In an off-grid house, the question of efficiency becomes the most important matter than those of regular-homes that are using power from an energy provider. When you commit to living off-grid, you need to have a serious look at your consumption and ways to conserve energy. Though the efficiency of energy production is improving, still the availability of a variety of consumer electronics in everyone’s home has led to more and more power consumption. It’s easy to use these electronic machines when you are connected directly to the power grid. But it is hard to use them when you are counting every KW/hr. against your energy production capacity. Adopting the off-grid living style is often required to reduce your energy consumption in the home.
In this article, we will describe some of the easiest ways to conserve energy that you are sustainably producing for your home – starting with some simple tips that help provide a good start in improving your home’s efficiency.
Preparing to Go Off-Grid to Conserve Energy
Going off-grid means you’re going to leave a consumerist inspired lifestyle to adopt a more simple life. But the transition doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly abrupt. By taking little steps today, you can see the possibility of living off-grid becoming a reality for yourself. And you can easily save both the energy and the money while you are at it!
Don’t Buy If You Don’t Need It
While going through shopping malls, you may see many new electronic machines available in the market. They may look appealing to you to the extent of buying them. But for a person adopting a simple lifestyle should always give a second thought before buying anything. Do you really need them, or they’ll just end up adding to the clutter of your house? These electric gadgets require energy in many ways, i.e., energy for their production, transportation, operation, and recycling or disposing of. So, by not purchasing them in the first place, you have just saved some of that valuable energy.
Make the Maximum Use of Your Hands Power
Being an off-gridding person, you need to use more human power to become less dependent on electronic appliances. Use a manual chopping machine over a food processor. It requires minimum space, uses only human power, and does the job perfectly. Ride your bike to work, which makes you fit, and also saves fuel energy. Consider washing your dishes and clothes by hand instead of running the dishwasher and using a washing machine. And, for drying laundry, use a clothesline instead of a cloth dryer. Let your hair dry naturally in the sun instead of using a hairdryer. For fun activities, read newspapers or books and play outdoor games instead of playing video games indoors. All these activities require no batteries or electricity, so they are a sure way to conserve energy and the environment simultaneously.
Simplify Your Life to Conserve Energy
Simplify your life by changing your behavior. When driving, take the shortest routes to save fuel and time. Turn off the engine when the traffic signal turns red or while parking the car. Use public transportation over personal vehicles whenever possible. It not only helps keep the environment clean but also saves you from parking troubles. Categorize nearby shops and cover several in one trip to save time and fuel. For example, if you are going to a dairy shop for milk, stop at the next-door pharmacy shop for medicine and toothbrush. Make a list of your grocery needs for one week and buy them at once instead of going to supermarkets every day. Eventually, these things will become your habits, and your energy costs will reduce.
Changing Habits to Conserve Energy
There are huge improvements that you can make by changing your daily chores habits. Turn down the heat as it costs a lot of energy. Avoid using a microwave oven to heat your food and an electric heater to warm your house during winters. Use wood in the fireplaces as a primary heat source. Most people living off-grid prefer using wood to keep their homes warm during winter. You can also use wood-burning stoves for cooking food.
Furthermore, as compared to other big home appliances, the refrigerator consumes most of your energy budget. So, avoid opening it repeatedly and remove all the required items at once. Moreover, put food inside when it reaches room temperature. This way, you can save and invest energy where it is actually needed.
To meet your water needs, you can bore a well for household usage. Building a rain barrel to collect rainwater is also a good idea and, you can use it for watering your garden plants and trees.
We all love living in a well-lit house, but the extra use of electric lights increases energy consumption. So, use them only where light is actually needed. With some considerations, you can conserve energy. The first task is turning off the lights when not required. Switch off all the lights when you leave a room or your house.
The second task is replacing your existing light bulbs with energy-saving options. Depending on your usage and choice, check LED and CFL lights. They both come in a variety of lumens and color spectrums to satisfy your lighting needs.
Unplug When Not in Use to Conserve Energy
Unplug the devices when not use if you want to conserve energy. Some of the electronic devices use electricity even in standby mode. The examples include TV, computers (desktop and laptop), and even your table lamps. By merely unplugging them, you can save a lot of energy.
The main goal of an off-grid lifestyle is reducing dependency on others and becoming self-sufficient. If you have chosen the off-grid lifestyle for economic reasons, more efficiency means more saving (both short-term and long-term bases). And if you have committed to this lifestyle for environmental reasons, less energy usage also ensures a clean and green environment. Adopt the above-discussed habits and strategies to conserve energy to use in a much-needed place while living off-grid.