Share Your Tips for Off-the-Grid Living

Q. I have become interested in simple living within the last two or so years. I don’t think it was so much the decline in the economy but more getting all the clutter out of my life and becoming totally free of institutions and businesses alike. My question is, I am looking to jump toward taking more advanced steps in becoming independent, so if I were to look at building, let’s say, a water filtration system to consume rain water to use for things such as laundry and showering, how would I go about doing that? I’m not sure if you have written about this in the past but the topic sure is interesting. Hope all is well. Take care!

A.  Hooboy! This is a big question, and one we haven’t dealt with for awhile. So right now, I’m going to put this question out to our readers to see if anyone has experience with this. Readers? Please use the box right below, and share anything and everything that you know about rainwater collection and filtration and also off-the-grid living. We’ll publish your answers here. In the meantime, read this great piece from Mother Earth News, from a couple who has spent 20 years living off the grid: http://www.motherearthnews.com/renewable-energy/energy/efficiency/off-grid-living-lessons-zm0z14onzkon.aspx

Please share your independent living thoughts below. If you don’t feel like writing it all out – no problem! Just tell us a teeny bit about your story and we’re happy to call you and interview you!

Your Advice

From Margy:

A friend’s blog has a section on water collection. He created a water gravity system for his cabin using a large septic tank on a hill. It’s included in this series — http://solarburrito.com/blog/category/alternative-energy/rain-water-collection/

I have a rain collection system I use for my garden, but the water isn’t filtered. Even so, it comes out clear. http://powellriverbooks.blogspot.com/2010/04/double-barreled-watering.html

From Patty:

We purchased a house near a spring and that house also has a well. It is a home w/a septic system and thus no hook up to the public sewage system. Bought in an area that has no public trash pick up BUT a county dumpster nearby that we dispose of trash on our occasional run to town. Still working on solar. So far no phone, no water, no sewer or no trash bills. Happy camper!

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