Becoming More Self-Sufficient



Most of us try to do our bit for the planet. We’re becoming more aware of how wasteful we are and how it’s affecting our atmosphere. We’re more educated about what this could mean in the future and what we could do to help. Many businesses are cutting the use of plastic packaging and encouraging recycling. Some countries around the world have even banned single-use plastic bags. Car manufacturers are building more electric cars, solar panels and wind farms are becoming a more regular part of the landscape, and we’re all getting better at recycling.




But, some of us want to do more. We don’t just want to recycle cardboard and use reusable bottles. We want to do more than just cut our food waste. We want to be more self-sufficient.




Being more self-sufficient can mean a range of different things. Some communities are a completely closed loop. They grow everything themselves, create their own power and waste absolutely nothing. In a small community, where there is plenty of help and support and everyone chips into creating a closed loop where nothing is needed from the outside world is entirely possible. However, if you live in a busy city, and you don’t have the backing of a whole community behind you, if you are going it alone, complete self-sufficiency might not be entirely possible. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do more. More for the planet. More for future generations. More for your finances and more for yourself. Even when you live in the busiest, most polluted city out there, there is plenty that you can do to become more self-sufficient. Here’s a look at some of the changes and additions that you could make to your lifestyle.




Grow Your Own Food



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Growing your own food is perhaps one of the best ways to be more self-sufficient. You’ll save money. You’ll eat a healthier diet. You’ll waste less. Your meals will taste better. It’ll even help you to stay fit and healthy by giving you some extra exercise as well as improving your diet.




If you’ve got a large garden, you can get started straight away. Start growing things like potatoes and root vegetables. Plant fruit trees and grow beans. Even in a smaller space, you can grow things like tomato plants in small hanging baskets. If you live in a small apartment, with no outdoor space to grow, you can still grow your own herbs in a window box. You could even rent an allotment and start growing there.




Forage for Wild Foods




Many of us went out berry picking as kids. Making pies and desserts when we got home. This seems to have gone out of fashion somewhat. Now large supermarkets are so widely used, the convenience of buying puddings wins out.




But, foraging for foods is a great way to save money, get some exercise, try new foods and recipe ideas and be more self-sufficient. Check out this guide to food foraging for some ideas and advice.




Use Less Power




Of course, you could come off the grid completely, installing a windmill and solar panels to create your own energy. But, if you don’t want to go this far, using less power is still a massive step in the right direction, and it’s not as hard as you might think. Most of us are guilty of leaving lights and electricals when we leave rooms, or of just putting them onto standby, which still uses power.




Start switching things off instead. The best way to lose less power is to become more aware of what you are currently using. Look at your account usage and become more aware of what you are using and how. Consider a smart meter to help you make cuts.




Reuse What You Can




Upcycling is incredibly trendy when it comes to home decor. Reusing materials or repurposing something that you don’t want is a fantastic way to get an original and unique piece. An old pair of jeans can become a bag or a pair of shorts. A pouffe can become a cool seat. Your old surfboard can become a trendy coffee table. Before throwing anything away, think about what you could turn it in to. If we all did this, less energy and materials would be used in both disposing of our unwanted good and creating new ones.




Darn Your Socks



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We live in such a disposable society. Most of us today have never even considered darning a sock. It used to be a way of life. Now, we throw them away and buy new ones. This doesn’t just go for socks. We throw away clothes, appliances and other goods without even wondering if they could be mended. Start trying to fix things before replacing them.




Make Cleaning Products




Modern cleaning products in the shops are full of chemicals that can harm the planet as well as our health. We’re told that we need them to kill bacteria and keep our homes clean, but they aren’t always necessary. You can clean most things with hot water, vinegar and baking soda. Look at some homemade cleaning supplies for help.




Install a Rainwater Tank




Water waste is a huge problem today. We’re all guilty of it, and again, it’s not necessary. There’s a lot you can do to use less. Like turning the taps off while you brush your teeth, only boiling what you need and having shorter showers. But, getting a rainwater tank from Team Poly is even better. This gives you access to a whole new, natural water supply.




Look After Yourself




Becoming ill means that you need medicines and other resources, but it also means you find it harder to keep up with your self-sufficiency. So, look after yourself. Eat well, get lots of exercise and do what you can to look after your physical and mental health.




Walk More



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Walking helps you to keep fit and healthy but also means that you are using a car or other transport less. Walk as far as you can and only dry if you absolutely have to.