Living a Sustainable Lifestyle
The decision to go off the grid started in 2006 when we moved to the farm and had to look at replacing the existing furnace and started looking at alternative sources of heating. The real decision to go off grid was pretty much made for us when our electrical bill doubled in 2008 and then doubled again when the new "smart meters" were installed. Thus, to say, the decision to go off grid has been driven by economics.
For us, living off grid means:
- Utilizing solar and wind power with a back-up diesel generator
- Heating with wood (outdoor wood stove) with propane furnace as a back-up
- Use cold water instead of hot water whenever possible
- Cooking on a propane stove specifically designed for off-grid living
- Cooking on an outdoor propane BBQ
- Maintaining our old fashioned wood burning cook stove for emergencies
The decision to go off grid has also entailed a complete lifestyle change. What we give up, we only hope to gain in the smaller footprint that we leave behind in this world. Here are some of the lifestyle changes that have been made:
- We use an outdoor and indoor clothes line to dry our cloths
- We use low energy light bulbs throughout all buildings on the farm
- We do not flush the toilet after every use
- We have a seasonal outdoor composting toilet
- We do not use an automatic dishwasher
- We refrain from using electrical kitchen appliances
- We are mindful of bathing and showering habits
- We burn candles and avoid leaving unnecessary lights on
- We utilize and collect hand tools as opposed to power tools whenever possible
- We minimize our use of electrical appliances, tools, toys and luxury items
- TV's, computers, printers, etc. are plugged into power-bars which are turned off when not in use
Living off-grid was a great and wonderful experienced that trained us to live much more simply and sustainable. Unfortunately, in 2017 our backup battery bank became obsolete and died on us. Our current income will not allow us to purchase new batteries. We are therefore back on the grid, however, we still use all possible means to live frugally, and with as small a footprint as possible.
In 2018 we added a line of products to help promote consumers to getting off plastic. Take a look at some of our reusable handcrafted products.
The following are projects that we have undertaken here on Earth Haven Farm to either live off-grid or to create a more sustainable lifestyle.