Concerns about the environment are becoming more widespread and we’re all looking for ways to reduce our impact. There are so many ways that you can do that by changing your shopping habits, taking the bus instead of driving, and trying to cut back on plastic. But the most important changes that you can make are the ones back at home.
We use a lot of energy in the home and if you want to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, you need to make some changes. There are plenty of simple changes you can make, which will help you to cut back on energy usage and save yourself a bit of money, while also being more eco-friendly. But if you want to take things a step further, you should consider trying to go self-sufficient. It’s a popular trend right now and more people are adapting their homes so they can generate their own energy. If you set it upright, you don’t need to pay energy bills again, so even if you don’t care about the environmental aspect, it’s still something to consider.
Going self-sufficient can be a lengthy process and you will need to invest a bit of money, but after that initial investment, you will make some huge savings. These are some of the best ways to make your home self sufficient.
The first thing you’re going to need is water, and if you don’t want to be connected to the mains, you need to find alternative sources. The easiest way to get water is by collecting rainwater. If you get a few water tanks out in the garden, you can collect a good amount, especially if you live in a wet climate. The only issue is that you need to filter all of the water so it’s safe for drinking, and it’s a lot harder and more expensive to set up a system to do that. You can use rainwater for things like watering plants or washing the car, but for showering and drinking, you’ll need a different source.
One of your best options is to drill a water bore or a well on the property and use that for water. There are a lot of benefits of water boring over collecting rainwater because you don’t need to worry about dry periods and you can get freshwater that replenishes itself. Once you have paid the initial cost of the drilling, you get free water for a lifetime.
The next big issue is how you are going to generate your electricity. The first thing to remember is that if you are going to go self-sufficient, you will not always be able to generate as much electricity as you would normally use. That means you will have to find ways to cut back on your consumption a little or you will still have to pay a small energy bill to top you up.
When it comes to generating electricity, the most obvious way to do it is by using solar panels. If you have a large amount of land and you can afford it, you should try to buy as many solar panels as possible. If not, you can install a few on your roof and if you do not use too much electricity, this should generate most of what you need. If you do have space and the money to set up some extra solar panels, you may generate surplus electricity which can be sold to generate more income.
The only issue with solar panels is that they are not very efficient at the moment and during the winter, they won’t be able to power your whole house on their own. That’s where wind power comes in. You can generate more electricity, particularly during the colder months, by adding some small wind turbines to your home and garden. When combined with the solar panels, this should be enough to power your home.
Heating The House
Heating the house is tough if you use an electric heater system because it means that you have to generate a lot more energy. If you want to make it easier for yourself, you should look at heating your house with a wood-burning stove instead of an electric or gas heating system. Stoves make it fairly easy to regulate the heat in a room, and the wood to fuel them is cheap to buy. If you have not got any installed in the house, you should consider adding one to start with and seeing if you can cut back on your standard heating. Then, in the future, you can start to add more.
Cutting Energy Usage
If you find that you cannot meet energy demand, you need to find ways to cut back on your usage. Simply being more aware of the energy that you use and remembering to switch things off is important. You should also consider the insulation in your home as well because a badly insulated home is going to be very expensive and difficult to heat. Finally, you should take a look at your appliances and see what the energy rating is. Most old appliances are very inefficient, so if you change them for modern ones, you can reduce the energy burden a lot.
Generating your own electricity and water is the first step, but if you really want to be self-sufficient, you should think about producing your own food as well. The best place to start is with a vegetable patch. There are a lot of simple vegetables that are easy to grow, so start with one or two varieties and build from there. Don’t try to go fully self-sufficient and grow loads of different things right away because you won’t be able to manage it. Once you are successfully producing your own vegetables, then you can start to think about getting chickens or even livestock if you have the land.
This is a guide to going fully self-sufficient but even if you don’t manage that, producing some of your own energy and food makes a big difference.