I had a proud moment the other day. A fellow homesteader told me they were inspired by my passion. Inspired! That’s what I’m here to do, inspire you! Goal reached! I inspired at least one person. It reminded me of the Lorax….
Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, it’s not going to get better, it’s not -The Lorax
I care, I’m one person, and I care. I can make a difference! That thought is very empowering.
Alright, enough rambling. On to what I’m talking about today. You don’t have to live where the buffalo roam, or on acreage, or even in your own house to become self-sufficient. You can become more self-sufficient wherever you are, even in a tiny apartment that you rent. You don’t have to bow down and say “ok” and give in and buy everything. You don’t have to buy into the consumerism that is rampant all over this country. You can do something to work toward your goal of self-sufficiency and homesteading.
Just before Christmas, it was announced that meat no longer has to have the country of origin stamped on it. We are fighting tooth and nail to continue to have genetically modified crops labeled (or their counterparts). We are fighting to find ways for farming efforts to become more sustainable and honorable. More recently, it was OK’d for a genetically modified apple to be released. Great…. Unless, unless we all do something to care a lot and take steps to do something better for not only ourselves, but our families, other fellow human beings, animals, plants, and environment. This is bigger than just you or me. It’s the whole world. If we all care, if we all take steps to become more self-sufficient then it rubs off on our family, our neighbors… they do it, it rubs off on their families and neighbors. Don’t let your location stop you from doing this. The smallest thing can make a huge impact. Look at us! Our little blog and my outright passion for things (I get going, can you tell?) inspired someone!!
41 Ways to Become More Self-Sufficient
I’m just going to list these in no particular order. Obviously if you’re in an apartment, some of these aren’t currently achievable, but a lot of them are, just think outside the box….
- Start a kitchen herb garden. Did you know that you can grow herbs in your kitchen? Not even outside!! Stick them by a window for a while, or use an artificial light. They also require very little water.
- Grow a planter garden. This is ideal if you’re in an apartment or rent from someone who doesn’t want you to dig up the “lawn”. You’d be amazed at the amount of things that can be grown in planters.
- Start a community garden. These are popping up in urban areas, and even suburban areas, all over the place! Don’t have room because you live in an apartment, or have a small lot, or have covenants that do not allow you to garden, start a community garden! They are a lot of fun, and benefit lots of people!
- Try out ideas for an edible lawn. We don’t need pretty grass, really. Tear out shrubs and put some blueberry bushes in their place. Grow a couple of fruit trees. Make a big raised bed garden… just go with the whole mentality of growing foods instead of lawns.
- Get some backyard chickens. This isn’t allowed in some areas, but if it is… get some!! They’re well worth it.
- Learn to hunt. Eating wild game is the way to go. You know that animal lived a free, natural life up until the point it blessed your plate and it served a purpose other than becoming someones meal.
- Learn to butcher. You got the game, now learn how to butcher it! Now you know exactly where the animal came from and how it was handled from harvest to freezer.
- Learn to fish and how to clean them. Kind of goes along the same lines as hunting, but you get the point.
- Build a compost pile. You can feed that edible lawn of yours with completely organic, natural fertilizer and it will be so much happier and more plentiful for it!
- Try out vermicomposting. Don’t have a yard to build a compost? Look into vermicomposting! I have a post coming up about how to get started tomorrow!!
- Join a farm share. This is a great idea for people who live in areas where farming, especially livestock, just isn’t possible.
- Learn to can your food. Even food you picked up at the grocery can be canned! If you find a great deal on some organic produce, pick up some extra and learn to preserve it! Check out my post on how to can dried beans, too.
- Stop using your clothes dryer. It wastes energy, tears up your clothes, and costs tons of money every year. One less thing you have to pay for. You can even do this in an apartment. Just dry your clothes on racks indoors.
- Ditch cable or even TV altogether. Seriously, you do not need all that mindless garbage in your home. There are far better ways to “entertain” yourself. Less money out of your pocket, and more time for the more important things in life. Trust me, you will be far more productive, and you will buy less.
- Learn to sew. I don’t care if you learn how to sew by hand or with a machine, or even a mixture of both. Just learn. This is a skill that is way underused and becoming extinct. Very few people know how to sew. It’s a helpful skill, you can mend clothes instead of buying new ones and you can even sew your own, it’s cheaper and they will be of better quality.
- Learn to knit. Same as sewing. If you could knit your own gloves or hat you would stay warm all winter :).
- Learn how to tan a hide. This is something we are going to learn this year. We have a couple of hides ready to tan, we just have to figure out how to do it. Nothing wrong with some handmade, soft leather. Lots of purposes!
- Make candles. Check out my tutorial here to make healthy, natural candles for your home. Use them instead of lights! Cut down on your power bill! The more you learn to do without (even once in a while) the better off you are.
- Install rain barrels. Use them to water your garden and edible lawn goodies!!
- Install a gray water system. So much of our water gets wasted by being poured down the drain. There are tons of uses for gray water!!
- Learn how to make soap. This is pretty easy if you go with the melt and pour types. It can definitely be more involved….
- Make your own cleaners. It’s amazing what a bottle of vinegar and some citrus fruit can do!!
- Get meat rabbits. They’re fairly easy, and a lot more people can have them than chickens (because they didn’t put it in the wording….)
- Become a bee farmer. We’re killing our bees! In fact, most honey on store shelves isn’t even honey…. Start your own and you’ll have fresh, local honey and beeswax to make those candles!!
- Learn to tap trees. We have maples in our yard and I’m seriously considering tapping them. It may not produce a lot, but it’s a skill you will have.
- Learn medicinal uses of herbs. The herbs your can grow right in your kitchen or on your back deck? A lot of them have tons of medicinal purposes!! Learn them!
- Make your own salves, remedies and tinctures. Sometimes, nothing beats a good doctor. Other times a home remedy will do the trick!
- Make your own food from scratch. Sure, you might have to purchase some of the goods, but you can best bet that all of those things you had to purchase can be grown if necessary.
- Learn to forage. There are so many edibles out there that we don’t know about! Find a good book to help guide you along, and get to it and stop killing your dandelions!!! It kills bees and they’re actually beneficial to you as well!
- Get your own dairy animal. Go beyond the chickens and rabbits, get you a goat or a cow!
- Learn the elements of building a basic structure. Not saying you need to build one, but knowledge is power, folks!!
- Exercise. What the? How’s exercising help me become more self sufficient?? Well, if you aren’t in shape, you aren’t your best and then you don’t function as well…. I could keep going, just do it.
- Read, read, read. Seriously, any book or post you can get your hands on that affords information about self-sufficiency to you, and read it!
- Learn to render fat. We want to try our hands at this this year. Knowing how to make your own lard and tallow is a beautiful thing.
- Learn to make butter, cheese, and yogurt. This is really 3 things, but they are all dairy related. Butter is easy, start with that. Yogurt isn’t so bad… cheese, I’m wanting to tackle that next.
- Learn how to ferment foods. Fermented foods are good for you! Learn more about them and how to do it.
- Build a root cellar. We want to build one, but will wait until we are on our property as there sure isn’t room here. It can be something as simple as an old freezer buried in the ground!!
- Learn to live with less. If you haven’t checked out my post on 32 tips on becoming a minimalist, you should. We don’t need all this junk, people!
- Learn how to make a fire. And seriously consider finding a way to get a fireplace or wood burner in your house. No electric means no heat for the vast majority of us, even if we have gas or propane furnaces… you have to have electricity to kick them on! Plus, knowing how to build a fire outside is a good idea too.
- Learn to source healthy food and maybe even barter for it. The truth is, no matter what we do, we will probably still need a helping hand once in a while. Maybe the house down the road raises pigs and you have a dairy cow. Maybe they grow wheat, and you don’t have room for it. Lots of different scenarios. You can certainly learn to live without those things, but you can source healthy foods and sometimes even barter something you have. If you’re in an apartment, this is so important!
- Never be too proud to ask for help. We’re all here, and some of us know more about certain things. Ask for help, whether that be sourcing food like I mentioned above or getting someone to help, or even just to teach you, how to hunt wild game… never, ever be too proud to ask for help or you’ll never meet that goal.
That’s it! This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a good start!
What are some things you would do to become more self-sufficient? What have I forgotten? Answer in the comments below!!
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