How urban families can live off the grid. Photo of couple walking toward their tiny cabin in the woods.

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A new trend is gaining attention across the U.S. Off-grid living. And no matter where you live in the United States, you've likely heard mention of it.

Essentially, it means living off of the electricity or power grid system. Typically in remote locations. While most Americans live in metropolitan or suburban areas requiring a large, reliable grid system, you can adopt many off-grid practices to save energy and money.

In fact, the saving on power is so large more and more people are looking to “live off the grid” as a way to reduce their carbon footprint and embrace a more sustainable lifestyle. And while this may seem unrealistic for those living in suburban areas, it is possible to integrate simple off-grid techniques into your everyday life!

In this blog post, we’re giving you the best ways to do this. Trust us. You won’t have to become a part-time farmer to enjoy the bulk of the benefits of the off-grid lifestyle.

Even a few of the basic changes below can be really rewarding for you and your wallet and your local environment.

Here are the best ways suburban families can enjoy off-grid living energy benefits:

Install a rainwater collection system:

Not only will it save you money on your water bill, but collecting the rainwater helps conserve groundwater reserves that would otherwise be lost to evaporation or runoff. If done at scale, it can even help with flooding – something a lot of coastal cities are concerned about with the rising sea levels.

Plant an edible garden:

Everyone loves fresh produce! Have you ever tasted a tomato hand-picked fresh from the yard? Yum! By growing some of your own favorite fruits and vegetables, you can reduce your food bill, use less water, reduce your carbon footprint, AND enjoy healthier, homegrown produce. Wow!

This is extra helpful if you have a family with additional mouths to feed. Why not make it a fun family project you can all enjoy together?


Composting is an excellent alternative if you don't have the space or desire to grow a garden. It can help you reduce how much garbage you create while reducing the amount of landfill waste (yay, fewer trips to the dumpster). And who knows – all those nutrient-dense scraps from your kitchen can make for some amazing soil in the future in case you know a gardener or a neighbor in need.

Consider Green Plumbing:

While this may be a new concept for most of us, it's much more than simply dealing with your toilet. Green plumbing involves decreasing water usage, recycling water, and making use of sustainable resources.

Licensed green plumbers are experts in utilizing solar power for hot water, water-saving technologies, and other green aspects of plumbing. The best news is almost any plumbing system can benefit from this, no matter where you live.

Install solar panels:

Installing solar panels on your roof is an excellent way to reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint. Not only will you be able to generate electricity for yourself, but you could even be eligible for a rebate from the government for doing so!

Solar panels are far less expensive than most Americans believe, thanks to dramatic advances in technology over the past decade. Also, solar panels are built right where the energy is needed, so you have almost zero transmission fees with this energy source. Compared to many other sources which have to be transported to your house, resulting in more expenses for you. It’s no wonder so many Americans are switching today.

Apply for Federal Income Tax Credits:

Did you know you can get up to a $3500 tax credit simply for having a more energy-efficient home?

Improvements such as installing heat pumps, water heaters, insulation, electrical panel upgrades, home energy audits, and more, are covered by the tax credits. You can save for years to come by learning more here.

Switch to a renewable energy provider:

Okay, this one is for those of us who aspire to be one of those people who live off 100% renewable energy but just don’t see ourselves retrofitting our home with solar or wind equipment. We totally get you. The thing is, you don’t even have to install any solar or additional equipment or change anything else about your normal setup! It’s so easy to switch. For more information on how to find your best local renewable provider and save by switching to renewable energy, read our article, Switching to a 100% Renewable Energy Provider!

And there you have it. Our top ways are shared for your benefit. While you’re technically still connected to your local power grid when living in the city or suburbs, it’s easy to see how many of these off-grid practices can have a real impact. Not just on your power bill but on your local area’s soil, air, and water quality.

These are just a few ways you can enjoy living off-grid without actually having to live in the middle of nowhere. You don't have to be an off-grid guru to make a difference in your environmenteven small changes like these can add up to big benefits for you and the planet.

So why not give it a shot? You may be surprised at the results!