While few have actually accomplished it, the dream of disappearing from the grid is usually the stuff of Hollywood movies, where some old society-fearing individual decides to build his own establishment far from populated areas. After a quick reality check, we can say with certainty that this is not the case; not at all.
Choosing to live independent of electricity, running water, and other government provided services does not make you an outcast. In fact, it is encouraged. However, it does not mean one has to trek to the wilderness of the desert, or the encompassing foliage of the forest.
You can reduce your dependence on the grid right at home, or from your downtown apartment.
Some of the things you’ll need include, solar panels, gas or solar powered electricity generator, water-reducing shower and kitchen nozzles, etc. Basically, the idea is to find ways of weaning yourself bit by bit from your regular routine to become more disciplined in the ways of energy conservation. You can begin by installing long-lasting incandescent light bulbs, which reduce your electrical bill tremendously.
If you can afford it, trade in your car for an electrical or hybrid vehicle, or go ahead and transform your car into a hybrid yourself. Some manufacturers offer kits, and there are many of online resources to help you along the way. Better yet, bring the blueprints to a qualified car mechanic, and pay him for a proper job.
Make sure to use common sense and turn lights off when leaving rooms, unplug electricals at night, charge your phone, laptop, generator, etc during the day with solar chargers, or purchase rechargeable batteries so you won’t have to continue making trips to the hardware store to replace your stash of batteries.
Find energy-efficient computers and electrical chargers, so you can all but reduce your need completely from the electrical grid.
If you truly want to disappear entirely, then consider following the advice of this blogger, who’s been living by himself in the Arizona desert for a long time now, and offers insights into the “off the grid” lifestyle.