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Becoming Self-sufficient – Is It Possible?

December 28, 2010

Is it possible in an interconnected world to be self-sufficient and also self-sustaining? This is the challenge for 21st century individuals. Some may ask if we want to be self-sufficient; I say, yes! I doubt we can be completely self-sufficient and may not want to be as there are so many great resources available that are valuable and would be a hardship to do without, and/or difficult to reproduce. But in a few key areas, we can make some impressive changes that will benefit not only us, but our communities. Here are a few suggestions and some resources.

Living off the Grid
For your electricity, solar is the way to go. I would not shut off the local electric or natural gas utilities. Integrating a solar system into your existing system will give you the best of both worlds – public and private. Your solar system will be wired into your electrical box; this allows any extra wattage generated from your new solar system to feed back into the grid and you get credit for doing so.

Resource: Solar Power Rocks

Rainwater Recapture
Fresh water will continue to be a precious resource. Implementing a rainwater recapture system is the way to go and in some states and cities, required. You need to retain your regular water service as it is filtered and tested regularly. And you need your local municipal sewage system as it is the healthiest. Again, you can augment your water supply through rainwater recapture systems. Some are very simple and some very complicated. They require a filter system, pump, and proper storage container. Consider joining ARCSA, American Rainwater Catchment Systems.

Resource: Harvesting Rainwater must read article

Vegetable Gardening
Everyone can grow a garden – even in large containers. Make sure you have clean water, watch for pests, plant in the right area, harvest at the right time, and know when to plant.

Resource: Backyard Gardener

Transportation
More difficult, but there are choices. We can choose smaller vehicles or electric cart-styles that are street legal. Mopeds and bicycles are good choices. Keep one full size vehicle for hauling, trips to the doctor or hospital; a small truck will do. Keep up on new electric full size vehicles, but recharging stations are far and few between right now.

Resource: Electric Vehicle News blog

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