16 Years of being Off The Grid
For the past 16 years our family has been living off the grid with only solar and wind power to run our home.
Back in 1994 we began a search to find alternative energy options that we could afford. We had to because we had no other options.
It was really a matter of time and money, you see we had lots of time and ... you guessed it, no money. So we found ways to build a wind generator and even found free solar panels for our home.
We spent nearly every cent we had to build our home, and even though we did all of the work ourselves, and used lumber from our own property (that we cut with a chainsaw mill) it still did not make it any easier to power our home.
You see our family is no different than yours. We are just regular people who just want to make a difference in their lives. Our main goal in setting up this project was to lower our electricity costs.
It is getting very expensive out there so we figured out a way to beat it... and now we want to show you how to do the very same thing. Jane used to call it another mortgage, that monthly bill.
And it really was, every month, just like clockwork, and even back in 1993 (our last official electricity bill was paid in April of 1994) it was still over $100. That was a lot for a family just starting out, and now we hear reports of $200, $300 and even more for monthly bills.
Why not cut those costs with renewable energy, our first choice was living off the grid, but you can also do what we have done mostly and still remain grid tied, it is your choice.
Our whole family worked hard to find free solar panels, build our own solar panels, build a wind generator, and learn to install it all ourselves. It took a lot of work but it was really worth it.
Learn Where to Get Free Solar Panels.
How To Build a Wind Generator
The best way to start is to sign up for our weekly newsletter above. Living Off The Grid is not as difficult as you think.
How To Get Off The Grid
Jane and I have been living off the grid for the past 15 years. We have faced many challenges.
Perhaps the most challenging is answering the avalanche of questions of visitors to our home-the hardest one is invariably- How can we get into off the grid living? And most of all Do you think we could create a sustainable Life for ourselves living off the grid?
The question of living off the grid can be answered for you by being honest. I tell our visitors that living off the grid with the stress of modern day life is worthwhile but not easy. We are constantly bombarded by pressures of all kinds. We either bear up or burst; we ask them how much of our chosen lifestyle is actually nourishing us as Human beings? Not much is the usual answer.
Jane and I started Off the Grid Living because of that all to frequent answer. Living off the grid is where we started.
Our Mission at Off Grid Living.
Most often we are defined and identified to everyone we meet by the work that we do. He’s a farmer, she’s an accountant, but are these choices nourishing us or simply putting food on the table.Somehow our identity is lost in the shuffle and we are no longer building our life and our character.
In his book ‘Louder than Words’, Andy Stanley defines character as “the will to do what is right, as defined by God, regardless of personal cost.”
I know that for many years I could not stand up and face that definition- I followed the crowd and did what everyone expected I should do. Go to University, have a great money-making career, be unhappy with my career, retire and do what I want with my life- albeit I would have wasted 60 years in the process.
Our Story...Our journey to Living off the grid began in 1994. I started to suspect there was a better way to live my life, that my destined path was not the normal way of most Canadians.
That year my wife Jane and I bought 20 acres of land, determined to live without the monthly mortgage to the utility company and live a healthy sustainable life. But how? Off the grid living?
First off, our dream was to build our own home. In keeping with our sustainable goal we used logs and stone from our own acreage, felling the trees ourselves, picking and choosing from dead and damaged Spruce, Pine and Cedar.
We used our own chainsaw sawmill to make rough cut lumber from the trees right where they fell with only minimal damage to the surrounding bush. Why go to all of this trouble? The answer we discovered a few years later when we walked through the forest we had harvested to build our home. It was still as we had found it, fresh and healthy, the forest had grown back to replace what we had used.
Our original thoughts proved to be correct: If we were to have a sustained growth of trees in the future for lumber and firewood and animal habitat then we had to take personal responsibility for the growth of the forest. It was up to us. Our lives are built in and sustained in much the same way.
Stopping global warming and climate change has to be handled in much the same way. If we wait for governments to make changes we are not long for this planet... better to take the responsibility for your own actions.It Was Up To Us !
Get started now Living Off the Grid.
If we were to live off the grid we had to do it ourselves. When we began to take control of our own life a funny thing started to happen, the land and our life began to take a clearer form for the future. We had a purpose!
The decision to take responsibility for our own choices also extended to our choice of a power source to run our homestead. We chose a solar off grid system with solar panels and a small wind generator over grid hydro for many reasons, but the main one remains that the sun is a renewable, sustainable resource. By taking responsibility for our power choices we have built sustainability into our life and our lifestyle.
The Off the Grid Choice...
Our lifestyle confuses some of our visitors who are tied into the dependent, disconnected lifestyle that so surrounds us. Simply put, our lifestyle is as sustainable as we choose to make it- for all of us. We are all a reflection of those choices.
In the years since we built our homestead it has become our purpose, our goal, our mission to promote sustainable living through our online magazine Off the Grid Living.
Another example from Rich Warren, In his book, ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ Rick Warren explains perfectly our passion for the subject of sustainability when he said, “Another word for heart is passion. There are certain subjects you feel passionate about and others you couldn’t care less about. Some experiences turn you on and capture your attention…these reveal the nature of your heart.
The first telltale sign is enthusiasm.” Our enthusiasm for sustainable living using renewable energy is contagious. Every visitor to our home is left with the sense that living the lifestyle we have chosen is possible for them- living off the grid is something they can do. It doesn't matter if you live in Canada, the United States, England (UK), Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, or anywhere in Europe or Africa or Asia or South America, Off Grid Living is a choice that you can make.
It is hard work sometimes living as Jane and I were intended to live, but the joy is in the fact that we could go on, endure if you will, any major blowout of industrial society.
When we run out of fossil fuel we will still be able to feed ourselves and produce our own power- we have achieved a state of sustainability in our life.
Not only would we endure, and provide for ourselves quite nicely, but we would also be nourishing ourselves and our need for security, community and family- All things necessary for a sustainable lifestyle off the grid.