Modern living can be difficult at times, and so many people all over the world choose to start living a new way of life, the off grid lifestyle. It can be as eco friendly as you wish to make it whilst giving you a simpler life that can be so in tune with nature. Basically, off grid living means to live on your own without being connected or dependent on urban infrastructures. You produce your own power, use your own water source, and maybe even grow your own food.
So the question is, is it possible to live off the grid in the UK? The short answer is yes. You can live off the grid in the UK and start experiencing a free and independent life. More than that, living off the grid also means you save a lot of money in the long run. The environment will supply you with energy, heat, water and food.
Of course, there are challenges along the way. The transformation to this new life can be difficult and may even seem impossible. However, many people around the world did it, and they fully embraced this off the grid lifestyle, despite the difficulties. So here is how it can be done in the UK as well.
What Does It Mean to Live off the Grid?
Generally speaking, it does not matter where in the world you choose to live off the grid. As was briefly mentioned, this way of living can be difficult at times. There is an initial investment to be made and hard work to be done, in order to get everything up and running, but at the end, you will achieve your dream to live off the grid in the UK.
You will probably spend a lot or most of your time outside, in nature, as you will be disconnected from urban life and infrastructure.
You will need to produce your own power, have a water source (and purify water if necessary), maybe grow your own food, and know how to deal with waste and sewage.
You will need to be ready and know how to handle unexpected situations (such as a bad weather) and how to repair, fix and build things on your own. You will be the one fully responsible for the maintenance of your new off grid home and surroundings.
You will need to be ready and comfortable with being on your own and with your family only. Friends can be far away, but you can still be in touch via off grid Internet, so you’re not entirely disconnected from modern world.
Advantages of Off Grid Living
Now that you have a glimpse of what off grid living means, here are some of its benefits and advantages, both in UK and anywhere in the world:
You will start living healthy, away from pollution, noise, and stressful urban lifestyle.
You will save a lot of money in the long run, as you will have no more utility bills now that you live off the grid and completely on your own.
You will start living in tune with nature, Mother Earth and the environment.
You will become more responsible for your environment, independent and peaceful.
You will be able to live in a remote, natural place that is stunningly beautiful.
You will become self-sufficient and self-sustainable
Finding and Choosing a Location
This is probably the first and most important thing when planning to live off the grid. You need to find land that is both affordable and suitable for off grid living. If you live in the UK, consider buying a piece of land for your new home. However, don’t forget to check if you still need to pay council tax that correlates to the size of your purchased lot. Check the local laws to avoid accidentally breaking them.
Woodland: A very good option, since wood can be a fuel source as well as a building material.
Arable land: A fertile land that allows you to grow food on your own as well as raise livestock.
Water source: You can choose a location that is near a water source, as there is no life without water. Fresh water is crucial for survival, so prefer a location near a stream, river or well, and remember to purify the water if needed.
If you plan to live the off grid lifestyle in a static caravan or a yurt, then you shouldn’t have to worry about planning permission though it would be prudent to check. If you’re planning to live in a permanent home, then you would need go through the UK Planning Permission System.
You will need planning permission in the following cases:
When you are planning to build something new
When you want to make a big change to your building
When you want to change the use of the building
For more about UK planning permission and to learn how to apply for it, please visit the Planning Permission website.
Some off griders use wind or water power to generate electricity, if they are close to a water source, the most common source to generate power and electricity is by using solar panels.
If you can live near a water source, which can supply water for drinking, cooking, washing and basically living, that would be great. However, that is not always possible. Naturally, you should purify and sterilize the water before consumption because it can be contaminated.
If you truly want to live and feed off the grid, then it’s time for you to grow your own food. You can grow vegetables, fruits, grains, raise livestock for the purposes of dairy products and meat, build a coop, and more.
Can I live off the grid in an RV/motorhome/campervan? You absolutely can. However, you should get yourself a self-contained RV. This kind of RV has everything you need to become your new mobile home. It usually has running water, sewage tank, generator, kitchen, sleeping area and some other necessities.
Living off the grid does not usually require a lot of land. You work with what you have. Some may even argue that living off the grid is what we were born to do. It can be done if you have the courage to follow your dreams.
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