While off-grid living isn’t for everyone, recent technological advances have made it a whole lot more approachable and feasible. If you’re ready to make the commitment, here are some of the new technologies and products that are making going off-grid a more attractive option.
Home battery storage units
The ability to store electricity generated by solar panels has been a game-changer. Many types of battery storage systems exist, but when Tesla introduced their Powerwall in 2015, off-grid homeowners rejoiced. A lithium ion battery system, it allows users to store energy generated during the day, which can then be used at night and during peak usage times.
Can’t or don’t want to connect to the sewer system? No problem. Contrary to popular belief, modern composting toilets don’t smell like their name might imply. Sophisticated airflow and seal systems make the latest models of composting toilets an odour-free and efficient way of dealing with waste—without flushing valuable potable water down the drain. A far cry from the DIY buckets of the past, they not only ensure that smell is no longer an issue—they may even have the capability of turning your waste into power.
For those who truly want to live off-grid, avoiding regular trips down the grocery aisle is part of the appeal. But in Canada’s climate, growing your own food in outdoor garden plots can be easier said than done. That’s where maintenance-free indoor gardens come in. Compact and small enough to sit on your countertop, these devices are primarily marketed to urban consumers, but they’re also perfect for off-grid home owners. With programmable irrigation and LED lighting systems, a green thumb isn’t necessary; simply plug them in and enjoy the fruits of your (minimal) labour year-round.
Mobile signal boosters
Living off-grid doesn’t always mean living offline—but it often does mean living in rural areas that may have limited or weak mobile phone reception. That problem can be easily solved with mobile signal boosters, which are devices similar to TV or radio repeaters. Mobile signal booster kits contain cables and antennas that will strengthen your signal at the cottage, ensuring that you can remain connected, even when you are otherwise disconnected.