Although our planet is sending out clear signals for help, we continue to take its resources for granted. Our continued dependence on non-renewable fossil fuels is hurting the very environment we live in and enjoy. By being self sufficient, we can help the environment by providing for the basic necessities of food, shelter and water without any outside aid. Our ancestors, at one point, were totally self sufficient, living off the earth’s natural resources. We can learn to live this way again by changing the way we think and live, if we are willing to learn new skills. Being self sufficient can help the environment, if we focus on the five basic criteria mentioned below.
Food: Being self sufficient, by growing your own food, can help the environment by eliminating the need for transporting food from other locations, which helps to save on the use of fuel and the resulting pollution from vehicle emissions. It also saves our planet from the air and water pollution that results from large scale use of herbicides and pesticides in food farming. If you don’t own land, a community garden is a great way to grow and harvest your own food. Composting is a great way to convert green and food waste into fertilizer that can be used to grow more food and reduces contribution to land fills.
Shelter: Being self sufficient by building your own home out of locally available materials like wood or clay can greatly reduce your carbon footprint on the environment, by saving on transportation and the resources utilized in the mining of exotic materials from far away places. Even if you do not have all the necessary skills to construct your own home, enlist the help of those in your neighborhood who have the required expertise.
Water: A rainwater catchment system is a great way to collect water from your roof into a storage tank that can supply water for all your household needs. In most places, rain water is in abundant supply, is relatively clean and can be used to wash the driveway or car, water gardens and supply water for toilets and clothes washers. Rainwater can also be used for drinking, but will need to be purified first. Being self sufficient in collecting and using rainwater can help the environment by reducing the pollution of seas and rivers that results from stormwater runoff into the urban drainage systems.
Energy: Although installing solar panels can be an investment, they can help eliminate dependence on non-renewable fuels such as coal, and provide all the energy you will need for cooking, lighting, heating and providing electricity for your appliances. There are many other things you can do as well to conserve energy like using a clothesline instead of a dryer, switching to fluorescent, energy-saving light bulbs, switching off appliances when not in use and using cold water instead of heated water when possible.
Transportation: This is one of the biggest culprits in polluting our environment, but is also one of the easiest to resolve. If possible live close to your work place so that you can walk or bike to work instead of driving. If you do live far away, choose public transport or try car pooling. Other green options are Biodiesel, Ethanol, EV car, Hydrogen generator, Running your car on water, etc.
There are many advantages to self sufficient living, but none is greater than the benefits to the environment. Living independently in today’s world is not only possible but also necessary, as every individual contribution helps to reduce the human carbon footprint.