by Naomi Lever
How, where and what you do to become self-sufficient is a personal choice. Doing as much as you can yourself in the environment you live is a noble goal. It takes time and discipline to reach your goals but once they are reached it can be quite liberating. Here's a list of things you can do (some big, some small) to become more self-sufficient. You will find that most of these tips will save you money and are good for the environment. Saving money comes hand in hand with self-sufficiency. Your labor is much cheaper than someone else's.
Plant your own vegetable garden.
Change your own oil on your car or truck.
Cut your own firewood.
Collect and use rain water instead of municipal or well water.
Supplement your house's heating system with solar water panels.
Supplement your hot water needs with solar water panels.
Mulch your garden with local organic mulch instead of store bought products.
Use home-made compost and free manure to enrich your garden's soil.
Grow non-hybrid vegetables and save the seeds for next year's planting.
Grow potatoes and save the fingerlings for next years planting.
Use square foot gardening techniques to grow lots of vegetables in small places.
Build a greenhouse to extend your growing season.
Build a root cellar to store your harvest.
Start a small orchard for a variety of fruits.
Learn how to preserve food by canning.
Raise bees to help pollination and for honey, Honey is the only food substance that will not spoil.
Raise chickens for meat and eggs.
Raise sheep for wool and meat.
Raise goats or a dairy cow for dairy products.
Preserve vegetables by sun drying them.
Spin wool into yarn for making clothes.
Make your own furniture out of tree branches.
Preserve vegetables by freezing them.
Grow herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes.
Use edible wild plants to supplement one's diet.
Use containers to grow vegetables in small places.
Use chicken manure (composted) to help fertilize your garden.
Use, use and reuse as much as possible before throwing away.
Conserve electricity whenever possible.
Tune-up your own car or truck.
Sharpen your own tools.
Build your own home.
Grow grapes for preserves or raisins.
Build a pond and raise fish for food.
Use solar panels to supplement your energy needs.
Learn how to use a welder.
Use clothes lines to dry clothes instead of a mechanical dryer.
Grow grains to feed your own livestock.
Grow alfalfa to return nitrogen to the soil.
Use a generator for emergency and supplemental power.
Dig or drive your own well (make sure the water is tested before using for drinking).
Bake your own bread.
Do your own plumbing.
Do your own electrical work.
Run a small business from your home.
Barter goods and services with your neighbors.
Use a push mower instead of a gas or electric mower.
Use a bicycle (whenever possible) instead of a motorized vehicle.
Consider becoming a vegetarian. (Raising animals for food takes more energy and resources than growing vegetables--eat lower on the food chain.)
Have any maples trees? Make your own syrup as a sugar substitute.
Not a vegetarian? Supplement your diet by hunting game.
Home school your children. They can incorporate gardening and livestock care into their curriculum and it saves on travel (environmentally sound), uniform costs and school trip expenses (frugal).As well as allowing them to be educated in sustainable living/permaculture. Something schools don't cover!! It's rewards are many fold and results in happy well balanced children!
Original at: http://www.daycreek.com/dc/html/DC_ss_thingsyoucando.htm