A self-sustaining lifestyle is all about living in harmony with nature and making optimal use of the environment around you, yet ensuring that your efforts do not in any way contribute to a harmful degradation of natural resources.
A self-sustaining life is a total departure from the modern lifestyles that have been embraced by many. Living a self-sustaining life means you value productive work over entitlements and reckless recreation, practical skills over mere intellect, self-sufficiency over dependence on the system, and provident preparation over conspicuous consumption.
Such a lifestyle typically involves living off the grid, living off the land through the use of sustainable agricultural practices both modern and old, the design of self-sustaining green houses, and other environmentally-friendly practices. All these measures are indeed very effective for making and saving money.
Homesteading – The Basics for Living off the Land
The first thing you have to think about when contemplating the decision to live a self-sustaining lifestyle is what you’ll eat. This will automatically require you to get some land. You do not need so much of it; just enough to allow you to plant a variety of crops, rear some animals, and build a house.
The self-sustaining lifestyle will demand that you learn the best food growing techniques such that going to the grocery store will never be featured on your to-do list again. Remember that your adopted lifestyle will also be your money-earning venture. As such, you must plan effectively to not only feed you and your family but to have abundant supplies for commercial purposes.
Self-Sustaining Agriculture – Organic Farming
Organic farming and the products that come from it are fast gaining prominence in the conventional markets. This presents a viable economic opportunity of which anyone pursuing a self-sustaining lifestyle should be quick to take advantage. More and more people are realizing the harmful side effects that come with eating food products grown using pesticides and are now opting to purchase organically-grown foodstuffs.
A self-sustaining farm negates the need for herbicides and pesticides for agriculture simply because the troublesome weeds and pests are kept at bay naturally by the unpolluted ecosystem. The soils on these farms are kept in a perpetual nutrient-friendly state thanks to the effective farming methods employed including crop rotation, mulching, the use of organic fertilizers, and so on. A self-sustaining farm is totally efficient by itself and this translates into very low production costs. The produce obtained is healthy and tasty and will certainly attract equally healthy prices and profits for you. It is essential to plant different crop varieties so that you have something to cash in on, regardless of the season.
Raising Animals on your Farm
A self-sustaining lifestyle allows you to rear different farm animals whose products you will use domestically and sell on the market. In deciding what to raise, you should steer clear of the exotic and play safe with what is popular and commonplace on most people’s plates. Here we are talking about raising goats, cows, sheep, pigs, bees and so on. However, if the market around you is feasible enough for ostriches, rabbits, etc., then why not? You should just be careful to have a backup plan when these fail. Again, try to be as diverse as possible in what you offer the market.
A Self-Sustaining Home
The self-sustaining lifestyle demands that you live in an equally self-sustaining house. Such a house will ideally supply its own water and energy requirements in addition to processing its own waste.
The power supply mechanism of choice for self-sustaining houses almost always involves solar panels and batteries for the storage of power. These houses feature a lot of insulation techniques including the use of triple-glazed window panes and insulated doors that all serve to keep the temperatures relatively stable all year round. As for water supply, many such houses will make the most of rainwater collection techniques and further make use of gravity to supply water into the house. As for waste processing, the accumulating products of human waste are collected and turned into useful compost that is in turn used on the self-sustaining farm.
There are a great many designs of self-sustaining green houses available online.
Living off the Grid
Living off the grid is one of the greatest practicalities of leading a self-sustaining lifestyle. Unlike everyone else who is living a conventional lifestyle, you will hopefully never have to suffer power outages and interrupted water supplies. Similarly you will never have to contend with the expenses and inconveniences that come with monthly utility bills. Getting started will cost you quite a large amount but this will be more than recouped in the long run.
What does having a Living Roof Entail?
Living roofs are a relatively new addition to the self-sustaining house design and are rapidly gaining in popularity. These roof types feature more efficient and quality rainwater collection systems, reduced noise levels, and improved house insulation capabilities. Living roofs are low maintenance in addition to helping you make savings on energy supply, housing insulation, etc. Prior to constructing one of these, it is prudent to make the necessary inquiries to ensure you are fully compliant with the applicable zoning laws and that you will be covered by your insurance provider. Ensure that your area’s climate is friendly enough.
The cost elements of a living roof are dependent on the size, the system to be employed, the slope, and the types of plants to be used. Asking for professional design help is most essential if you lack the requisite knowledge and skills to undertake the task.
How to Find Self-Sustaining Communities
There are plenty of online forums that can connect you with self-sustaining communities across America. You just have to join one or several of these and share your experiences. It is only by doing so that your claims of being self-sustained will be validated. These forums are equally helpful if you intend to adopt a self-sustained lifestyle and need helpful tips and resources for doing so.