There are several benefits of living off the grid in BC, which involve having a healthier lifestyle, savings, and many other natural materials.
However, to enjoy off-grid living, you’ll need to know the size of the solar system you need, and develop smart management skills like using leftover water for flushing the toilet or watering the gardens, recycling, composting, etc.
Living off-grid, practically, is one of the ways to cut off high rent costs, utility bills, and other costs attached to living in the city. Due to the spiked cost of living in regions like Vancouver, and Lasqueti Island, BC, off-grid living is now the top choice for less-financially-privileged individuals.
As such, they seek ideal guidance on how to make the most of their off-the-grid living. Although it can be scary at some point, off-grid living will be your best bet while becoming self-sufficient in BC.
Meanwhile, here are a few reasons people consider grid living. Read on and learn more!
Reasons for Living Off the Grid and Being Self-Sufficient
There are several reasons people choose to live off-grid. Apart from cutting down on expenses, here are some other reasons:
Off-gridding gradually restores the primitive lifestyle, making habitats walk more or bike to several destinations instead of using vehicles. It facilitates exercises and keeps the body agile, fit, and strong.
Also, off-gridding allows you to acclimatize to nature, whereby you get fresh air from trees, water for free, etc. It also facilitates using renewable energy, encouraging habitats to participate in environmentally friendly activities.
Living off the grid gives you a deep connection with nature. In areas like BC, you are likely to explore natural materials and amazing views, giving you a whole new experience of natural exposure.
Off-gridding cuts out expenses from utility bills to facility management. You don’t have to pay to access public services like water supply, electricity, security, rent, etc.
Less Noise and Carbon Emission
Running diesel or fuel generators can be noisy and unhealthy because of their carbon output. However, individuals living off-grid can rely on solar energy to reduce their carbon footprint and other kinds of pollution.
Now you’ve known some reasons people consider living off the grid, let’s dive into how to live and survive with such a lifestyle.
Essential Things You Need to Live and Survive Off the Grid
To make the most of the off-grid lifestyle, here are the essentials you must have:
Water is almost the most essential resource you must have sufficiently. Both clean and unclean water will come in handy in off-gridding. The clean will serve as drinking and cooking water, while the unclean water will serve many other needs like taking a shower, cleaning, washing, etc.
Streams or rivers make a great source of water, especially if you’re within Vancouver Island. However, you may need some water purification to make it suitable for bathing. Also, you can invest in cheap and efficient solar water pumps to get clean water for beneficial uses.
FoodOff-grid food is more natural, healthier, and relatively accessible compared to the costly processed city food. While living off the grid, it’s essential to devise an effective way to gather food that will last for a while.
Investing in some cost-effective storage items can help you preserve and consume your leftover food items afterward.
Also, you can feed on fruits, green plants, and seafood and even hunt. For that, you may need to develop your hunting, fishing, gardening, and farming skills.
Heavy Cloth Materials
Since you will be experiencing more climate conditions in a tiny house, you might need to invest in some cloth materials that can keep you warm or cool in different weather conditions. Wool materials will come in handy in cold weather, while linen or cotton fabric will keep you cool in hot weather.
With these in place, you can survive and enjoy your off-grid lifestyle. Now, let’s dive into how to live off-grid in BC.
How to Live Off-grid in British Columbia?
There are no strict or fixed methods of living off-grid, especially in BC. However, there is a list of things you may need to keep in mind to make the most of your experience. Although it would require some work, the results are priceless.
Here are what you must do while living off the grid:
Smart water use and management is a vital skill you must develop. Instead of flushing the toilet or watering the garden with clean water, use leftover water from showering or washing clothes.
Also, invest in water-saving setups during rainy conditions to collect water from your roof and drain it into your storage tanks. Remember, rainwater is likely to be contaminated. Thus, store it for laundry, toiler, or gardening purposes.
Know the Type of Crops That Grow Best in the Soil
Even if the climate in BC isn’t ideal for growing crops, you may still grow berries, vegetables, various cereals, grapes, and mushrooms there.
Just keep in mind that a greenhouse is a must if you want to produce any kind of crop, and in some places, compost will also be necessary due to the less rich soil. Off-grid residents in this area frequently raise cattle, and some even make dairy products.
Store up Firewood
If you’re living in Vancouver or Lasqueti Island in BC, you’ll have access to the woods to fetch firewood. Cut down trees and put them out to dry. After a while, you can store them up for your wood stove. Collecting enough firewood will help a lot when cooking dinner during wet conditions.
Recycle Used Items
There are several organizations rewarding individuals for participating in maintaining an eco-friendly environment. Thus, recycling will reward you with a handsome amount of money and valuable items in several cases while keeping the environment clean.
Furthermore, recycling reduces pollution, slows down global warming, and helps conserve energy.
Craft New Items from Old Objects
Some items are not recyclable. So, upcycling these objects will produce new useful items in return.
Also, it’ll help reduce chemical release in the atmosphere and also facilitate the maintenance of resources.
You can also decide to craft needful things like chairs, dining tables, ladders, and flower vases with wood.
Composting will help maintain the soil’s quality, enriching it with nutrients from decomposed materials. It will reduce the need for soil water while retaining moisture in the ground.
Also, by composting, you’re protecting your plants from diseases, making them healthier after all.
Walk Some Distance and Save Money
Biking or walking some distance to the bus stop can help you save money. Whether you own a car or not, this will help you save money from petrol or diesel.
Alternatively, you can take public transportation as it’s also cheaper to get around your destinations. Besides saving money, walking or biking will exercise your body, keeping you fit and healthier.
Best Places to Live Off-grid in British Columbia
BC is one of the best provinces for living on the grid. It has a low population density, which makes the province perfect for off-gridding.
However, local climate, limited crop growths, and animal attacks are a few issues you may experience. You may need to prepare (safety gadgets) before embarking on the adventure.
The core difference between off-the-grid living in Canada and other USA states is the climate, but prior preparations will keep you fit for all climate conditions.
The province’s biggest city is Vancouver Island which consists of 635k people, followed by Surrey with 520k people, Burnaby with 232k people, Richmond with 198k folks, Abbotsford with 145k folks, and Coquitlam consists of 140k people.
Most of these cities are in the province’s southern parts, while British Columbia is on the west coast. Many people live off-grid in Canada because there is almost no infrastructure in the northern parts.
Although off-gridding in BC seems like heaven, there is lots of work to do that might make it hard to enjoy the beautiful nature.
Generating Power Off-grid in BC
There are two ways of generating power when living off the grid in BC, which involves:
British Columbia offers a few tax breaks and incentives for solar power, which include the Capital Cost Allowance and the PST Tax Exemption. Additionally, you may receive cash rebates in some locations.
Also, there are solar panels for off-gridders at a very low cost.
You can apply for both the PST Tax Exemption and the Capital Cost Allowance for wind power.
Pros and Cons of Living Off the Grid in BC
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of living off-grid in BC you should know.
Cost of living in BC
Generally, you should expect to pay about 13% less for groceries and about 21% less for renting and purchasing real estate. Grocery stores in BC also sell at low prices than the stores in other provinces.
Moreover, British Columbia’s cost of living is still lower than the national average when compared to the other provinces in Canada.
Cost of Land in BC
Although it can cost substantially more in some locations, the average cost of land in BC is about CAD 55,000.
The southern and southwest regions of the province often have the most expensive land.
Availability of Freshwater in BC
Apart from some southern regions, the province’s majority has a humid climate.
In the northern regions, the annual average rainfall can reach 120 inches, and the average snowfall is 200 inches.
Raccoons, beavers, coyotes, Canadian geese, cougars, hoary marmots, white-tailed deer, black bears, gray wolves, and even wild horses can be found in BC due to their large size.
Both freshwater and saltwater fish come in a wide variety of species, including salmon, char, lingcod, halibut, steelhead, and even sturgeon.
Keep in mind that both freshwater and ocean fishing requires a license.
Jobs in BC
The unemployment rate in BC is 6.2%, which is lower than the 6.9% national average for Canada but much higher than the 3.6% national average for the United States.
The minimum wage in Canada is 12.65 CAD, which is far higher than the equivalent rates in the states and provinces nearby.
Construction, manufacturing, aquaculture, tourism, forestry, mining, commercial fishing, and film are the largest industries and employ the greatest number of people.
Access to Roads in BC
In reality, most of the states lack access to highways. Instead, they are primarily found in the province’s southern regions.
The few highways that traverse the northern regions are only seasonal, meaning that some of them close down for the winter.
Most individuals who live off the grid in rural locations use ATVs in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter, and sometimes they move to the nearest town.
Notably, if you want to set up a homestead, you must consider the logistics carefully.
Natural Disasters in British Columbia
Avalanches, wildfires, tsunamis, floods, landslides, storms, and earthquakes frequently occur in BC.
Storms, which can happen in the summer or winter, are natural calamities that can happen frequently in BC.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Possible to Live Off-grid Without Stress?
It’s possible to live off-grid without stress when you choose the right location, buy the right off-grid shelter, and choose the right energy source. Also, you might want to examine your water and food sources to increase self-sufficiency.
Why Do People Consider Off-gridding?
The lifestyle is peaceful compared to life in the open city. With global warming, cities are turning into ovens. Also, traffic noises, lack of privacy, air pollution, and many other factors make people consider an off-grid lifestyle.
Is It Legal to Live Off-grid in BC?
Off-grid living is legal in BC, but you must still adhere to the city’s building regulations. As the area’s environment is somewhat humid and there is no shortage of fresh water, you can also lawfully collect rainwater.
You can homeschool your kids, and many residents of the province’s northern regions are left with no other choice. Although there are some loose regulations around homeschooling, you still need to register your child.
Living off-grid can be scary at some point. However, there’s more to gain. All you need to survive and make the most of your experience is to develop good management skills for water usage, food, and energy. Also, choosing the perfect location for your tiny house can be your best bet.