Bocas News

Self-Sustainable and Living off the Grid

Self-Sustainable and Living off the Grid

September 4, 2020

Have you ever thought about being more self-sustainable? Either living off the grid completely or partially?  In some parts of the world living even partially off the grid can be illegal or taxed. Here, in Bocas del Toro, it is just a fact of life and is encouraged to be more self-sustained, so there is less of a burden on the system.

The average rainfall in Bocas is approximately 3.5 meters per year. This allows for plenty of water for a family to collect. You can easily learn how to safely collect and filter sufficient rainwater for drinking from the local people in the area. There are many sources of information on the Internet that will provide information on how to safely prepare and store drinking rainwater, which has more health benefits opposed to drinking municipality water.

A simple mathematical formula and straightforward Internet search of “How much rain water runs off your roof” will help you determine how much rain comes from your roof. It is important to know how many gallons of water you are able to hold in reserve. Planning ahead will help anticipate those times when there is less rain.

Living off the electrical grid is very much a fact in many of the outlying islands and even on some parts of Isla Colon itself. There are people on the islands who specialize in solar power and have the ability to assist you and your family to meet your solar system needs. Black and Brown outs will become less of a concern, which both are not uncommon in Bocas. Solar will provide peace of mind regarding any fluctuation of electrical current damaging your electrical appliances or electronics.

Living in Bocas provides the opportunity for year- round gardening. It would be wise to learn how to garden in a 12-hour daylight versus longer summer days such as in the northern countries. With more gardening months, empower you with the possibility of more fresh food at hand. Planting cuttings, also known as cloning, is very standard here as well. We have witnessed people take a cutting from one fruit tree, stick it in the ground, and 2 years later produce fruit.

Chickens or even ducks are a great natural way to control unwanted pests in your garden. Additional benefits include fresh, organic, free-range eggs each morning. Ducks are a pleasant addition because they do not scratch the soil.

Fishing and lobster hunting is a predominant activity here on the islands.  Lobster and octopus hunting are reserved for a firm season; however, fishing is permitted year-round in Panama. Catching a 2-pound spiny lobster is very common. Trolling and shoreline fishing remain prevalent so capturing your weekly needs from the sea is customary for many people living here.

These are just a few possibilities for a self-sustainable lifestyle in Bocas del Toro. Of course, this is not for everyone, but for those that want this life style just for yourself or to raise your family in this environment where living off the grid is normal as the northern winds here. We encourage everyone to inquire with us regarding this style of living in Bocas del Toro.