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Living off-grid

Updated: Dec 26, 2023

Living off grid
Living off grid

Living off grid Oct 2023-compressed
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Living off Grid


In the digestive tract of the UK, where the National Grid weaves its sinister web, there exists a breed of rebels, modern-day mavericks who've decided to flip the middle finger to convention and embark on a journey into the wild, wild world of off-grid living. Fear and loathing in the heart of the tea-drinking territory, my friends – it's time to unleash the gonzo within and dive deep into the chaotic realm of living off the grid in the United Kingdom.


Off-Grid Insanity: Disconnecting from the Matrix


Picture this: you, surrounded by the constant drizzle and proper politeness of the British Isles, cutting the umbilical cord that ties you to the National Grid. Off-grid living – a decision that separates the brave from the mundane, the daring from the kettle-wielding masses.


Now, in this peculiar land, where city living is a cacophony of chaos, and the need for convenience rivals the thirst for a good cuppa, the off-grid warriors find solace in the simplicity of tiny homes. These pint-sized palaces, nestled in green spaces or rural havens, offer a reprieve from the suffocating grip of urbanity, allowing for a resource-efficient dance with Mother Nature for all their energy needs.


So, are you teetering on the edge of the grid, unsure whether to dive into the abyss of off-grid living? Fear not, dear reader, for we're about to dissect the very fabric of this wild ride, exploring each lunatic factor that propels these off-grid souls into the unknown.


Off-the-Grid Aqua Circus: Water – the Liquid Gold


Water, the lifeblood of the English, powering the ritualistic consumption of ten daily cups of tea. To be off-grid in the aquatic realm involves a dance of reduction, reuse, and rain harvesting – a waterlogged three-ring circus of rebellion.


First, the noble act of reduction – cut your water usage like a samurai slicing through the fog. Brits, with their extravagant showers and lavish toilet flushes, guzzle 180,000 litres annually. Three-minute showers and low-flow toilets – it's the water-saving waltz, and you're the lead dancer.


Now, enter the reuse extravaganza. Greywater, the misunderstood hero, rescued from showers and sinks, repurposed for a second act in the garden or filtered for a classy encore in the shower. And here's a thought – opt for chemical-free products because who needs unnecessary filtration when you're living on the edge?


And then, the grand finale – rain harvesting. A gutter, a roof, and an overground or underground water tank – a triumphant symphony of precipitation. The bigger the tank, the better – aim for a vessel more substantial than your neighbour’s disdain. A pump completes the act, bringing rainwater back into the lair.


Electrifying Gonzo Grid-Busting: Electricity, Corrie, and Kettles


Now, my friends, let us delve into the dark arts of electricity – the forbidden nectar that fuels the chaos of Corrie ad breaks and the infamous kettle insurgency. Off-grid electricity generation, the pulsating heartbeat of rebellion, comes after the water-drenched overture.


In the average British household, energy usage resembles a manic rollercoaster, with peaks during Corrie ad breaks, as kettles scream to life. Heating, water heating, showers, washing, cooking, lighting – a carnival of electricity gluttony. But fear not, off-grid crusaders living in their diminutive havens can revel in reduced energy needs, courtesy of their cosy abodes.


Now, embrace the power of the sun and the whims of the wind – renewable energy sources that render the National Grid obsolete. A 3000w solar panel array becomes your magic wand, allowing you to flip off the Grid up to 80% of the year. Batteries, scavenged from the graveyard of old car parts, store your harvested energy – the currency of rebellion.


And lo, the placement of your home becomes a cosmic ballet – south-facing, sunny days, a choreography of energy independence. For those dark, winter nights, a generator whispers a tempting solution, a mechanical siren song in the off-grid symphony.


As for the appliances that suckle on the energy teat – fridges, freezers, and the like – choose A+ rated wonders, defrost religiously, and dance with smaller, more energy-efficient partners. Illuminate your off-grid sanctum with LEDs, the disco lights of eco-warriors, keeping the energy consumption boogie in check.


Off-Grid Cyberspace Circus: Internet Odyssey in the Countryside


Ah, the internet – the modern-day oracle, now deemed a utility alongside water and gas. Even off-grid rebels need their cyber fix, and here lies the comedy of connectivity in the heart of the countryside.


For those basking in the luxury of a friend's garden or a farmstead, internet connectivity is a casual jaunt. But for the brave souls in the rural abyss, enter the dongle – a relic from a time when connectivity was as elusive as a sunny day in England. Dongles, those data-chomping leeches, offer a pitiful allowance for emails and the occasional digital semaphore.


Enter Starlink, the cosmic saviour from the SpaceX stable, offering packages named as if you're shopping for the latest spaceship accessory – standard, priority, mobile, and mobile priority. For a mere £75 a month, you can surf the digital waves from the cosmic ocean. Sure, it's pricier than a high-street connection, but the convenience is your golden ticket out of rural internet purgatory.


Off-Grid Harvest Fest: Food for the Brave and Hungry


Now, let us traverse the culinary landscape of off-grid living – a veritable harvest fest for the brave and the hungry. Not everyone is born with a green thumb, but fear not, for even vegetables can practically grow themselves in the off-grid Eden.


For the off-grid gastronomes, herb gardens, fruit trees, and root vegetables become the backbone of sustenance. Witness the magic of seed to plate, the joy of harvesting your organic* veg – a feast fit for the off-grid royalty.


Water reclamation, the unsung hero, ensures your veggie babies never go thirsty. And why stop at water when your food waste can birth compost gold? A compost heap, a mere stone's throw from your humble abode, transforms waste into the lifeblood of your bountiful crop.


For the adventurous off-grid gardener, dive into the world of sustainable farming – vertical farming, permaculture, micro-greens, and the art of foraging for herbal plants. The world, my friends, is your oyster, and you're the gonzo pearl diver.


Off-Grid Arsenal: Tools for the Eccentric Warrior


Now, brace yourselves, off-grid pioneers, for the arsenal that separates you from the mere mortals firmly tethered to the grid:


·      Renewable Energy: PV solar cells, wind turbines – the pulsating heart of your energy rebellion.

·      Heating Gadgets: Ground source heat pumps, wood-burning stoves, and heaters – because off-grid heating is not for the faint-hearted.

·      Composting Toilet: The throne of carbon footprint reduction – flushing with a twist of rebellion.

·      Outdoor Oven: BBQ, pizza oven, or an electric grill – because cooking indoors is so last grid.

·      Cafetières/Italian Coffee Maker: Fuel for the off-grid journey – brewed with a dash of rebellion.

·      And here's a curveball for you – your toilet flush might be contributing to green energy. Human waste transformed into renewable gas, a symphony of sustainability. It's like magic, only smellier.


Off-Grid Revelry: The Gonzo Symphony


As we bid adieu to the conventional grid-bound existence, off-grid living becomes a gonzo symphony – a cacophony of rainwater drums, wind turbine crescendos, and the sweet melody of solar panels. The only grid in your life is the one you've mapped out for yourself.


In the immortal words of the gonzo spirit, carry on off-gridding, my fellow lunatics! May your water tanks be large, your batteries charged, and your internet signals cosmic. For in the realm of off-grid chaos, where tea is sipped like rebellion and rain dances on rooftops, you, my friends, are the true pioneers. Cheers to a life less ordinary, where the only grid you acknowledge is the one you defy. And so, the gonzo symphony plays on, a raucous anthem in the heart of off-grid madness.

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