Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sustainable Sustainability-Knowledge Perservation

It is nice to talk about community but if things got really bad then it will be each man for him self. Long ago I participated in a survivalist community that is seriously stocking up including arms. The sense of immediate and constant danger turned me off to the whole idea of it, so I moved on but I still retain the ideas that I learned while working with that group.
1) Learn to do more with less.
2) Pay attention to the news as a oracle of things to come.
3) Keep supplies needed for your family and rotate your supplies so that everything stays fresh.
4) Learn where to get things in an emergency or survival situation.
5) Keep basic skills up to date (First aid and CPR skills for example)
6) Keep learning new skills and use those skills to make life more fun and easier now. (I have recently taken a cooking class and I am now learning about hydroponics.)

My personal goal is to learn to be happy with less. Others may choose their own personal goals that will lead to their personal fulfillment. I do not believe the "world is coming to an end." I am preparing for lean times because it gives me personal satisfaction. If we could each approach our lives with the idea that we do not need to change the world, only ourselves, to make a difference.

My personal goals include:
Change over to energy saving devices when such devices need replacement anyhow. Recent purchases--27 watt florescent bulbs @ $1.22 each---A Steal!!!!
Stock up on food when the price is right and only on the stuff your family actually eats. My family eats fresh meats, veggies and fruit plus homemade breads. I have a freezer and a pressure cooker which I use to preserve foods for long term storage.
Cut down on total miles driven and turn off lights. This should be second nature by now, but I still need to remind myself to do it.
Grow as much food as you can. This isn't as easy here in Seattle as it was when I lived out in the country but I am doing as much as I can. It started with fresh herbs and is expanding into a full garden this year even though my patch of dirt is only about 100 square feet that I have reclaimed from the ivy.
Recycle and reuse as much as you can. Why throw away used plastic bags and then buy new ones by the box? Why toss away yogurt containers and then buy Ziplock food boxes? I am trying to buy less and re-use more, then recycle the rest.
Make what you need whenever possible. So many skills are being lost because it is so easy to buy what we need instead of making it. Some things I did recently:
winter hats-hand crocheted
bread and rolls-baking skills
seat cover for my car-sewing skills
reusable shopping bags-sewing skills
canned stew-home food preservation
Rosemary and garlic flavored cooking oil-food production
fixed work jeans-mending skills
pillowcases-embroidery and sewing skills

Spend some time thinking about what you know and how you can share that knowledge with others. The future will depend on keeping as much info alive as possible. Here are some basics that everyone needs to know:

How to plan for emergency food storage, what to store, how much, how to store it.
Home food preparation and preservation.
Growing safe food in the space you have available.
Local wild foods, what is safe and nutritious.
Basic tool maintenance and repair.
Basic animal husbandry for chickens, rabbits and goats.

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