10 Self-Sufficiency Skills Eco-Conscious Folks Should Learn


If there’s one factor the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have taught folks, eco-conscious or not, it’s the worth of self-sufficiency.

With many retailers and companies pressured to shut, some people shedding their livelihoods and experiencing monetary hardship and lots of pressured to spend extra time at residence, individuals are as soon as once more cultivating abilities of self-reliance: life abilities, survival hacks and self-sufficiency actions are all making a comeback.

Whether or not for causes of frugality or practicality, listed below are some self-sufficiency abilities that every one eco-conscious people ought to be taught:

1. Rising your individual meals

When folks assume survival and self-sufficiency, the very first thing that involves thoughts is having sufficient meals in case provide chains fail. In truth, fearing meals shortage and meals insecurity, folks rapidly stripped nurseries and {hardware} shops of herbs and edible crops as lockdown measures got here into impact, forcing many retailers to put minimums on the acquisition of crops and seed packets.

Photograph: Rawpixel.com.

By rising your individual herbs, fruit and greens, you’re extra unbiased of supermarkets and different exterior forces (equivalent to a pandemic) that produce meals shortages and value hikes.

It’s additionally a extra sustainable method since meals isn’t travelling miles to achieve you and you’ll management the chemical compounds and pesticides utilized in rising it (phrases of recommendation: simply don’t use them). Studying to develop meals is a necessary survival and self-sufficiency talent.

For those who’re renting your home or dwell in an house, you possibly can nonetheless develop microgreens, sprouts and even herbs on a windowsill. Take a look at this guide to sustainable dwelling for tenants for more information.

Take a look at these posts to be taught extra:

2. Cooking

Cooking a meal from scratch was as soon as thought of such a necessary talent that in Australia, highschool college students had been required to undertake the topic of House Economics so as to be taught such sensible abilities within the kitchen. Nevertheless, with the removing of those topics from college curriculums, and a concentrate on a contemporary lifetime of comfort, there’s now a big inhabitants of people that don’t know easy methods to prepare dinner and depend on others – cooks, eating places, quick meals joints – to organize their meals for them.

Cooking goes hand-in-hand with rising meals. There isn’t a level rising meals when you don’t know what to do with it after you’ve produced it! Studying easy methods to prepare dinner ensures that you just’ll profit from what you develop and maintain meals waste to an absolute minimal. You’ll even have extra management over your well being and diet within the course of when you’re making ready your individual meals.

Check out these recipes:

3. Preserving meals

This can be a pure follow-on from the final level since there will probably be instances when you should have surplus crops and also you bodily received’t have the ability to prepare dinner all of it earlier than it begins to wilt and decay. Studying meals preservation strategies means you’re much less more likely to waste the produce you develop.

You may protect meals a variety of methods, by pickling, dehydrating, canning, bottling, freezing, salting, fermenting or by making the next:

  • jams
  • chutneys
  • relishes
  • sauerkraut

Reference books on preserving food are a useful useful resource to have within the kitchen. There’s additionally a plethora of homesteading websites on-line you possibly can check with for step-by-step particulars.

Credit score: Pixabay.

4. Gardening

Gardening is the important talent behind rising meals, flowers and elevating crops; from sowing seeds, to understanding soil composition and easy methods to keep wholesome soil, to tackling plant issues and controlling ‘pests’, harvesting produce and saving seeds. Creating gardening abilities and strategies makes rising meals and flowers a lot simpler.

Take a look at these posts to be taught extra:

5. Wild meals foraging

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors would possible flip of their graves if they might see how a lot plant information we’ve misplaced over the centuries as folks started specialising in fewer abilities and outsourcing most to others within the title of capital effectivity. Indigenous peoples and tribes nonetheless, proceed to maintain this data alive of their households and tradition and their skill to determine edible crops and seek for wild meals assets is so far superior compared.

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If you’re eager on foraging for wild meals, seeds, weeds and even seaweed, keep in mind that foraging in public areas and footpaths is often authorized (you will want to verify the council web site on any positive print), however not on personal property the place you will want to hunt permission from the property proprietor.

To be taught the artwork of meals foraging, attend foraging workshops or finishing programs on the topic. There are additionally Fb teams equivalent to Edible Weeds, Wild Plants & Foraging in Australia, Foraging Australia and Foraging & Feasting the place you’ll find a like-minded neighborhood of individuals eager to be taught and share their information about edible crops and wild meals too.

6. Stitching, knitting and mending

In a long time previous, most ladies (and lots of males) knew easy methods to sew, knit, crochet and restore clothes because it was a talent handed on from era to era. These days, it’s uncommon to search out somebody who can nonetheless mend a gap in a shirt or take up hems, not to mention purchase material, reduce it into patterns and use a stitching machine to show it right into a costume or pair of trousers.

Photograph: cottonbro.

“I’m grateful my grandma taught me the fundamentals,” says eco stylist and Australian Salvos Retailer Ambassador Faye De Lanty. “Positively try YouTube for tutorials or additionally examine in your circle who may need the talents to show you.”

Jenna Flood, a Melbourne-based gradual trend stylist, recommends the guide Modern Mending by Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald when you’re eager to learn to repair fundamental rips and full minor alterations.

Stitching and mending workshops are one other nice technique to be taught these abilities – and also you’ll make new pals too (as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted that’s).

7. Baking a loaf of bread

Whether or not you make contemporary bread the nice quaint method by combining high-quality natural substances equivalent to flour, yeast, water and (vegan) butter and manually kneading the dough and popping into the oven to bake, or simply pop substances into your bread maker and set the timer, self-sufficiency doesn’t get any extra fundamental than making and having fun with your individual loaf of contemporary bread. It’s assured to be tastier and higher in your (relying in your selection of substances after all) than generic manufacturers of bread you purchase on the grocery store.

Associated Submit: Free Online Sustainable Living Workshops to Support the Community to Cut Carbon Emissions

8. Making compost

Whether or not you’ve acquired a tiny balcony backyard or a number of veggie patches in your yard, your backyard will profit from soil-enriching compost. This additionally helps in the fight against climate change since rotting meals scraps and waste in landfills contributes greenhouse gases into the ambiance within the type of methane.

To make good compost requires a mixture of the next natural supplies:

  • ‘greens‘ equivalent to garden clippings, weeds, meals scraps, vegetable peelings, normal meals waste, and
  • ‘browns’ equivalent to straw, newspapers, cardboard, wooden chips, brown leaves, crushed egg shells and leaves.
Wood compost bins in a backyard setting. Photograph: Alison Hancock.

Air, moisture and nitrogen should all be current in order that micro organism can do the work of breaking down the uncooked components. An excessive amount of ‘inexperienced’ and the combination will probably be too moist and switch into slime; an excessive amount of ‘brown’ and it’ll dry out and received’t break down. Both method, it received’t rot because it ought to so you have to at all times eager an eye fixed on it and add what it wants for decomposition.

Good compost is darkish, crumbly and its odor is nice. As it’s nutrient-rich it must be added again to your backyard beds to enhance the soil construction, lowering the necessity for artificial fertilisers and serving to your crops develop.

Don’t have house for an out of doors compost bin? Bokashi composting bins slot in small kitchens and splendid for tiny flats.

9. Harvesting your individual water

As local weather change brings longer durations of drought, threatening water shortages and water shortage throughout many areas of the world, and a few municipalities already forcing water restrictions on their residents, harvesting your individual water is essential to dwelling a self-sufficient and eco-friendly life.

You may arrange rain barrels to seize water in your gardens, pets and on a regular basis family use. Simply observe the place water naturally collects in your property and place the barrel there.

You may even acquire your individual cooking and consuming water doing it this fashion (simply make certain to purify it first with a filter). Holding a bucket within the bathe additionally helps you seize any water runoff which you’ll then use in your gardens.

If your own home has a yard, contemplate putting in rainwater tanks so you have got an out there water provide. That is additionally a good way to cut back your water invoice.

10. Holding chickens

For those who get pleasure from consuming eggs or eager so as to add natural fertiliser to your gardens, holding chickens will present one other component of self-reliance. Chickens are the best and most adaptable type of livestock you possibly can maintain, although that is depending on how a lot time you must look after them and the way a lot land you have got out there to boost them. Free vary chickens, the place chickens have entry to the outside and have ample house to wander, take mud baths and many others. is the best way to go as caged hens with little house to dwell is simply plain merciless.

Photograph: Jan Baborak.

For those who’re eager to get some chickens, there are many YouTube movies that may run via your complete means of holding chickens, from easy methods to construct a pen to figuring out an acceptable breed. It’s also possible to go to permaculture websites for articles on the topic and self-sufficiency-focused teams on Fb to be taught from different hen house owners.

The important thing to having chickens is to get pleasure from them as you’ll any pet. With love and a spotlight, they are going to flourish, laying contemporary eggs, serving to to enhance the soil with their poo and their cheeky personalities make they a loveable a part of the household too.

When most individuals consider self-sufficient dwelling, they typically consider folks dwelling off-the-grid in the course of nowhere, however the truth is, self-sufficiency is actually an environmentally-friendly method to dwelling that comes with helpful abilities that may allow you to dwell a extra unbiased and low influence life– simply as your grandparents as soon as did.

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