The Off-Grid Dilemma

The prospect of having no hydro bills to pay sounds exciting, does it not? How would one go about this, you may ask? Simple, all you need to do is generate your own electricity! But, could it really be that simple?

The true definition of living green would be living off-grid. As noble as living off-grid by generating your own household electricity is, it is quite a big undertaking, with the cost being the main factor. The equipment needed for solar or wind off-grid living can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars, which needs to be paid upfront. Not only do you have to deal with the upfront cost, it is necessary to have money set aside to ensure that the equipment can be maintained and monitored by professionals. To most of us who do not have that kind of money to spend, this seems to be a territory that turns people off of the idea.

But don’t you worry; there are other ways to live more energy efficiently! Kerosene heating, temporary solar panels, on-demand water heaters and propane stoves, are a few changes that can be made to your home, to help you become more green.

Unfortunately, for the typical university student, making any of the changes mentioned above, are close to impossible. Take me for example, I care about the environment, and when I first heard of the prospect of living off-grid, I was intrigued. I am a first year university student and I practically live off of my parents. Sure I have a savings account with money I have collected over the years from birthdays, special occasions and summer jobs, but TRUST ME, that does not come close to the money I would need to be financially stable enough to live off-grid, let alone support myself through university and pay for food and rent. So alas, that is not an option for me.

Seeing as I am renting out my own townhouse for the up-coming school year, I will not be able to make any of the green lifestyle changes previously suggested, solely as I am not the property owner. But here are some things I am planning to do in order to stay green:

  1. Walk or cycle to school everyday, or choose mass transport when that is not an option.
  2. Conserve by recycling and/or compositing.
  3. Turn OFF the lights when not in use.
  4. Drink from a reusable water bottle.
  5. Use reusable bags when shopping for groceries.
  6. Save water by taking shorter showers and not leaving the tap running.
  7. Choose energy saving light bulbs.
  8. Unplug electrical appliances when not in use.

Being energy efficient is one way that I feel I am contributing to the bettering of our world. I hope you can take on even one of the initiatives mentioned, because making one change will make all the difference.

I have found a couple of documented stories of people who have made drastic changes to their lives in order to be completely self-sufficient. It is interesting to see how these people can actually make living off-grid work.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a green-tastic day!

-Melissa

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About melzig93

Hello, my name is Melissa! I am a first year student at the University of Guelph studying Microbiology. I am a member of the Cool Heads for a Hot Planet: Canada and Climate Change first year seminar course. I am interested in climate change because it currently and will continue to effect everything and everyone globally. I am very interested in the effects of climate change on animals as I hope to attend veterinary college after completing my undergraduate degree. I hope you enjoy my blogs! :)
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2 Responses to The Off-Grid Dilemma

  1. Pingback: Świdnica’s Center For Electric Technology | The Polish Magician

  2. love it so cool!! keep up the awesome work

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