Off-Grid Living
Sustainability Tips & Tricks

Off-Grid Living

Written by Carrie Mayo (owner and creative director of MAYO Designs)

For those of you who don’t know, 10 months ago I sold my house and began living in my van. Long story short, I was on the road for 6 months, traveling across the US exploring beautiful places, meeting amazing people, and learning a ton!

Fast forward to today, and I still live in my van, on a piece of land that I bought on a beautiful pond in Maine.

Looking back even 2 years ago, the commitment that I have to our environment has grown significantly. I have been super mindful about the products I purchase since I moved on to my property because it’s become even more obvious to me the waste that I’m creating.

At this point, I would say that I am (about) 95% off the grid (I am still buying groceries, propane, and gas). My ultimate goal is to minimize my footprint and reduce the amount of waste that I generate.

Here’s what I’ve done on my property so far to make it my new home…

  • I installed a mailbox (on the main road which is 0.5 mile from my property)
  • I have a 6×5 shack to store my belongings (which I’m going to fix up with new siding…I bought an old icehouse that my neighbor had)
  • I have a well and I now have fresh water!!!
  • I bought a 3 bay stainless steel sink to do my dishes and laundry
  • I have a washboard and a laundry wringer hand crank
  • I have hung a clothesline
  • I have the cutest chicken coop and 3 chickens…I even put an addition on their house!
  • I have 2 solar panels to power and outdoor office space
  • I have an outdoor shower with an instant hot water heater powered by propane
  • I started to make an outdoor kitchen for my 2 burner stove and small grill held up on a table with tree stumps legs
  • I bought a 13×13 army tent that is shaped like an octagon so I can have guests camp out and also use it to store my gear

I am currently working on an application for a building permit. I intend to build a 600 square ft. off-the-grid house this year. Let the next adventures continue! =)

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