One of the objectives here at the Yandina Community Gardens is to help our members and community learn hands-on skills and become educated to live a more “self-sufficient” and “sustainable” lifestyle. Becoming more self-sufficient means becoming less dependent on outside resources and making more use of your own resources. Whilst complete self-sufficiency may not be possible for most people in today’s modern world, I do believe it is a rewarding pursuit. One that will yield many practical and personal benefits.
There is an abundance of information and tips out there on how to become more self-sufficient. Over the coming months, the gardens will be running a number of workshops to support you to become more self-sufficient. In this article, I will be focusing on three things you can do to reduce your living costs and become more self-sufficient. At the end of the article, I will include a list of tips for you.
On average we spend about $150 a week on food and for a family, with a couple kids, this can be well over $300 a week. Almost all those costs can be eliminated by growing our own food. Get out and attend as many workshops as you can to learn the key components to growing your own organic nutrient-packed food. The main things to learn about include:
Organic waste comprises an estimated 20-40% of the solid waste stream that ends up in landfills. Organic matter breaks down slowly in landfills due to limited oxygen, which can contribute to methane gas production. Luckily we can compost! 🙂 Compost is the rich, black remnant of organic waste such as kitchen scraps combined with “brown” matter (i.e. soil, leaves). The result is beautiful fertilizer for your garden. Intentionally composting accelerates the natural process of the breakdown of organic matter. Composting reduces landfill waste, saves you from using chemical fertilizers, and introduces beneficial organisms to your soil. A supporter and member of our garden Costa Georgiadis has a lot to say about composting.
What few people realize, is that the process of heating water in homes is extremely energy intensive and therefore expensive. An average household can use around 25% of its total energy on heating water. So it’s important to use an efficient system that suits your needs. Reducing the amount of hot water you use and using a more efficient hot water system are great ways to reduce your energy costs and your impact on the environment. Given that over 85% of our electricity in Australia is derived from nonrenewable fossil fuels, the ecological cost of water heating is enormous. The warm showers that you so enjoy are most fun and likely at the same time contributing to massive greenhouse gas emissions leading to global warming.
Luckily, there are other ways to heat the water that you use that are cost-effective. It is a step to becoming less reliant on the power grid. Do some of your own research online.
Once you have your own food growing, have put together an efficient composting system and have reduced your energy consumption by heating your own hot water you will be well on your way to becoming more self-sufficient and saved lots of money.
There are lots more things you can start to incorporate into your daily life – here are some ideas.
Self-sufficient living tips can help anyone begin to develop their own economic and environmental independence. While it may not be possible to become completely self-sufficient, choosing just a few ways to participate in low impact living can have a profound impact on the environment as well as an individual’s self-esteem and personal satisfaction.
Roman Spur and his family have pursued a self-sufficient lifestyle for many years. To learn more about how to provide for your family in a more sustainable and self-sufficient way, join us at Roman’s workshop. Click here to book