the costs, it is clear to see why everyone is still not living completely off the grid yet. You will need to hang your metal grill with three chains and attach each chain to the hook at the end of the piece of wood and your ready to put the burgers on.
Then I mix the two together in another bin at a ratio of 70 percent newspaper and 30 percent cardboard. Some are able to escape the noisy concrete city and move to quiet acreage in the Midwest or another idyllic country setting. I use the 4 in 1 paper log maker like in the photo above and it presses the logs out four at a time. However, for many, like me, work and family obligations make that impossible, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do our best to live as off the grid as possible.Living off grid is defined as being self-sufficient of municipal utilities, such as water, natural gas, electricity, sewer and trash services.

The only drawback is you have to have full exposure to the sun but you can easily cook burgers or chicken in a hurry. Choosing to live an urban off grid life is possible and does have many advantages.One advantage is knowing that you and your family can be prepared and will be able to survive quite well when a disaster happens.
Others have found peace and confidence in their new learned skills along their path to grid-less-ness, but do not conjure up a romanticized version of happily churning your own butter and building an outhouse.
Off-grid living, whether urban, suburban, or rural, isn’t the easiest choice you’ll ever make!Urban living off-gridThe type of home in which you are living determines, in large part, the extent to which you can go grid-free. Apartment life can accommodate a degree of off-grid living, just in a smaller scale.An advantage for both types of homes is that everything you normally need in the course of a day or week is close to home. Walking or biking around town provides great exercise and saves money on gas, vehicle maintenance and insurance. A wagon or cart can be added to the back.Public transportation, like the bus system, can be very economical. Try the various methods of transportation your city offers and know what works best for you.
Combine trips, shop in your local neighborhood and learn of new activities in your community for your family. Libraries, parks, swimming pools, local colleges and recreation centers offer free or low cost entertainment and activities.
It will also help you to save money.Being independent of all utilities may not be possible, but minimizing usage and creating your own electricity can be. Be aware that an entire house solar system will be tied to the grid and will be vulnerable to the effects of an EMP, should that ever occur.Another way to save money and energy is to minimizing your electricity usage.
This will help you realize what you rely on the most and then find ways of coping without that appliance, electronic, or whatever.• Turning off lights. This will help you figure out what kind of lighting you would need in a grid-down emergency.• Throwing on an extra layer of clothing on in the winter• Hand washing clothes• Hanging clothes on a clothes line• Insulating your attic• Wash dishes by hand• Close unused air vents• Swap regular bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbsGoing off-grid with your water and food supplyWe need to use water for cooking, cleaning and washing, we just need to be wise about our water usage.
Try some of these simple methods to reduce your dependence and cost of water:• Short showers, maybe shower at the gym. A 5-minute shower can save you up to 1,000 gallons per month.• Have a 5 gallon bucket in the shower to hold any water that is running while you find the right temperature for your shower. Use this water for plants or flushing the toilet.• Keep a clean dishpan in the kitchen sink.
It will hold the running water you use when washing hands and rinsing veggies.• Use this water for your garden or washing dishes• Install water saving shower heads, faucets and toilets• Use a rain barrel system to collect water for your gardenBegin to minimize your dependence on grocery stores by growing your own food as much as possible. If the plants don’t seem to be thriving, try using more or less water, a fertilizer (consult a nursery), but be sure to make notes. Growing food to any large extent is extremely difficult and can take years to master.Apartment balconies can hold pots for vegetables and you can build vertical growing systems. In a home, you can plant in flowerbeds, allot a spot in your yard for a garden or add containers for additional space.
Another option is to arrange with a neighbor that, in exchange for the use of their backyard for your garden, you’ll give them a percentage of the harvest and cover the cost of water, fertilizer, seeds, mulch, and the like.Choosing to become more self sufficient and rely less on the grid can be an overwhelming thought. You will find more money in your budget to stock up on food and other emergency supplies for your family as you implement urban living off-grid.

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