I don’t know about you, but I’m experiencing a fair amount of chaos in the world. My sense of place, who I am, and my tribe/family are all up in the air. You can’t find anyone still working who isn’t stressed, overwhelmed, and underpaid, juggling three jobs. When you call your fifth-in-line, no one’s taking new patients, our therapists have lost patience.
The news is full of scary futures and present dangers. They are real. Climate Change, Political Upheaval, Food Security, Inequality, Mass Extinctions, Violence, and Pandemics seem to be coming together in a perfect storm.
It’s time to think regeneratively about the future and how to take care of ourselves without surrendering to a collective future PTSD.
Recognizing what’s at hand and how to not just survive but thrive requires a plan for self-sufficiency.
Decide how far you want to take your self-sufficient lifestyle. Are you planning on growing all your food or just a few key items? What are the best ways to go about doing this? And what resources are available to you?
It’s surprising how many ways you can go about living an organic lifestyle. You might find that one method suits you better than the others. Knowing the available resources, you can better plan your organic lifestyle accordingly.
Stock up. Fill Your Pantry with Organic Food and Products
According to the Global Food Security Index, “The world is dangerously unprepared to meet skyrocketing food prices and hunger… in an increasingly volatile world.”
It reveals a fragile global food system ill-prepared for shocks like extreme weather, the war in Ukraine, heatwaves, floods, and a general deterioration of our global food system.
(WHY IS FOOD A GLOBAL SYSTEM?)
I stock up when I see anything certified organic food on sale that is shelf stable. In fact, anything that’s a staple like rice and beans—on sale or not—I buy like as much as my larder will hold.
This includes organic products that aren’t edible. Replace your regular detergent with an organic alternative. You can also use organic essential oils in place of fabric softeners. And there are organic cleaning products designed to suit every room in the home. Take your organic living one step further by swapping synthetic cleaning cloths for organic cotton versions. Organic cotton is much kinder to the environment than synthetic fabrics. It’s also better for your health.
It’s not hoarding but just laying away a few acorns for the winter. Besides, anything I can buy today will be more expensive tomorrow. Organic farmers need the dough, and you need organic food to sustain health and happiness.
Plant Seeds, Nourish Animals, Grow Your Food
Next, start organic gardening. One of the best ways to live an organic lifestyle is to grow your own food. You know the vegetables, eggs, and herbs are organic if you’ve grown them with organic methods. You can cultivate your own food in the ground, in a conservatory, in a greenhouse, or even on a balcony.
Consider a few chickens or a hive of bees even if you’re in the city. You don’t need acres of land to keep bees, and you don’t need any special equipment to keep chickens.
If you have the land or community commons, you can keep goats for milk, sheep for wool, and pigs for meat. Plus, you can easily bid on goats at auctions. A goat, sheep, and pigs are better suited to a larger garden or a field. They’re also great fertilizer generators for your compost.
Growing food is a great hobby, connecting you to the earth, the wind, and your very sustenance. It can also nourish cooperation with neighbors.
Let’s face it we are going to need each other. I cook well and love animals, you want to build things and create. She may want to sew or provide a poem of hope. He may be excellent at sharpening knives and building fires. It’s going to take a village.
I like to think of Carol Sanford’s Regenerative Life work on building real change in the world.
Vote in the Midterms is an important way to participate in your community. My Move, which I love for its moving advice & services, has a State-by-State Guide to Mail-in Voting and Changing Your Voter Registration Address.
Install Renewable Energy
If you’re committed to going as organic as possible, you might want to consider installing renewable energy. Solar panels, wind turbines, and battery storage are ways to live a self-sufficient future. They’re a significant investment that can pay for itself in time and you can also engage your local community on larger projects that may have government funding.
Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation (CMRA) is a great resource for information from the federal government to help you consider your exposure to climate-related hazards. People working in communities can use the site to help develop equitable climate resilience plans to protect people, property, and infrastructure.
It also points to Federal Grant Funds for climate resilience projects, including those available through the latest Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. That’s money speaking towards your community’s future.
Commit To a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle Nurturance
If you want to go all out and commit to a self-sufficient lifestyle, you can do it. You can grow as much of your own food as possible, invest in renewable energy, and even learn basic skills such as how to tailor clothing or sew your own curtains.
But perhaps the most important way to live a self-sufficient sustainable life is to take care of yourself.
Breathe, don’t worry, talk to your friends, open up, be vulnerable, sing, dance, and do whatever makes your heart sing.
Find your folk and make plans for a few things to go quite awry, and envision the things that will emerge and renew us.