Who is a homesteader?
anyone who follows the back-to-the-land movement by adopting a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains as a way of life. According to author John Seymour, 'urban homesteading' incorporates small-scale, sustainable agriculture and homemaking.
Some common homesteading practices include but are not limited to: gardening, canning/preserving, raising animals for meat/skins (I have to mention it even if I don't agree with the practice), harvesting water, and more domestic practices such as making clothes, soaps, candles, and any variety of household items.
What is off the grid living?
The term off-the-grid (OTG) or off-grid refers to living in a self sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.
Off-the-grid homes are autonomous; they do not rely on municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas, electrical power, or similar utility services. A true off-grid house is able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services.
Electrical power can be generated on-site with renewable sources such as solar, wind or geothermal; with a generator and adequate fuel reserves; or simply done without, as in Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities. Such a system is called a stand-alone power system.
On-site water sources can include a well, stream, or lake. Depending on the water source, this may include pumps and/or filtration. Rainwater can also be harvested in barrels or more complex irrigation and aquaduct systems.
Going off-grid can be done for altruistic reasons or to lower the environmental impact of living, as the typically limited amount of on-site renewable energy available is an incentive to reduce its use. But if energy usage is not reduced, going off-grid actually has a larger environmental impact versus using the grid, due to the lower efficiencies of the components. It is often done to residential buildings only occasionally occupied, such as vacation cabins, to avoid high initial costs of traditional utility connections. Other persons choose to live in houses where the cost of outside utilities is prohibitive, or such a distance away as to be impractical.