Chances are, when you hear that someone is living off the grid, you picture a remote cabin somewhere with a river flowing nearby and an extensive garden. In other words, a separate homestead far away from other society. For some folks, getting their hands on that kind of property just isn’t an option. So what do you do if you live in a big city and you’d still like to live off the grid? Here are several tips to get you started.
Grow Your Own Food
If you have a yard, consider planting a garden. Soil conditions can vary depending on where you’re located, so you may look into doing raised garden beds to ensure maximum soil nutrition. You may even be able to get away with raising chickens or goats in some cities! If you don’t have a yard, you can still grow many fresh vegetables in window planters and rooftop gardens. Stocking up on food supplies and having a reserve on hand should be your goal.
Rainwater is an invaluable resource to those wishing to live off the grid, and the cities get just as much rain as the countryside. Look into purchasing or building your own rain barrels or rain catches. While it’s not recommended to use reclaimed rainwater for drinking water (although it can be done with proper sterilization), it can be used in many other ways, from laundry to gardening and toiletry functions.
Part of the off-grid lifestyle is learning to reuse just about everything. Food scraps can be added to your garden as compost and milk jugs can be turned into window planters. As the kids outgrow their clothes and toys, see what can be modified and reused in other areas around the house. Old T-shirts make great cleaning rags and medical supplies in a pinch, and plastic toys can be cut up and reused as garden stakes and various other implements.
Once you put your mind to it, there are countless ways you can become more self-sufficient while living in the city. In most cases you simply do what your country neighbors are doing, only on a smaller scale.