how to live off grid during coronavirus

Crucial First Steps for Taking Your Home Off-Grid

Living off grid isn’t for everyone, but for the nearly 200,000 Americans who’ve made that decision, it’s incredibly freeing. Not only does off-grid living save money on utilities, but it also positively impacts the environment.

Once you’ve finally found the perfect off-grid location for your home, you’re almost ready to take the leap. The most crucial step in living off-grid is ensuring you’re fully prepared for the path ahead. Here are three essential steps you need to take to get your off-grid home move-in ready: 

Access to a Water Source

If you haven’t purchased your off-grid property yet, be sure to find a location with access to a natural water source. If that option is unavailable, the next best thing is an off-grid home where you can easily haul water. Some off-gridders use a rainwater collection system or rely upon hand-dug wells. If you’re using a natural water source, it’s critical to your health and safety to boil or treat your water before drinking or cooking with it.

Bottom Line: The CDC and the EPA both warn that unclean drinking water can lead to severe, sometimes deadly, health concerns, like infections from E-coli, as well as cholera, typhoid and Hepatitis A. Prioritize access to clean water from day one.

A Consistent Food Supply

Many people who live off grid hunt, fish, forage and garden for their meals. Take time to learn those skills and stock up on any supplies you’ll need. Secure all the licensing and permits you’ll legally need to hunt in your area. If relying solely on hunting and fishing won’t provide enough sustenance, consider cultivating vegetable gardens, nut trees, andorchards.

Bottom Line: Learn how to hunt, grow, can and preserve foods. Stock up in preparation for the winter months. Keep a supply of dehydrated food on hand to help during shortages and emergencies.

Manage Your Waste Responsibly

Being off grid means you won’t have access to city and county services like waste removal and sewage. It will become your responsibility to manage your own waste. For instance, you might use traditional composting to dispose of kitchen and paper scraps. Research which vegetables and scraps are compostable and create a plan for disposing of meat and human feces. Many homeowners use a composting toilet to turn bodily waste into fertilizer. Composting toilets can also save roughly 60 percent of your water usage. 

Bottom Line: Try to generate as little trash as possible. But it’s impossible to generate no trash, so think about where you can haul trash, like nearby dumps or trash compactors. Consider other sanitation supplies like steramine tablets, Rid-X and Bio Clean.

Additional Off-Grid Considerations

There are many other important aspects of living off grid, like determining your main power source (such as hydro, solar, or gas generators) and building a structure to withstand the elements. However, clean water, a regular food supply and proper waste management are essential to prioritizing your health and safety while living off-grid.

Living off-grid has severalbenefits, but it takes a lot of work, especially at first. Now that the entire world is seeing the impact of the a global pandemic like the coronavirus, more people are looking into off-grid living. While this lifestyle won’t guarantee you a healthier life, it can potentially lead to a reduced carbon footprint, a simpler and lower-stress lifestyle, and a quieter way of living.

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It’s that time of year again. Time to start getting used to colder weather, pumpkin spice lattes, and fewer hours of sunlight. It’s officially fall and that means that winter is just around the corner. In many places across the U.S. this year, it’s going to be a doozy. Why not make sure that your house is taken care of this winter by putting in a little elbow grease right now before it gets too cold and snowy? Winterizing your home can help you out in two major ways. First, it saves you money by helping to lower your heating bills and second, it helps save you time by checking a few small things off the list now to prevent a much larger disaster in the future. Who doesn’t love saving time and money? Let’s get started.

Congratulations on your new home! It’s an exciting time for sure, but just because you’ve finally closed doesn’t mean the work is over. Chances are, there are more than a few projects out there that would make both you and your house happy. Some of those projects may require a professional, but there is always something you can DIY as well. So roll up your sleeves, break out the tool kit, and get ready for the new homeowner’s project to-do list. 

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Whether you’re selling your home in order to move across town or across the country for a job or you’ve found an even more perfect dream home close by, you’ll always want to get the most out of your home when you sell it. Of course, timing is everything, and when you sell your home will have a huge effect on how much it sells for. However, you don’t always have the most control over when you sell. What you can control is how great your home looks to potential buyers when they drop by for a showing. Let’s look at a few easy and high return on investment projects that you can start doing today to help you get the biggest return on your home.

Everyone loves a good do-it-yourself home repair project, and if you own a home, then you’ve surely tried your hand at a few. That’s smart. Basic home repair is easily learned by even the most inexperienced handyman, and it would cost you quite a bit of money to contract out every little thing that goes wrong with your house. There are, however, some home repair projects that are better left to the pros. When it comes to these problems, leave your pride at the door and open up the checkbook. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Home security is important to everyone, and if you have children or elderly family members living at home, it’s likely even more of a concern. Ensuring that your house is well guarded against would-be intruders can be a big job, however, especially if you own a lot of property or are on a tight budget.

The good news is that there are many options available for those who want to amp up their home security, from simple DIY projects that can be done in a weekend to more involved, professional jobs. The key is to sit down with your spouse or partner and talk about what you want, what you need, and what makes sense for your budget. Work out a timeline to get everything done in and do some research on different companies around town that can help you out.

Once you’ve got a plan, think about these options for home security.

Continue reading “Home Security: When To DIY And When To Call In The Pros”

They say a car starts to lose its value the moment you drive it off the lot. Thankfully, your house is entirely different. Now that the housing market has recovered, your home should be increasing in value a little bit each year.

The key word there is “should.” If you do not take good care of your place, it can start to lose value as amenities and structures begin to age. Regular maintenance like cleaning can help a lot, but so can the right home improvement project. Read on to learn more about what remodeling you can do, including which project to pick.

Continue reading “Great Home Improvements You Can Do Yourself”

If your home doesn’t have much storage space, or if you like to add touches of style throughout your home, consider hanging various types of shelving. Fortunately, adding shelves to your home is a fairly simple process that is relatively inexpensive. This ultimate guide to DIY shelving will get you started on making a space more functional or decorative.

  1. Open Kitchen Shelving

Open kitchen shelving is on trend and is a fantastic way for you to add more storage while adding some decorative touches at the same time. You may have dishes or drinkware that you love and want to display, or you may want to add pops of color with funky bottles or mugs. No matter what you choose to display on your shelves, be sure you are ready for the visual impact open kitchen shelving makes and that you are ready to do a little more dusting and organizing.

One of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways to create open kitchen shelving is removing a pair of cabinet doors from your existing cabinets. Give open shelving a test run this way before putting holes in your walls. This Old House design editor Tisha Leung points out that it’s simple to put the doors back on if you feel too cluttered.

For a quick and easy solution, install a couple brackets and place planks on top for a rustic open shelf. Be sure to measure and use a level when installing your shelves, and use a stud finder and then screw the brackets into wall studs to make them sturdy. To make your shelving functional in addition to decorative, put frequently used items on bottom shelves and decorative or less-used items on higher shelves. Mix decorative and functional pieces or add antique or vintage items to your open kitchen shelves.

Continue reading “Ultimate Guide to DIY Shelving”