In these uncertain times there is an increasing trend in going sustainable and more people are looking into how to make this trend a reality for their family. Most of the preppers and homesteaders that wish to become sustainable have seen through three generations of life in America how our way of life dramatically changed.
Growing up, I recall watching my grandparents preserving food for storage in their basement and how they bought everything locally to sustain the economy in their community. I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one that remembers these things… Even though for the newer generation the lost ways of our grandparents may seem like ancient living, most of us still keep their teachings alive and use it to become sustainable. My father-in-law is one of the old-timers that still has a lot to pass on to us and is one of the few people I know that is totally self-sufficient. Although he is an avid promoter of the old ways of living, he also managed to take advantage of the new technology and use it to his advantage.
According to him, the following ten ways can help anyone to go sustainable:
- Grow and preserve your own food. It doesn’t matter the scale of space or resources you have available, there’s always a way to grow food. There are all sorts of technologies that allow you to grow food even in the smallest of spaces. The biggest mistake one can make is start big without having the knowledge, time and resources to handle such a task. It is always better to start small and build it up over time as you gain more experience.
Suggested article: Pioneer gardening – How to start a backyard garden
- Reduce your energy use. While most people will look for ways to produce enough energy to sustain the entire household, only few of them actually assess their energy needs. When planning for an alternative energy production system, you should first identify how you can reduce your levels of energy consumption and decide between need and want. Maintaining a complex alternative power system becomes a difficult task if you don’t have the right knowledge and if you live in a remote area.
- Use alternative energy sources. If your area allows it, power your homestead with solar panels and other alternative energy sources. Off-grid living implies taking advantage of nature and using its powers to your advantage. Powering your homestead using solar, wind or hydro power is a common practice in this day and age and the technology is improving constantly.
- Do it yourself. You don’t have to wait for new technology to come to you and you can build it yourself in most cases. This goes from everything from basic garden tools to powerful solar panels. There is so much information out there that it makes everything possible, any DIY project you may think of probably already have a DIY YouTube video.
- Switch to low energy sources. There are all sorts of gadgets and low-energy devices that can lower the burden of producing energy for your household. Most of the devices we use today can be powered by some form of battery and there are various types of solar chargers that can be used to recharge those batteries. All types of batteries can be reconditioned and recharged, therefore there is no need any more to make a large stockpile of batteries. LED lighting should be used where possible because it is more affordable now than ever.
- Develop a barter or trade circle. You can always trade what your produce and share resources to your circle of trustworthy people. There are many green communities where people are used to offer goods and services as “currency” and it seems more and more people want to become part of these communities.
Related article: Bartering after an economic collapse
- Improve your transportation. You can get creative when it comes to alternatives forms of transportation. Advantages in battery technology are making electric vehicles more reliable and the launch of the new Tesla car is just one proof of how fast this technology is advancing. You can even buy short range vehicles such as farm trucks that use only electrical power to function.
- Spend smart. One mistake most people make is to go for the best of the best when it comes to equipping their household and that will leave them broke. Before you break the bank for something you need look if you can reverse engineer existing items. You can also DIY your own simple products to avoid spending big bucks on store-bought items.
- Look back in time. You can always look at how your grandparents used to do it and how they managed to become self-sufficient in an era when technology wasn’t available for everyone. They had ingenious ways to make it work and to provide a level of comfort that is hard to find today. If their methods worked back then, they will sure work for you in these modern times, when technology makes things “easier”. You can improvise based on their methods of self-sufficiency and improve them using the current technology.
- Spread the word. Don’t just keep it for yourself and teach others to go sustainable. Share your ideas with others and inspire them to try and live the sustainable good life. It’s easy to share your success story and the internet is full of people showing others how to succeed at becoming sustainable. Pass your knowledge on, become part of the community and give something back.
A lot of people want to live the sustainable life, but most of them will give up because they fail to plan things out. Making the transition from your busy, socially intoxicated life to a way of living where consumerism and gloating is not present is probably the hardest thing you could experience. Nevertheless, becoming self-sustainable and independent is worth fighting for as this new quality of life will bring the tranquility and peace of mind you are looking for.
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