The biggest thing I am considering with my own tiny house project is living off-grid. There are many different elements to think about and I have covered some in this blog post. There are far more considerations when building a tiny home than the ones included in this blog post but I believe these are a good start! I haven’t researched enough into each of these yet but I will be learning as time goes on and throughout the project.
1. Solar Electricity
The biggest thing for me is electricity when living in my tiny home. I want to be able to generate electricity using solar panels on the roof of my tiny home. There are a lot of different factors to think about though including how many panels I will need, how much energy I am likely to use, what batteries will be needed and which appliances I can run on solar if I am off-grid. I know there are many appliances that run on 12V opposed to 240V but there are certain items such as cookers and washer/dryer combos that I am unsure about as of yet. I know that I can use a gas oven and stove but I do prefer electricity and would like to use renewable energy wherever possible in my tiny home.
2. Growing Produce
When I build my tiny home I would like to find somewhere to put it that I can grow my own fruits and vegetables. This isn’t something I have done before but I am really excited and am looking forward to this. I have a lot to learn when it comes to gardening and managing fruit and vegetable plants including when to start preparations throughout the year. A small allotment should be more than enough for me and fruits and vegetables grown yourself taste a million times better than store-bought! I’m also excited that there will be no packaging and waste from garden-to-plate.
3. Sufficient Heating
I have been thinking of a few different ways I could heat my tiny-home and am thankful that it is such a small space. Some of my ideas include low voltage heaters, underfloor systems and a log wood-burner. Ideally I would like to use electricity to heat my home but am unsure of how much power would be required for this heating solution. An air conditioning unit is out of the question if I’m off-grid but there are alternatives such as a log-burner (a miniature one) and ventilation systems to circulate the air within the home. Another big thing when thinking about the temperature of my tiny home will be insulation. It is vital to insulate not only the walls and ceiling sufficiently but also the floor. The tiny home is likely to be on a large trailer and moveable so air will be able to pass underneath the tiny house. Another thing I will be considering is blocking in the tiny home to prevent heat-loss through the floor and underside of my tiny home.
4. Waste & Composting
My pet peeve at the moment is the amount of packaging and waste is created from everyday uses including groceries. I would love to eliminate this waste fully however I am aware this is going to take a long time and will be a gradual process overall. In regards to food I will be using large glass containers to store a multitude of seeds, pasta, rice, spices, herbs and more. I would like to purchase these from a market which allows me to use my own containers or if this isn’t possible, purchase them less frequently in larger quantities to reduce the amount of packaging or shipping. I am considering different filtration systems to be able to drain grey water from the sinks of the tiny home back into the earth harmlessly. Another big consideration is the toilet, likely to be a composting one. I’m not entirely sure how they work yet but this is something I’ll research more as time progresses.
5. Rain Water Collection
Being off-grid not only means having to generate your own electricity and heating solutions but also where your water is going to come from. In the UK we have plenty of rain so this shouldn’t be an issue at all. This will be collected from gutters and the roof of my tiny home and used for watering an allotment as well as washing, cooking and drinking with. I will be using filtration systems to make sure there are no bits and pieces or anything harmful in the water collected. I’ll also use a secondary filtration method for the water I cook with and drink. At the moment I always filter my water using a Brita water jug (even from the taps in the UK which are totally fine to drink directly from). So I don’t think this will be too much of an adjustment for me.
Those are just five of the things I think about most when imagining my tiny-home and how I will live off-grid. As mentioned at the top of this post, I still have a lot to learn and sufficient amounts of research needs to be done before I begin my tiny-home build. It’s always nice to plan ahead though and think through all of my options. Environmental impact is probably my largest driving factor when it comes to tiny-home living and how I can most efficiently with minimal waste.
Thank you for taking time to read this blog post. If you have any advice or have a tiny home yourself please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you. Have a great day!
3 thoughts on “Off-Grid Living”
One of the things I found interesting about visiting Bermuda was how they collect all the available rainwater that they can from their roofs. They have irrigation channels that funnel all the precipitation into barrels at one corner of their homes. I imagine you will have a system like this setup.
Absolutely! There are so many uses for this water too including laundry, dishes, showering, watering plants/flowers and cleaning. There is a minimal amount I use to cook with and drink which could be a separate source to the other water.