Living a sustainable and self-sufficient life in the suburbs is not easy but it is a fulfilling way of life. It’s about using your resources and skills to meet your needs, especially when it comes to food and home maintenance. Growing your vegetables, learning how to fix things yourself, and upcycling are great ways to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
When you live this way, you’re eating the healthiest meals prepared from vegetables grown in your garden. You’re learning skills that you can use your whole life. In this article, we will go over several ways to make this a reality.
1 – DIY maintenance
Being able to fix things yourself before buying new, or paying somebody to fix them for you is the foundation of self-sufficiency. Knowing how to handle simple plumbing, electrical, and carpentry tasks can save you both time and money and also add to your self-reliance.
Even little things like buying a knife that lasts a lifetime require you to know how to sharpen it. A sharp knife is a safe knife so get a sharpening stone and learn how to keep your knife and ax blades sharp at all times.
For plumbing, start by learning to fix a leaky faucet or unclog a drain. With electrical work, begin with understanding how to safely change a light fixture or replace a faulty switch. Carpentry skills can start with fixing a loose hinge or patching up a small hole in the wall.
2 – Set up a home garden
Another pillar of self-sufficiency is to have a garden that supplies you with fresh fruit and vegetables. The first step is to plan your garden space. Look for a spot in your yard that gets plenty of sunlight, as most vegetables and fruits need about six to eight hours of sun daily. Ensure the area has good drainage.
Check your area’s hardiness zone to help you understand which plants are suitable for growing where you live. Research which plants do well in your local area and consider the timing for planting. Some plants may thrive in cooler temperatures, while others need more heat. Starting with easy-to-grow options like tomatoes, lettuce, and herbs like basil and mint can be a good strategy for beginners.
3 – Raise chickens
If your town allows it, raising chickens can go a long way toward self-sufficiency. Chickens can provide a steady supply of fresh eggs, and they also contribute to pest control and produce valuable compost material. They’re an integral part of trying to live with a closed-loop system.
Chickens need a balanced diet, fresh water, and regular care. You’ll need to provide them with chicken feed, which is available at most farm supply stores. Change their water regularly to make sure it is clean and fresh to keep them healthy.
Their feed should come from the scraps from the garden so they have fresh veggies in addition to their pellets. This will give you the tastiest eggs as well as keeping your flock healthy.