What does off-grid mean?

You can choose to totally go off-grid by disconnecting from electricity, water, stormwater, sewerage and gas. That's the dream. Ironically of course this is how we all used to live and as technology improved and we became more prosperous we came to rely completely on government and private organisations to provide these services.

So we pay for our water, our electricity and gas etc... but the organisations supplying those services do so with little regard for the landscape, our animals, our food bowl, our water basin and those who farm the land.  The appalling story about the Queensland farmer George Bender who battled to stop CSG (coal seam gas) companies coming onto his land is just one of many examples of how our farmers are battling to protect their livelihood and our food source.

In the city just to stay connected to Sydney Water costs me around $200 per quarter. That's $800 a year before I turn on the tap.  Yet water falls freely, and even on my small plot of land I can collect all the water I need rather than continue to pay Sydney Water. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are two million people using water tanks, yet it is not common anymore for urban Australians to use their rainwater tanks for all of their household needs.

Wouldn't it be great if we could quickly, easily and cheaply stop using fossil fuels, use the water from the sky and keep or re-use all of our sewerage and waste on-site.  But time, budgets, knowledge, professional resistance and bureaucracy can come between us.  I'd love to take all of my services off-grid, but I will have to wait for a sewerage system that fits my small property.

Baby steps are good, if all you can do are small things, they will add up. Keep reading for small things tips!