Posts Tagged ‘off grid showers’

PostHeaderIcon Conserving Water When Living Off The Grid

When you are off the grid, you need to provide your own water. Water is considered to be one of the world’s most valuable resources. Off the grid, water is even more valuable because you do not just turn the faucet on and get unlimited fresh water. You need to conserve water in any way you can. Here are a few things I have learned while living off the grid.

Showers. This is the big one. I love long hot showers. That is now a thing of the past. I need to haul in my own water, either in gallon jugs or in a huge 30 gallon tank I fill at the creek. Sadly there is no way to get close enough to the creek to just drop a hose in. That means that bathing needs to become more efficient. During a shower we can use up to 30 gallons per shower. When living off the grid, you can get by with one or two quarts. Either fill a container for bathing or use a small solar camp shower. Either way, you get wet. Shut off the water flow. Lather up. Rinse off. Shut off water.

Brushing your teeth can be another huge waste of water. Many people leave the water on while rinsing. Not off the grid. You can either rinse your brush in a cup (gross) or with quick spurts of water instead of leaving it running.

One of my biggest uses of water has been to rinse out the french press after making a cup of coffee. This uses way too much water. If you have ever cleaned out a french press, you know that it takes a lot of water to get all the coffee grounds out. Then you need to rinse the sink. No matter how hard you try, those coffee grounds get all over the sink. So I was thinking about a way to make coffee in an off grid situation (little or no electricity) while using less water. A normal household coffee maker is out of the question because it uses up to 1000 watts to run it. So I got thinking about a one cup coffee maker I have. You can brew a single cup of coffee directly into your coffee cup. But sadly it uses a reusable filter, which is a mess to clean up. Here is the idea I came up with:

Making Coffee Off The Grid

I am using the coffee filter holder from a normal household coffee maker. I removed the spring loaded plunger from the bottom of the filter to allow water to flow out with no coffee pot underneath it. Using a single coffee filter and brewing coffee directly into a cup saves time, energy and water. It takes very little energy to heat up a cup of water. Then it filters straight into a cup. Then you toss the filter on the composting pile, which turns into fertilizer later. No mess, no water and no cleanup. And especially no electricity is used.

When living off the grid, you can either use a camping toilet or a composting toilet to save water. A composting toilet is the best because it requires no water at all. A camping or RV toilet is more efficient and does not use 1.5 gallons per flush like a standard home toilet.

Washing dishes is another big user of water. You can either fill the sink or a container to wash dishes in. Then use another container to rinse dishes in. Leaving the water running while rinsing dishes is a huge waste.

When you carry your own water one gallon at a time, efficiency becomes very important. And you never know when you may loose electricity and suddenly need to use these skills.