Low cost, easy to do Off-Grid DIY projects to reduce energy and water consumption.
You would be surprised how easy it is (and fun) to dramatically reduce or eliminate utility consumption and take yourself off-grid. With a little creativity and careful selection of parts and materials, these projects can be very inexpensive and extremely effective. You usually find what you need at the local hardware store or from other convenient sources.
We have provided some simple do-it-yourself projects below that can be done pretty quickly without putting too much of a dent in your wallet. In order to eliminate the need for external electricity we provide several sources of power (windmill, solar and bicycle powered generator). Combine power sources with some decent batteries and you can can be energy self-sustaining. A tutorial on batteries is also provided below.
Just for fun we also have a video on a bike powered washing machine.
Reducing energy consumption reduces overall electricity requirements so we have provided videos of projects for solar heated water (very cool and pretty quick) and wood/fuel burning ovens.
For reducing water dependence, there is a nice video on a very simple rain water collection system and another on a DIY Greywater system.
This collection of DIY projects will give you a great start on reducing electric and water consumption and moving to a more off-the-grid lifestyle. Take a look and enjoy!
Simple windmill project – under $200: Very easy to build and very low cost. It also works well and scale up in power generation with larger blades and different components.
DIY Black Hose Solar Water Easy – Very Easy and Quick: Very clever black hose design. Easy to build, inexpensive, and the overall system is very effective. Just get some black hose (3/4″ works well) and a few other parts and you are ready to start.
GreyWater System DIY: Detailed walk through of each step required to build this greywater system (could use some narration though). This requires a little more work installing tanks and accessing your house water systems than the water collection system above, but it is very effective with lots of water storage.
Easy to build earthen cob oven: This is really interesting and surprisingly quick to build, but the mud oven takes a while to cure/dry (up to several weeks). Similar ovens have been used for thousands of years!