If you have read the article here, you probably have a good idea on how to get off the energy grid in Canada. Getting off the energy grid is simply not enough for some people though, and to truly "get off the grid" there are other steps you can take. For those looking to move beyond just escaping the energy grid and integrating a fully independent lifestyle, here are seven more tips to help you get started.
Know the Land
The first step to any type of effort to get off the grid is to know the land you live in. Being familiar with the weather conditions of your area is the first step, but also knowing features such as potential water access, soil types, and the best seasons to plant are essential to anyone looking to become truly independent.
This goes beyond just knowing the geographical and soil features, but extends also to the local laws. Keep in mind, some of the ideas suggested here are not legal in all areas of Canada, so make sure you follow the rules and regulations that are in place before implementing anything. The last thing anyone wants while trying to become more independent is to suffer legal consequences.
Growing vegetables is a great way to make your family less dependent on the outside world. There are a variety of vegetables that can be grown in cold weather, and learning a bit about farming can save you a lot of money at the store. If you are looking to do something large scale, remember to check your local laws though, and make sure that this will work.
Contrary to what some people think, this is not just something left for those with lots of land. There are plenty of ways to plant wisely and get the most out of the area you have. Even if you are just looking to reduce your trips to the grocery store, having an area of land set aside for farming can go a long way. Just remember, keep planting seasons and soil types in mind, as you will have to adapt with the season.
Though there are some things that simply cannot be substituted, there are a variety of medicinal plants that can be grown throughout Canada. Aloe is one example that can be used on burns, cuts and bruises with beneficial effects. Need a pain reliever? Willow bark actually contains salicylic acid, which is the active metabolite of aspirin. Learn more about natural medicines, and you can really add a feather to your independence cap.
Beyond just fruits and vegetables, you are probably going to want some more substantial food. If you have the ability to do so, having cows or pigs can go a long way. Still, most people don't want to tend for livestock, and fortunately there is an easier alternative. Two easier to care for animals are chickens and rabbits.
Chickens are a great source of food because the female will lay at least an egg a day, so you only need a few of them to get a steady supply of eggs. Rabbits are a bit more work, but since they breed quickly and often, they make a strong case for great renewable food. Another advantage of both these animals is that you need very little room to raise them, so living in the city isn't a deal breaker. Again, check your local laws before considering any action on this part.
Unfortunately, water is one thing that is limited somewhat by geography, but if you have the money and are serious about getting off the grid, having a continual water supply of your own is necessary. Like the other ideas above, this does not have to be a massive project either. If you don't intend to relocate and local laws permit, see if you can get a well installed on your land.
If you do have the money, getting a home near a river is a great start too. Add in the well and some rainwater collectors, and you can be well on your way to a completely independent home. Where water is required though, so is sanitation.
If the option exists, go beyond just being by a river or digging a well and look at installing a septic tank. This is the final step in really getting away from the grid. With renewable power, steady water and food, the only difficulty that remains is the sanitation. By installing a septic tank, you no longer have to worry about paying any sanitation costs, and can truly say that you are off the grid.
One way to further cement your position as someone who lives off the grid is to start developing a skill that can be used for barter. If you're like most individuals, you won't want to completely leave society, so you'll probably still have a job in the city. Even if money is not a concern, start seeing what you can use to trade with other individuals looking to get away from the grid. One idea to build on this is to actually build a community of like-minded people who all have special skills.
Maybe one or more of these is not possible in your area or within your budget. Or, maybe you don't even desire this complete level of independence. If this is the case, don't fret. The reality is that truly escaping the grid is not an easy feat. Just keep in mind that the more steps you can take, the more you cut your costs in the long run and escape from the grip of society. Also, keep in mind that there are cheap and gradual methods to achieve these goals out there, so keep your chin up. In the meantime, celebrate all the independence you can get.Posted by: Ahmed Muztaba