Perhaps you’ve made the move out of the city. You are located 40 miles into the heart of the beautiful countryside. You’ve taken most of the steps you can to live off the grid, but you want to do more. When it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, there is still a great deal you can do to enjoy a high quality of life while still helping to protect the forest and nature itself.
Where Does Carbon Come From?
Take for example your fuel sources. Electricity produces carbon dioxide. Your heating and cooling systems may be operating on fuel that’s producing carbon. Coal itself contributes to about 34 percent of all carbon emissions generated by people each year, with oil, petroleum, and natural gas also contributing. So, what can you do to reduce the carbon footprint you are creating?
Simple, Effective, and Very Cool Ways to Take Things One Step Further
You are already doing a great deal by living off the grid, but what else can you do to reduce your footprint? Check out a few of these key recommendations:
Move your oven outdoors
Outdoor wood-fired ovens and solar powered ovens are an excellent investment. Not only does cooking indoors raise the temperature and, therefore, creating more need for power to cool the home, but cooking outdoors using wood or the sun’s energy is far more sustainable. You can still cook the same types of foods in the same cooking styles (baking, roasting, and even frying), but your energy source is more sustainable. Consider using solar cookers, either one you buy or one you design for the most efficient option.
Rainwater provides a highly effective solution for water needs including irrigation for gardens, which tends to be one of the largest demands for water consumption on a farming property. Those who live in an area with moderate levels of rainfall or more may be able to use a rainwater system to sustain all water needs. A single rain barrel is a good starting point, but an above-ground stacked system may be best for those who need more access.
What about waste? Most people, even those living sustainably, often don’t want to consider this concern. However, in recent years, a number of new solutions have become available including composting toilets that are not only sanitary, but also very easy to use. They work to turn waste into soil, but must be taken care of to work properly. Purchase an already made composting toilet and the composting material necessary usually sawdust. You can also use wood chips such as cedar or oak leaves. The material is added to a larger outdoor bin and, over time, it becomes compost like any other.
Keeping Food Cold
Refrigeration may be necessary in some situations, but there are several other ways you can more sustainably keep foods from going bad. For example, the use of a root cellar – as simple as it sounds – can be one of the best options. Another option is to use solar-powered appliances. A large selection of products exist all of which can help you to enjoy all of the “”luxuries of life”” without the cost or the carbon footprint.
In addition to this, think simple in everything you do. Insulate and seal your home to reduce energy loss. Reduce the amount of beef and dairy you consume. Grow an organic garden and recycle everything from the bags to the food waste you have. By taking these steps and focusing on sustainability in everything you do, not only can you remain off the grid, but you can also take every step possible to reduce your carbon footprint.