How to Live Off Grid in a Tiny House: A Beginner’s Guide

As people are becoming more focused on alternative living, the tiny house movement is becoming increasingly popular. It offers a few different experiences all rolled into one tiny package. For those looking to live debt free, it provides that. Others are looking to live in an environmentally friendly way and that is certainly the case with living off grid. And others just want to accumulate less stuff and more memories and since your house is tiny there is no way to not do that.

Whatever the reason for looking for ways to start living the tiny house life, there is a lot you need to know. And if you are looking to live off grid in a tiny house, then there is even more involved so you have to be far more focused.

Off-Grid-House

In this article, we will give you a rough guide that will get you started so you can then do more research to find the ways to get started on this journey.

Go renewable

Living off grid used to mean roughing it. These days people still want the comforts of modern life but without destroying the planet to get it. Luckily, technology has come a long way and you can enjoy all the modern comforts of life in the city while living in the middle of nowhere.

The key is to use renewable energy. Since you won’t be connected to a grid, you have to provide your own power. This means that the first place to look is the sun. Hopefully you will be living someplace sunny so you can get plenty of energy by hooking up solar panels to rechargeable lithium batteries. These batteries are much better than they used to be and can provide up to 100 hours of electricity between charges.

renewable-energy

 

There is also wind power that can do the same thing if you have a system set up that will charge your batteries. You don’t want to only have power while the sun is shining or the wind is blowing so having a battery pack is essential.

If you live near some running water, you can have 24 hour a day electricity by setting up a water wheel to create electricity.

Recycle and reuse

Being off grid means that you have to be very resourceful. The most resourceful tiny house enthusiasts have built their houses with recycled material. This is the ultimate in the philosophy to reuse material and upcycle them rather than recycle.

If you can’t build the house yourself, you can still reuse and repurpose items so you aren’t contributing to a consumerist lifestyle. Look to barter for things to get what you need around the house. Or search the internet for people giving things away for free. You can furnish your house for almost nothing by doing this.

If you have a garden then this is a great way to repurpose material. Old car tires make great pots for planting and can be stacked to go vertical to use less space if your garden is limited. Also, make sure to be composting so you are throwing less away and making use of your trash in a positive way.

Use less and make use of space

If you are a hoarder or love to shop for its own sake, then tiny house living is not for you. You will not have room for things that are not necessary for your day to day life. Of course, you can have nice things and you should be buying things that make you happy. But, living a minimalist lifestyle is essential so you aren’t using up your living space with things that make it difficult to enjoy your home.

And storage is very important so make sure that you have a way to organize with lots of options for getting stuff out of the way. Creating a loft for a bed is a good way to create more living space and then you can make shelves under the stairs that lead up to your bed. This is a good area to keep clothes that are out of season for storage until you need them again.

Grow your own food

One of the biggest areas of waste is getting fed. Moving food thousands of miles to consumers is a huge waste of resources so if you are looking to decrease your carbon footprint, this is a good way to start. If you grow your own food you are providing yourself a huge range of benefits.

Not least of which are the health benefits since you are eating food that is picked at its peak and is packed with nutrition. But it also costs very little in the way of resources to get that food to your table. If you are composting and saving seeds then it is almost zero cost for you to feed your family for most of the year.

Raising chickens will provide eggs and the occasional meat and you can even keep a goat for milk and cheese if you are ambitious.

Use grey water

Water is becoming a very valuable and increasingly stressed resource. We waste quite a bit of it in our daily lives. If you are in an off grid situation, you can make better use of it then just flushing it down the drain which is called grey water. Any runoff from showers or washing dishes should get channeled into an underground treatment tank with gravel and charcoal to then pass through the other side into your garden. It is clean and will not end up in a sewer to go to a large wastewater treatment plant.

greywater-recycling

You should also try to reduce the amount of water you use to begin with. Try a composting toilet so you don’t need to flush any waste water. And low flow fixtures will reduce the amount of water that you use. You should even be collecting water from rain and snow to use for your garden and any animals that you have.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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