Ideas on how to become Self Sustainable
The current global
and self sustainability has taken centre stage across the globe. The real problem is that there are too many households globally living excessive lifestyles. This is not a problem that a government can fix but it is for each household to take responsibility for their consumption levels and their waste. It is also a good thing for each family to think of how they can become more self sustainable and lower the impact of their consumption on the environment and the earth’s non-renewable resources.
We as a family and as a property are looking to become more self sustainable so each of the ideas discussed on this page are things we have discovered, discussed and considered on our road to self sustainability.
Growing your own food
Growing your own fruit and vegetables in an organic way means that you and your family are saving money and getting the best quality nutrition available. You can even keep chickens for eggs and meat and other animals for sources of meat and milk. By not buying from supermarket chains you are not contributing to industrial farming methods and fossil fuel consumption to transport it.
Buy food and products produced locally in your area. Your fruit, vegetables and meat should not be transported from other parts of the country or the world but should be sourced locally, preferably from farmers you know. In this way you are benefiting your local community, and not contributing to the large scale fossil fuel consumption used to transport food all over the world.
Buying locally implies eating seasonally. It means that you eat what is in season in your area at that time. It means not buying bananas in Canada in the middle of winter because they could never possibly grow there then. It is about enjoying all the nutrients of what is in natural supply during that season and not having access to certain foods out of season.
Bio Gas sewage systems
These are gas systems that use your household’s sewage to produce bio-gas that can be used for cooking and heating. It involves building a chamber to catch all the sewage and where over time methane will be produced and collect and then tapping off this gas for cooking and heating. It is in ingenious way to convert waste into a valuable resource that costs nothing except the set-up costs of the system.
Used cooking oil fuel systems
There are ways that used cooking oil can be converted – through a process – into fuel to drive your vehicles. This is another ingenious way to convert waste into a resource. Bio Diesel, although not produced from fossil fuels, is not a viable large scale alternative to petrol and diesel because the world cannot sustain its food producing land being converted into crops for fuel, so converting used cooking oil into fuel is a good alternate source of fuel without any hidden negative consequences.
Although wood is a natural resource that needs to be looked after, using wood fires to heat your house in winter could be a good thing in that instead of cutting down indigenous trees, households could cut down unnatural trees in their area which are already hazardous to the natural environment in the area. In addition, there is a lot of dead wood in forests that could be collected and used for fires without cutting down trees. Also, the smoke and hazardous gas emissions from wood fires is not as bad as that released by coal-fired power stations or fossil fuels used in transport.
Solar and Wind Power
Solar and Wind power are growing sources of energy as the world strives to find alternatives to fossil fuel power. Although at this stage the initial outlay will be quite pricey, in the long run, these forms of power run off natural forces that we do not pay for. Living in sunny South Africa and windy Walkerville these are both good options for us and we are looking at setting up solar panels to run our appliances and heating and a wind turbine for additional electrical power.
Recycling is a small thing that each family can do which can result in turning waste into a valuable resource. Instead of letting your waste go into the ground in landfill site where it will never decompose as there is no oxygen in there, you can take the time to separate your waste at home and drop it off where it can be processed and used again. You will be saving trees, petroleum and metals from the earth and preventing your waste having a negative effect on the environment.
Soap nuts are grown in Asia and China and are a natural alternative to your normal chemical detergent washing powder for washing your dirty clothes. For more information take a look at the page on Soap Nuts.
Make it yourself
There are many things that we buy that we could actually make ourselves. Most of what you buy today is full of colourants, additives, preserving agents and other unhealthy additions. Making things yourself means that you are assured of what went into the product and that it is all natural and healthy for you, your family and the environment. Things you can make yourself at home include: