Self Sufficient Living | Green Living | Going Off Grid | Sustainable Living

Home gardening is relaxing and rewarding
Home gardening is relaxing and rewarding
City dwellers can still enjoy fresh gardens by forming community garden groups.
City dwellers can still enjoy fresh gardens by forming community garden groups.
Back yard gardens supply fresh vegetables that you know how and where they grew.
Back yard gardens supply fresh vegetables that you know how and where they grew.
Fresh vegetables can be raised in some of the smallest areas by using support poles and trellises.
Fresh vegetables can be raised in some of the smallest areas by using support poles and trellises.
Old fashioned garden tools from Cottage Craft Works .com
Old fashioned garden tools from Cottage Craft Works .com
The reproduction of the Pioneer Junior Wheel Hoe is still the Cadillac of hand push cultivators. It is also available at Cottage Craft Works .com
The reproduction of the Pioneer Junior Wheel Hoe is still the Cadillac of hand push cultivators. It is also available at Cottage Craft Works .com
Home cooking using fresh vegetables.
Home cooking using fresh vegetables.
Home preserving of vegetables without all the high sodium and chemical preservatives.
Home preserving of vegetables without all the high sodium and chemical preservatives.
Simple hand crank tools can extract the juice, discard the seeds and core in one pass to make all types juices and sauces.
Simple hand crank tools can extract the juice, discard the seeds and core in one pass to make all types juices and sauces.
American made pressure cookers make home food preservation quickly.
American made pressure cookers make home food preservation quickly.
Many prefer the hot water bath canning method.
Many prefer the hot water bath canning method.
Fresh ground flour used as its being ground maintains the highest nutritional values.
Fresh ground flour used as its being ground maintains the highest nutritional values.
Many are turning back to raising chickens in their back yards.  Free range chickens help to reduce bugs while the provide a family with fresh eggs.
Many are turning back to raising chickens in their back yards. Free range chickens help to reduce bugs while the provide a family with fresh eggs.
 Amish made Little Dutch Maid hand crank mixer is a favorite in the Amish communities for cooking meals for large groups.  It's just one of the 5000 products at Cottage Craft Works .com
Amish made Little Dutch Maid hand crank mixer is a favorite in the Amish communities for cooking meals for large groups. It's just one of the 5000 products at Cottage Craft Works .com
The Little Dutch Maid has an optional food processor to make it a complete hand crank off-grid food processor.
The Little Dutch Maid has an optional food processor to make it a complete hand crank off-grid food processor.
You can even find an Amish conversion hand crank Kitchen Aid Mixer or have an old one converted to off grid.
You can even find an Amish conversion hand crank Kitchen Aid Mixer or have an old one converted to off grid.
Old fashioned hand crank salad maker makes a large bowl of salad and slaw in short order.  They are easy to use and clean compared to an electric model.
Old fashioned hand crank salad maker makes a large bowl of salad and slaw in short order. They are easy to use and clean compared to an electric model.
Old fashioned popcorn taste so much better than microwave and probably healthier  without all the preservatives.
Old fashioned popcorn taste so much better than microwave and probably healthier without all the preservatives.
Ditch the lost cords, this stove top waffle maker cooks just fine on a gas cook top.
Ditch the lost cords, this stove top waffle maker cooks just fine on a gas cook top.
Hand water pumps can be used as backup, there's even an offset well cap to add a backup hand pump to an exsisting electric water well.
Hand water pumps can be used as backup, there's even an offset well cap to add a backup hand pump to an exsisting electric water well.
Solar panels can be used in a complete off gird or back up power supply free from fossil fuels.
Solar panels can be used in a complete off gird or back up power supply free from fossil fuels.
Oil lamps are still used as decorator and for off grid lighting.
Oil lamps are still used as decorator and for off grid lighting.
Battery powered DC lighting is being used in the Amish communities.  Equipped with a 12 volt LED light these lamps can provide evening lighting for up to a week.
Battery powered DC lighting is being used in the Amish communities. Equipped with a 12 volt LED light these lamps can provide evening lighting for up to a week.
Treadle sewing machines are very popular among sewers even non-Amish
Treadle sewing machines are very popular among sewers even non-Amish

Why are so many people just taking a deep breath and making a life changing “U Turn” toward self sufficiency?

Self sufficient living is very appealing for many reasons.

The desire crosses over multiple generations, cultures and speaks too many different, economical and earth friendly movements.

Financial considerations

Unbearable stress. It’s become a high pressure social stigma society.

People seem to feel they have to worker longer and harder to just burn green to succeed in life instead of living green.

Buried deep within emotions there seems to be constant underlying fear of many of just not being socially excepted.

Then even worse, perhaps somehow being compared with the haves and the have not’s.

American’s are constantly being bombarded with all sorts of media images on how they should be living.

Images suggest all the material items and the way celebrations should be conducted for lifelong special events, such as elaborate proms, graduations, and weddings .

Ads even go as far as to imply that we should somehow feel guilty if we don’t purchase or miss purchasing a very special “expensive” gift(s) for that special person in our lives.

They even have all the special days marked for us on the calendar so that we don’t miss something to celebrate and spend money on.

These marketing schemes seem to be cleverly pushing people into thinking they must be dependent on these material items and celebrations to only provide the very best for our families.

From homes, electronics, furnishings, clothing, jewelry, automobiles and those most elaborate celebrations the American dream like Christmas has become heavily suggestive commercialized.

Credit has been heavily marketed as if it’s now some type of expectation in order for people to live normal lives.

Many live deeply in debt well beyond their means just so that they can have all the latest must have material items.

Lending institutions are even eager to help people take out second mortgages on their home just to finance a daughters highly inflated special wedding day.

These social pressures are higher than ever in the work place, amongst our children at school and even at places that should be consider relaxing and enjoyable.

Most people who have found themselves sinking deeply in debt are looking for an escape back to simpler less complicated times.

They remember growing up in families where life was just less stressful and complicated.

The corporate greed to push people to overextend themselves in credit has crippled the economy and created the worst recession since The Great Depression.

Others are preparing to live totally self sufficient very concerned that the next economic collapse will be long hard and deep leaving the country in a total loss of infrastructure.

They even call it the next “SHTF”, short for when S___ hits the fan.

Becoming debt free is one way to reduce the pressures of society in order to begin enjoying self sufficient living.

Sustainable living also can mean living within ones means.

Those who have found debt free living as the first step to self sufficient living realize that material things are really not as important as spending time with family.

They are living comfortable in their own self selected environment with less stress.

They no longer really care what friends and neighbors think about them driving a 5-10 year old car.

Finding clothing bargains at a local discount or even at a Goodwill Store is more exciting than capturing the latest fashion design to show off to others how much money they spent.

Many dream of moving off to some backwoods cabin to live off the land with no mortgage, no credit cards and no utility bills.

Others dread of the thought of living so backwards and only joke about it.

Living more self sufficient doesn't necessarily mean having to go this far.

Anyone living in the city or country can work towards becoming more self sufficient, eating healthier and living without so much financial stress.

You don’t need to quit your job and move to the back woods either.

You do need to take a look at your day to day, month to month, and year to year habits, spending and dependency on everything.

Look at life more three dimensional and begin to figure out how to set a course now toward helping you and your family to become more self sufficient.

Safer Foods

People are very concerned with all the environmental issues that seem to be fueling cancers and diseases.

Many of these are believed to be associated with the many toxic chemicals, pesticides and bacteria in our water and food supply.

Many are looking back in time when more foods were grown locally or at home using non GMO production.

In order to become more self sufficient while producing safer foods, people are once again using their back yards to grow fresh vegetable crops as they did in the early 1900s.

Organic growing practices using non GMO seeds are being sought after to take control of their own destiny.

Even if you live in the city a balcony or patio container garden is still within reach.

Community gardens are being developed by like-minded city dwellers, looking to grow fresh foods and share in the harvest.

Going Green-Carbon Footprints

Looking back in time we either were unaware of the medical issues causing mortality, or there was just less man made environmental factors that are causing our current issues.

Becoming green minded has many different meanings including fewer dependencies on fossil fuels, and chemical induced or environmental pollution producing products.

Much like GMO altered foods tracing back products to green materials can be difficult.

Recycling and repurposing to reduce the impact on landfills and reducing the toxins to make new products from raw materials has become a quest for self sufficient as well as sustainable living minded people.

Becoming less dependent on others

The explosion in fast food has created many of current day issues.

The fast food world has been credited to moving our country to more obesity and unhealthy eating.

By purchasing ready made foods either at a chain drive through, in a sit down restaurant, or in the grocery frozen food section, most Americans have formed a deep dependency on others in preparing the foods they eat daily.

Today many kitchens in the average American home sit ideal except maybe a quick meal then and there and during holidays.

Many kids are just not learning the basics of food prep and healthy cooking.

This is making them even more dependent on others as well as straining their budgets on eating fast foods as they grow older with unhealthy eating habits.

Many are looking back at the quality family time spent preparing and then around the dinner table eating healthier homemade food selections.

These foods were also prepared with less, deep fired cooking, sodium and artificial preservatives.

Growing up in the baby boom generation we learned by doing and observing.

Many families have now become very dependent on others to come and fix or do some of the simplest home chores and repairs.

People are beginning to feel the pinch in the pocket book by depending on others.

They are searching more online and attending short how to courses locally to learn more about home improvement projects and repairs to live more self sufficient.

Unlike the American family in the 1950s today the American family becomes almost totally paralyzed when stores, restaurants, gas and the Internet is not available during storm and power outages.

Within just a few days a family can be in a desperate situation with no food, survival skills, or knowledge to adapt and or fix minor home repairs.

Less Dependency on Fossil Fuels

People are just tired of all the drama, war, and out of pocket price gouging to their annual budget with dependencies caused by fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels also play a big part on the quest for a better cleaner environment, as the concern of air pollution and it’s possible influence on global warming.

Living less dependent on fossil fuels by using alternative energy sources powered by wind, solar, and even human power is being sought as ways to live more self sufficient.

Living off grid

Whether it’s trying to live more energy efficient or living totally off grid, the dependency on grid power is gaining a lot of attention.

Some who are afraid of the vulnerability of grid power to terrorist attacks, cyber attacks or a natural disaster are preparing to live grid free for extended periods.

While converting a modern home to totally off grid living may sound appealing the initial price tag is still way out of reach for most.

People are still finding that converting to some off grid solutions is a good idea to prepare for uncertain weather related extended power outages while shaving off some of the cost on their utility bills.

Where to begin

Unfortunately finding the old fashioned knowledge, solutions and products to live more self sufficient has also been lost in many of our modern day conveniences.

Products that are available may look good on TV or in the ads but the reality is an inferior imported item that probably will not function when it is most needed.

As modern and high tech as we have become there’s still no time machine to take us back to a time when people lived a more simpler life even before grid power was available.

Visiting with living Grand and Great Grandparents is a good start. Collect all the family homemade recipes and solutions you can now before they are lost in the estate sell off.

Take a good long hard look at the families monthly and annual expenses to fully understand just how much money is being spent dependent on other things that occur outside the home.

Take a look at the families habits towards learning to do or hiring someone to fix the simplest home repairs.

Even some appliance repairs can be fixed without having to call a repairman. Before calling a repairman Google the make and model and problems to see what comes up. Often you will find the part needed and easy to follow instructions.

Take inventory of the fast prepared foods that are being consumed in the home compared to what can be possible made cheaper and more healthy from scratch.

There’s many teachable moments to help growing children to learn self sufficiency in homemade cooking and home repairs. You might just be surprised on how much money it has been costing.

Mute the TV commercials and pass over the glossy ads. Begin thinking of how to find products that will last and not be subjected to some type of corporate planned obsolescence.

Resist the urge to have the latest and greatest or most fashionable trends. It’s really a good feeling to not have buyer’s remorse when the credit card statements roll in.

It’s also a great feeling to pay off the car loan(s) and not feel as if you have to rush out to start all over for another five years.

Don’t be lured into low car lease payments. Talk about stress, people worry every day if they are going to be going over the allotted mileage on these deals.

Automobiles are one thing that have improved in life expectancy. Many who are living debt free are driving even 10 year and older cars with well over 100,000 miles.

Simpler is often better than having all the complex electronic bells and whistles that can become costly to repair.

Frugal living is more in style than ever. Extravagant living can be saved for those once in a lifetime family vacations that can be paid in full with cash verses running up another credit card bill.

These ideas have been brought to you by Cottage Craft Works .com a company who is dedicate in helping people find self sufficiency and quality old fashioned products to live more self sufficient.

From a back yard garden to a complete off grid lifestyle you can find over 5000 products mostly made and used in the Amish off grid communities. The pictures just show a few of the products.

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8 comments

queerlyobscure profile image

queerlyobscure 3 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

I dream of being totally self-sufficient one day. Great hub covering the basics and benefits!


louisxfourie profile image

louisxfourie 3 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

I am working towards being self sufficient as money allows. Stunning hub, useful tips.


Siliconsolar 3 years ago

SiliconSolar offers affordable products that can allow you to live your life more sustainably by harnessing the sun's energy to power your everyday life, rather than continually being dependent on fossil fuels. From solar-powered mobile device chargers to water heaters, http://www.siliconsolar.com/ offers a wealth of information on these products and how you can save money through federal or state renewable energy incentives when converting.


rekha anand profile image

rekha anand 3 years ago

Yes..I agree totally. this is the need of the hour to be self sufficient. It may appear hard initially. But, one has to go for it sooner or later. nice hub and valuable tips.


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

I live off the grid. Solar power, rainwater harvesting, growing our own fruit and veges, eggs and animals ... all the little things that help to make us self-sufficient.

Anyone who puts their mind to it can achieve a level of sustainability. Happy to share my experience to help you on your journey. :)


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

Forgot to thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important subject. Voted up. :)


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

Living off-grid with solar power, I have many old-fashioned tools particularly in the kitchen. I would really like some of those garden tools in the photos though. Hmm. I wonder if they are available in Australia.

Voted up ++


PhoenixV profile image

PhoenixV 2 years ago from USA

I did not realize there were so many hand crank devices out there until I saw your hub article. I wish I had them all!

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