If You Can’t Go Completely Off The Grid What Options Do You Have

OffTheGridSelfSufficiency

 

When going completely off the grid isn’t practical, consider becoming more self reliant. When you live in an urban environment going completely off the grid isn’t always workable.

Possibilities to incorporate an off grid lifestyle are endless just as our priorities are different for us all. For my way of thinking there are three primary motivations to go in this direction. They are to improve my standard of living, become less dependent on outside services and reduce expenses.

It isn’t always necessary to give up any conveniences either. Sometimes you have to spend some money to get there but if the long term benefits make sense it’s well worth it.

For example you have to make an upfront investment to enjoy the reduction in electric costs by switching all your lighting over to compact florescent’s or better yet LED’s. This is very doable, a little at a time, or all at once if you can afford it. Here’s a link to a comparison chart  for LED’s, incandescent light bulbs & compact fluorescent’s (CFLs)

Here in Florida air conditioning is our primary energy expense. In other parts of the country it might be heating. In either case it makes a lot of sense to improve the overall insulation of your home. It’s a one time expense. Of course there’s a cost benefit ratio to consider but you spend the money once and reap the benefits forever. When energy was cheap we didn’t think much about wasting it but over the years energy has become a significant part of our living expenses.

What about the rise in cost of our food not to mention the reduction in it’s nutritional value. The latest gimmick food producers are using is to reduce the size of the contents and raise the price just a little. They take the general public for being stupid. The box or can appears to be the same size but it no longer has the expected quantity of food in it.

Over the years our food has lost a significant nutritional value. Read Senate document 264 published in 1937 regarding the loss of nutrition to learn just how concerned scientists were back then let alone today.

That brings me to my next suggestion, urban gardening. Many of us had no idea how much better tasting and more nutritious homegrown produce can be until we started gardening. What got me started was a video I watched on Hulu. I mainly started for the health benefits but I soon realized how much better the produce tasted. The video is called The Gerson Miracle. It’s free to watch on Hulu. Early in the 1900’s Dr. Gerson discovered that he could cure many different diseases through the nutritional benefits of juicing. Watch the movie. I guarantee it will change the way you think about your health.

Since watching that movie I started gardening and juicing. After researching juicers online  I bought a Breville slow speed juicer from Amazon. It I had to do it over again I wouldn’t recommend the Breville. Don’t get me wrong I like the Breville and it works pretty good but the Omega slow speed juicer IMHO is better and has a better warranty. Here’s a link to the Breville I bought and a link to the Omega if I end up needing another juicer. Compare them for yourself.

In the process of learning about the nutritional benefits of juicing I discovered the ANDI scale which if you’re not familiar with it is a nutritional rating system. The nutritional value of food is rated on a scale of 0 to 1000. Soda is rated at 0 while greens such as Kale or collards are rated at 1000. As a result of learning that I planted some Red Russian kale

Here’s a shot I took of it on April 6.
 

RedRussianKale

 

This year I’m experimenting with raised beds, sub-irrigated containers, off grid hydroponics and dutch bucket hydroponics. Here’s a shot of my sub-irrigated tomato plants that are just starting to blossom.
 

Sub-IrrigatedTomatoes

 

I have lettuce growing in an off the grid hydroponic box that doesn’t require any electricity. The plants grow in a hydroponic solution. As the level goes down the plant roots follow it and continue to grow. You’ll see a gallon milk jug in some of the shots for a size comparison.
 

OffGridHydroponics

 

OffGridLettuceHydroponics

 
Below is a shot of my lettuce in a raised bed
 

RaisedbedLettuce

 

Below is an overhead view.
 

LettuceInRaisedbed

 
My Dutch Bucket Hydroponic tomatoes & peppers are also flourishing. I can’t wait to see what the production will be like.
 

DutchBucketHydroponicTomatoesOutdoors

 
I hope the content above will give you the incentive to improve your standard of living, become less dependent on outside services and reduce expenses.