What living off-the-grid is not, is not living like you are in a power outage. It’s not like what people went through during Katrina. Living the way we do with our own alternative energy system seems no different from anyone else’s home to me. It is not what many people imagine it to be. One thing I have learned since being on Facebook is, that people who live on the grid, think our life living off-the-grid, is like having a power outage for a period of time. Or going camping. It really makes me chuckle at times. It is not like that. Nor is it like running a generator to keep things going. Nope. When they are suffering from a power outage, we are safe and comfy in our home, using lights and cooking supper like any other day.
- Kerosene Lamp
1. We do not need candles or oil lamps for lights. Not ever!
Propane Cooking Range
2. I cook on a propane modern cooking range as well as a wood cook stove. If I use a rocket stove or a campfire, it is for recreation.
3. We use modern computers hooked up to a satellite every day.
4. We do not live in a cabin or rv or “tiny house” as our off-the-grid house is a regular old farmhouse.
5. We have lived without refrigeration and believe me, it is NO picnic! Now we have a SunDanzer refrigerator, which runs from our alternative energy system. I LOVE it and I wouldn’t want to give it up for anything now!
6. We have, and sometimes still do, wash laundry by hand. But for the most part, I take it to the laundromat. Soon our indoor water will be hooked up and we can use our brand new energy efficient washing machine. The only thing stopping us was that it runs on a computer and it needs the water pressure to run.
7. One thing for sure, it definitely is NOT like camping. That is what everyone seems to think. It is like living in any regular house.
On The Computer
8. No, we do not have a television, but we could. It is our choice not to own one. We are computer people and would rather use our power and time on the computer. Though we can watch dvds on our computers.
Wood Heating Stove
9. As far as heating goes, we use wood stoves for heat and they do not use electric at all. So we are independent with them and that is fine with us. We like having a way to heat or cook that is not tied to any system. It means that we can gather wood if there was some sort of emergency that took down our system.
Water Pump & Shower Jugs
10. Not having running water in our house has not been impossible to live with. Before the end of the year, I think our water will be hooked up and running in the house. Our pitcher pump will still be used outside. Still is not like a power outage’s water situation. Living off-the-grid is nothing like living during a power outage. No way can you compare it to that. The only time we have our system go down is if one of our components malfunctions or if we got struck by lightning.
Though after all that, I have to say that if some big disaster happened and we could not use our power system, we would survive. After all, we have lived without many conveniences and we could again. It wouldn’t kill us. The secret is learning how to do basic living skills now and use them when necessary. Hopefully, you won’t have to. But if you had to, you could!
Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole