Going off the grid is a great way to escape the mundane aspects of society, decrease living expenses, and begin living a more self-sufficient life. The process of going off the grid, however, is not something that most people can do all at once.
Here are several off the grid projects that you can do that will eventually get you where you want to be.
1. Build your own mini turbine to generate off-grid power.
This particular design can be built for $100-$150 if you are thrifty and can regularly generate 50-250 watts (considerably cheaper than a solar panel of similar power output).
2. Build your own DIY solar power system.
The first thing you want to do is charge your batteries with a charger. This will insure they are charged to capacity and ready to go at set up. I purchased my batteries new and were only at about 60%.
3. Build a DIY greenhouse to grow your own food.
4. Build a DIY refrigerator to store fresh food.
This enables the storage of freshly grown vegetables to last much longer than usual in a hot climate. It is also great for using at a picnic or outdoor meal where there is no electricity outside but food or drinks need to be kept cool. Here is how to make your own.========== ===========
5. Build a DIY solar oven to cook food on sunny days.
The oven which costs only 5 dollars was made from two cardboard boxes and one box was placed inside the other. Between two boxes, straw or papers can be placed as insulation. The interior is covered with black paper, while the exterior has a silver cover. This helps the sun rays to concentrate into the food which can be placed inside.
6. Build a DIY rocket stove to cook food efficiently.
This rocket stove is made in such a way that there is a flow of air under the burning wood. This allows the wood to burn hotter and better. By insulating the burning chamber, we are raising the internal temperatures, and combustion of the wood gas follows.========== ===========
7. Set up a DIY rain collection system.
A rainwater collection system is a really great way to recycle water during those hot summer months when water conservation is at its most necessary!
8. Set up a greywater system to use in your home and in your yard.
There are a lot of ways to collect greywater with home modifications or special equipment, but these are the simplest ways to get started.========== ===========
9. Build a DIY washing machine.
The washer consists of 3 main components: a container, a net bag, and a lever-driven shaft mechanism held in place by a simple wooden frame.
10. Build a DIY solar power charger for your portable devices.
Fortunately, you’ve got a fully charged power plant, built from an inexpensive solar panel and a rechargeable battery. Eight hours of sun will produce enough juice to watch _An Inconvenient Truth_twice–on a portable DVD player. You can even find inverters that will turn the station into an AC outlet. Add additional panels and batteries, and you could power the margarita machine and the flat-panel too.========== ===========
11. Build a composting toilet to make your own fertilizer.
Everyday we produce this free fertiliser and flush it down the toilet when it could be being collected, managed correctly and transformed into truly amazing compost.
12. Add a DIY root cellar to your property.
Sounds rather spectacular, doesn’t it? When done properly, root cellaring can preserve food right through the winter, and making your own can be ridiculously cheap and simple to do.========== ===========
13. Build a solar generator that is portable.
14. Build a solar powered go-kart for your property.
It uses a 48V SLA battery pack with a EMC-ME0909 Brushed DC motor, 0-5k Ohm Pot Box throttle, Alltrax 4834 controller and an Astronergy 5612M 190W solar panel to charge the pack. Runs great with a top speed of ~20-25mph, and because of the solar panel a potentially infinite range!========== ===========
15. Build a solar charged stereo cooler to use around the home.
You can set this up at your home for everyday charging of your devices, and easily bring it with you for a day on the beach, on a camping trip, or anywhere else. It can be very useful during power outages, or even be a prime source of power in an off-grid cabin or home.
16. Build a solar powered personal air conditioner.
The ‘cool’ comes from an ice/water reservoir stored in a thermos. Copper tubing is used as a heat exchanger, a small water pump moves the ice water and a small fan distributes the cool air. The entire system is run from a solar panel from Brown Dog Gadgets. An off-the-shelf USB Y connector can be used to connect the components so that no soldering is needed.========== ===========
17. Build a solar energy generator for any emergencies.
Think about it! Spend a few hundred bucks and you basically have a power source sitting in the house ready to go at any time that never needs gasoline, kerosene, or any other fuel except the sun.
18. Learn how to restore solar cells to keep your DIY projects working.
19. Build a DIY water filter to have fresh drinking water.
If you look at the Big Berkey, what you really have is 2 large buckets. The top bucket has some ceramic filters in it, to filter the water, as it leaves the top bucket and drains into the lower bucket.========== ===========
20. Use a solar light to recharge AA batteries to use in a flashlight.
Here is a simple solar garden light hack. Get four cheap dollar store path lights for this project. Using the original garden light parts, you can make a high speed solar battery charger for AA or AAA batteries. Depending on which model you get (you normally cannot tell from the outside) you will either have AA or AAA batteries and sockets inside the solar path light.
21. Build a passive solar window heater for your home.
This is a very simple and inexpensive project. There are many passive solar heating projects out there, but we must admit, we were very sceptical at first.========== ===========
22. Build a fireplace boiler heating system for your home.
A homemade boiler heater can be installed in your house, RV, camper or trailer home. It will allow you to pump heat into the rooms farthest from the wood stove. And it does not need to be expensive either. The example shown here was under $100, and that is if we had purchased all the parts new, instead of recycling.
23. Make a homemade humidifier to use during the winter.
24. Build a DIY dehumidifier to remove excess moisture in your home.
25. Add an edible garden to your roof.