You’ll need to source food, water, heating and cooling, waste removal and electricity without relying on any other sources, which requires a lot of hard work, planning and sacrifice.
However off-the-grid experts say there are so many benefits to unplugging from the fast-paced modern world, which can make a positive difference to your lifestyle, health and the planet.
“Off-the-grid lifestyles and home refer to living your life in a self-sufficient manner, without the reliance on the standard utilities most city folk take for granted,” says sustainable building expert Dean Ipaviz.
“Put simply, off-grid homes aim to achieve autonomy and remove a reliance on gas, water, electricity and water [sewerage]. An off-grid lifestyle allows you to live your life in a more responsible and sustainable manner: Think composting, living garden walls, veggie patches and a bit more ‘me’ time."
Australians can legally live off-grid whether they opt to for a tiny house modelled around environmental sustainability a self-sufficient house on a block of land.
Some off-grid experts suggest securing land that doesn’t require a permit for building or living as however 'no permit zones' are not always a practical choice as they can be quite remote and away from schools and towns. The more remote the land is, the less chance you’ll need to secure permits so you might need to be open to relocating.
Otherwise, you will need to secure planning and council home permits to approve off-grid home construction.
Once you have found your land and have the relevant permits, experts say you will need a plan for all areas of life before diving into off-grid living.
You’ll need a generator to power the essentials - lighting to cooking, heating and cooling, entertainment and power tools – and solar power and solar hot water systems are a must.
Luckily, the Aussie climate makes it one of the best nations for an off-grid lifestyle and solar has become a lot more affordable in recent years.
Combining an off-grid generator with solar power or wind energy will give you reliable and backup power for your household items when you need it and this will need to be in place before you go off-grid.
It’s also important to consider natural ventilation when building your off-grid home as well as a sustainable layout such as north-facing living areas for all-day sun.
Off-grid living also means being self-sufficient in all areas of life from growing vegetables, fruits and herbs to maintain water tanks and composting and minimising waste.
While many Australians are moving towards an off-grid lifestyle – with a slew of off-grid communities throughout the country - in several states of America, off-grid living is illegal.
Many towns in the US have a minimum square metre requirement for single-family homes as well as a huge number of laws which require all residential properties to be hooked up to utilities.
However, with the cost of house prices rising and residents determined to lower their carbon footprints, the numbers of Australians disconnecting from mains electricity is set to rise.
“People are definitely now besotted with the idea of going off grid,” says academic Rachel Goldlust. “They want to know how to get started and what it costs and if it’ll mean any difference to their lifestyle. With housing so unaffordable now, I think we’re really seeing the idea take off.
“For many people, it’s about saving money and they do like the idea of empowering themselves to make their own choices about the way they want to live.”