So you’ve resolved to try living without electricity for a period of time, but how do you survive without the ever-present electrical grid that seems to be sewn into our lives? Here are 13 tips that will help you go off the grid successfully.
1. Consider food preservation options
If you’re serious about this experiment, then having no refrigeration is going to make things difficult. But there are other means of preserving your food so it doesn’t rot as quickly. Canning jars with gaskets seal nice and tight, so if they’re stored properly there’s little worry about spoilage during hot or cold weather. And if stored in a cool place (or the fridge), dry goods can last up to two weeks after their “Best by” date. Drying your own fruit will make it last much longer, and if you’re trying to live off the grid during warm weather freezing is an option (though not in foil), just remember that sealed freezer bags are reusable.
2. Get used to the smoke
Once you decide that life without electricity isn’t worth living, try out your new smokeless indoor fireplace for cooking! If you don’t have one already, get used to lighting fires inside the house when cooking. You can even use it for warmth when necessary.
3. Make sure you stay organized
Don’t go throwing things in cabinets because “they go together.” Designate places for mixing bowls, baking pans, measuring cups spoons so they don’t get lost in the shuffle. One way to save space is by using a collapsible washing machine that doesn’t need electricity.
4. Get friendly with your neighbours
You’re going to have to rely on each other more than ever if you want this experiment to not fail miserably. If it’s cold, use their wood stove for heat and warm water. If they have an electric car, charge it from your generator when necessary—they can do the same thing for you later too!
5. Give away all of your electronics (including appliances)
It will be much harder for you to get used to living without technology if these items are constantly around: sell or donate them immediately! Once they’re gone, don’t think about them. Don’t worry about watching TV during the super bowl either.
6. Try to leave your house as little as possible
This way you won’t have to face the fact that there’s no electricity in your life at all! It will also force you to appreciate what nature gives us when we’re not polluting with technology.
7. Stop eating out
When there’s no electricity it becomes harder and harder to eat out (and if you’re trying to reduce your use of money, this is a good place to start). Prepare more home-cooked meals and get used to them; learn how they taste before you add any salt—you might like them better without!
8. Keep some alternative power sources around in case of emergencies
Even if you’re trying to go off the grid for a short time, it’s smart to keep some battery-powered lamps and radios around. You should also keep a hand-cranked or solar-powered radio in case of emergencies like hurricanes.
9. Get used to heating water the old fashioned way
If there’s no electricity (or gas) involved, there’s no shower! Your body will eventually adapt if that means saving money and going green at the same time… but it might be rough for a couple of weeks at least!
10. Pay attention to how much power your appliances actually use
Coffee brewers, microwaves and other devices that seem absolutely essential actually use very little energy. Before giving them up completely get familiar with their power requirements and how long they can run without a charge.
11. Cope with the weather
Living off the grid means that you won’t have central heating or A/C, and that’s going to be a lot harder when it’s 90 degrees outside every day! Sleeping in one air-conditioned room is an option, as is buying an evaporative cooler. Be prepared for some hotter nights than usual, but remember: winter will come again soon!
12. Don’t drink caffeinated beverages unless you have electricity
You might think energy drinks are your best bet when there’s no power in sight, but this caffeine addict discovered the hard way that they just don’t cut it without a fridge to keep them cold. She ended up with horrible headaches, but her body will adjust after a few days—just like you’ll need to do with no electricity.
13. Stay positive and love what you’ve accomplished
Despite the struggles, there’s nothing quite like powering your house with renewable energy sources (like solar panels) and never having to worry about an electric bill again! You might just discover that getting rid of all that extra technology has brought back some peace and quiet to your life.
How do you live comfortably without electricity?
Living without electricity is not comfortable. It would be recommended to find a way to get it back in your house, or if you choose to live without, then be creative and figure out how you will do things differently.
Can you live in a house without electricity legally?
You can live in a house without electricity legally as long as you have a habitable structure. You can live in a tent, or a cabin, or an RV. If there is not any plumbing then most jurisdictions consider it not habitable.
Can we live without electricity?
Yes, but it’ll be tough. There are pluses and minuses to living without electricity. The pros are, obviously, you don’t have to pay any bills ever again ever. The cons are that you need an alternative way to cook/heat your house/purify water etc.