5 Easy Steps: Off Grid Tiny House
The motives for people participating in the off grid tiny house movement are vast. Some do it as a measure against materialism, some for a little peace and quiet, and some for environmental conservation.
An ideal that encapsulates this movement is being self sustaining--living off the grid.
As you take your first steps toward an off grid tiny house, think back on these tips so you can make the most of your efforts!
1. Examine Your Energy
Many in the modern world have grown accustomed to consistent access to energy. We tend to take it for granted, and breaking the cycle is hard-- but not impossible.
As fidelity.com puts it, off grid life means you'll need to be energy conscious and willing to make lifestyle changes.
If you're a tech gadget person where your life revolves around electronics, it's going to be extremely hard for you to go completely off the grid.
A great place to start is with solar power. Solar installations for your off grid tiny house doesn't have to break the bank--especially if you start small.
There are a myriad of small devices that can be powered with solar energy--ranging from wall sockets to outdoor lighting. Not to mention smaller installations that can cost less than 100 dollars.
All Things Boat is a knowledgeable resource for boaters, and there's tons of overlap between outfitting a boat and outfitting a Tiny House. Check out Captain Curran's advice on portable solar generators.
If you do want to take the leap and go full solar there is a large initial buy in.
As one couple found out though the technology can pay itself off in the long run--especially with the help of government tax incentives for going green.
Check out our blog post: Solar Powered Tiny House to explore even more solar options.
2. Cooking Food In Your Off Grid Tiny House
Of all the off grid tiny house challenges, this one should cause you the least amount of grief. Two words: solar oven.
Hate to be all gimmicky about solar power, but it is by far the most accessible option when it comes to the average Joe using renewable energy.
1. The Solavore Sport solar oven cooks like a crock pot, allows you to pasteurize water from natural sources and gives you everything you need in an oven without making sacrifices.
2. It's made out of durable, recyclable plastic. Animals can't get in. And it's safe for little fingers-they won't get burned.
3. Bake and cook! You can make a whole array of different recipes without worrying about heating up the kitchen or using any fossil fuel. The only energy you need? The sun. Magic.
4. You won't need to take up any space in the kitchen, the solar oven can hang on on your off grid tiny house.
5. It weighs only nine pounds!
3. Store Your Food Differently
Storing food obviously has specific complications when you’re going off the grid. With the right setup you can store enough energy to keep all your appliances going when the sun is down and the wind stops.
But what if you don’t have such a setup? Here are a couple pointers:
1. Glass containers
When you buy jam at the store or anything that comes in a glass jar, keep it when you’re done, and use that as a food storage container. Mason jars work wonderfully. If you are ready for new tupperware now, buy glass ones, they last a lot longer.
2. Buy in bulk
The more you purchase in bulk, the more packaging you save. Don’t be scared of the bulk section. One thing to be careful of here is not to buy food that you think you’ll waste. Because that just kind of defeats the purpose :)
You may also want to consider keeping more nonperishable food items on hand. For ideas on how to store foods like this check out our Ultimate Guide To Survival Prepping
4. Waste Disposal, Different In Your Off Grid Tiny House
Your off grid tiny house is an environmentally conscientious entity. So the way you dispose of waste should be in line with that.
Even living small can create large amounts of trash.
Start with your food
Not all of your food waste has to be thrown away. Fruit and vegetable scraps, plus food wastes such as coffee grounds, tea bags and eggs shells can be composted.
Compost feeds soil. So if you have a garden then this will be an easy thing to implement. There are lots of resources out there on how to compost, what to put it in your compost pile, etc.
Try to avoid compositing animal products such as bones, fats and cheeses as they can attract animals and odor.
For human waste there are several routes you can go. More high tech options include an incinerating toilet, which uses electric heat to reduce human waste to a clean ash; or a composting toilet which breaks the waste down into a fertilizer.
If these options are out of budget, a latrine system or traditional outhouse work fine as well--but keep in mind both of these limit the mobility of your home.
For further direction on reducing waste, visit our list of the 19 ways you can reduce waste.
A woman fit two years of waste into just one mason jar! It's doable. It starts with mindfulness.
5. Recycle As Much As Possible
Resources for the off grid tiny house dweller can be scarce. By not purchasing new every time you use something you can save time, money and valuable resources.
Recycling plastics is a good place to start. Do keep in mind though, some plastics are not intended for second use and are best taken to your local recycling center.
If you need pointers on what plastics you can recycle, greenlivingtips.com has you covered.
If you're you're currently living full time in an RV or a tiny house, then you're probably already used to living off the grid some of the time.
So going fully off the grid just takes a little planning but comes with a multitude of benefits.
But with some planning and the with the right set up you can take your off grid tiny house almost anywhere and not have to concern yourself with finding a utility hookup.
Rest easy at night knowing you rely on your own tested and proven systems rather than some random utility company.