What is Sustainable Living?
The question you may ask is 'why go sustainable'? Or what is sustainable living? The question we ask ourselves is 'how self-sustainable' do we want to be? What are our goals?
Let's address these in order saving the best for last. So why go sustainable:
to be responsible for our own sustenance
to learn new skills
to be environmentally friendly
to avoid unnecessary pesticides
to avoid GMO foods
Avoid other unnecessary health risks from processed foods
These are the top reasons that led us to move from the city and dig into the country lifestyle all of which are relatively self-explanatory. Being able to feed yourself is a dying art. I'd be curious how many people would know how to successfully grow their food? How many could then save the seeds from their garden crops to grow again next year? Which seeds need to be fermented? Which vegetables are biennials? Or which vegetables will only seed their second season in the ground etc. These time honored traditions and skills are an art form that is being lost to time and factory farming practices.
What is sustainable-living?
In a nutshell it is living a lifestyle that is not going to deplete the resources of the planet. If every person on earth lived the average 'North American' lifestyle it would take the resources of multiple earths to sustain the population. The way we live is not sustainable to the planet and if you add that the population just passed 7 billion or that our lifestyle is the cause for slave labour practices around the world how can we not stop to reflect?
So, to live sustainably would suggest that our lifestyle wouldn't be over exhaustive to the planet if everyone on the planet was to live the same way. Others may be more strict about this lifetyle choice, not wanting to use any resources at all, but as working people who drive cars, we immediately find that beyond our capacity.
Which brings us to our final segment, what are our goals?
We haven't really stopped tothink about what we will or won't live without, but there are a few obvious truths as just mentioned. We work and must drive to get there so we can't give up gasoline. But we can cut our oil consumption in other ways. Take re-usable bags to the grocery store, stop buying products that are wrapped in massive pieces of plastic, buy local etc. All of these options will help cut our reliance on oil.
The biggest goals we have surround food. Learning how to feed ourselves goes a long way to being sustainable. And what we can't grow ourselves can be sourced locally at other farms and farmer's markets.
Everything we grow will be done organically. No horrible chemical pesticides and nitrogen fertilizers for us. Just the manure, compost and natural products. Each year we will also save our favourite seeds for planting the following season as are dedicated to preserving our heirloom seeds.
Eventually we will work on larger projects such as installing wind and solar power, but this is a long-term goal. There is much work to be done one step at a time before we cross that hurdle.
As we learn and grow through this process I'm sure our goals will strengthen and become clearer, but we are in agreement that once our journey is complete we would be approximately 80% self-sustainable.