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How To Become Self-Sufficient In Today's World

Updated on February 11, 2014

Is It Really Possible in a Modern World

I remember back when I was about ten or eleven years old. My dad woke up one Saturday morning and decided that he was going to re-wire the upstairs recreation room. He waited until after I had finished my breakfast and then he told me his plan and asked me to give him a hand.

So very cool! I was going to bond with my dad and learn some great “how-to” information in the process.

We dragged all the tools upstairs and laid them on the ping pong table; then dad stood in the middle of the room and started staring at the job before him. He stool rooted in that spot for a good five minutes and finally my curiosity got the better of me. “Dad,” I said, “How do we start the job?”

“Bill, I don’t have a clue,” said he,”but we’ll figure it out eventually.”

That was my dad, a man who was raised during the Great Depression when self-sufficiency was a matter of survival and not some resurrected theory on life that a few are attempting in 2014.

For those of you confused by this self-sufficiency nonsense, let me give you a very succinct definition. Self-sufficiency is the ability and practice of providing for all of your own needs and the needs of your household without outside aid or resources.

Is it really possible in a modern world? Most definitely, and there are pockets of people sprinkled around the country who are completely self-sufficient….but not many. To be completely self-sufficient one must be fiercely independent; one must have loads of motivation; and one must be passionate about changing their life.

A more realistic question is this: is it possible to be more self-sufficient in a modern world? To that question the answer is most definitely YES!

Do it yourself!
Do it yourself! | Source

Reasons for Self-sufficiency

So why bother? Why should our modern generation, with all of the conveniences that are at their fingertips, even bother with this self-sufficiency garbage? Let’s face it, this is a tough sell. People love conveniences. People are rushed for time. People are just plain tired and worn out and it is not easy to convince them that they should repair their own car rather than have a mechanic do it.

Well, I came up with a few reasons why a person might choose this new lifestyle:

  • Being prepared for the future is most likely the number one reason for the rebirth of this movement. The economy sucks! Politicians do not have your best interest at heart. It feels, to many, like there is a catastrophe just over the horizon, and they are looking for some peace of mind in the event of some disaster.
  • Lack of faith in the established political and governmental system is another growing concern among people. Many are seeing the wisdom in divorcing themselves, as much as possible, from the oversight of governmental agencies.
  • Many are saying goodbye to consumerism and waste. Many do not want to be a part of an unhealthy system of GMO food, greed and the theory that he who has the most toys wins.
  • Personal satisfaction is playing a huge part in this decision. There are a growing number of people who find great pleasure in growing their own food and providing for themselves. They love being able to fix things, grow things and learn new trades and talents.
  • And finally we have those who are concerned about the environment and see self-sufficiency as a way for them to diminish their carbon footprint on this Earth.

Grow it yourself
Grow it yourself | Source

Problems You Will Face in Becoming Self-sufficient

Before you consider the self-sufficient lifestyle, you should probably be aware of some of the problems that you face.

Time is a major issue in today’s society. Families where mom and dad both work just to pay the bills will find it very hard to find time to can fruits and grow vegetables. There are only so many hours in a day for a hard-working family; how in the world do you find more time to do things that take a great amount of time? Burnout is a major drawback for many.

For those who are social animals, self-sufficiency means less time in a social setting. You are much too busy fixing the broken fence to go visit friends. You are much too busy mending clothes to go have coffee with the girls.

But perhaps the biggest obstacle for most is the fact that we now live in a convenience society, and living a self-sufficient lifestyle is anything but convenient. Things take longer when you are self-sufficient. There are no more trips to McDonald’s for a quick lunch; there are no more fifteen minute Jiffy Lubes in your future.

Fix it yourself
Fix it yourself | Source

How to Become More Self-sufficient

There are no easy answers to this question. Very few people are totally self-sufficient, so let’s just talk about becoming MORE self-sufficient. Here are some areas to consider:

  • Is your current job stable? Is it dependent on a healthy economy? If not, steps need to be taken so that you are less-reliable upon that job.
  • Educate yourself! The more you know the more you will be prepared. Learn how to earn money in self-employment endeavors. Figure out your basic needs, namely food, shelter, clothing, and health care, and then find ways to meet those needs by yourself.
  • Eliminate debt. Financial freedom is a huge step in the right direction.
  • Housing considerations are difficult. Yes, you need shelter, but do you need 3,000 square feet? Is your yard large enough to have a garden? Are there restrictions in your neighborhood that would prevent you from having solar or wind energy? How can you make your home more energy efficient?
  • Food: to be totally self-sufficient you will have to grow and/or raise all of your food. That is not going to happen for most people, but what can you do to become more self-sufficient?
  • Transportation. Now we are really getting into difficult, especially for Americans who love their automobiles. The dependence on oil for transportation is ridiculous and yet it is a reality most live with; what can you do to become less dependent on the internal combustion engine? Can you do without a car? Can you at least buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle instead of a gas-guzzling SUV? Can you carpool more or take part in a car share program?
  • Odds and ends. Can you start drying laundry outside? Can you start mending clothes? Can you buy a composting toilet or do haircuts at home? Or like my father, can you learn to re-wire your recreation room?

My dad survived the re-wiring project
My dad survived the re-wiring project | Source

Is It Worth It for You?

And there is the number one question: are the benefits of self-sufficiency enough to convince you and nudge you to take action?

I am convinced that we are heading towards an economic collapse. I am not prone to “Chicken Little” thoughts, so my beliefs are not based on a nervous disposition. I look at the economy and those factors that greatly affect that economy and I can see no happy ending in the future. For me, moving towards self-sufficiency is the only responsible action to take…..but…..I realize that not everyone shares my economic forecast.

More importantly for me, however, are the feel good vibes I get when I raise my own food. I feel good about myself when I raise food responsibly. I feel good when I use recycled items rather than buying new and thus using more natural resources. I feel good knowing that I can rely on myself and my natural abilities rather than just pay money for convenience. I feel good knowing that I live with a social conscience and that I do not add to the waste in a wasteful society.

Self-sufficiency is not for everyone, but I know the numbers are growing and I suspect they will continue to grow, and that, too, makes me feel good.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out how to re-wire our rec room.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aneegma, so nice of you to stop by and to follow me. Thank you!

    • Aneegma profile image

      Merida Craze 3 years ago

      Excellent hub! I actually do practice self sufficiency but your hub has given me some new ideas. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, to me it is a huge step towards it. It is so easy to fall into that trap of letting others do our work for us because it is convenient...once you realize that and break away from that trap you are on the road to self-sufficiency. Thanks for sharing that story; you made me smile.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      We need to paint our guest bathroom and have been putting it off. A few weeks ago I said to my husband that we should just hire someone and get it done with. Later that evening I realized what I had suggested, and laughed with him about it. I would only take us about 1 - 2 hours to do it and we would probably save a couple hundred bucks in the process. Now I realize that this is not being self sufficient, but it's a step towards it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Deb, and the more people will see us dong it and making it work...and then they just might try it. :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's what I like to hear! The more of us that can attempt to do this on our own, the more knowledge and pride we will have in our own undertakings.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you girishpuri and God bless you as well my friend.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 3 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      I love the idea of being self sufficient. Dependency on any one is always irritating and must be avoided. thank you very much for the eye opening hub. Bill. God bless you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I would have liked your dad. Lettuce is great in that you can sprinkle it all over the garden and it takes hold quite nicely...salad wherever you roam. I don't do that well with tomatoes but I keep trying. Thanks for your thoughts and enjoy your cold weekend.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      My Dad used to say, "the only things I can't fix are a broken baby bottle or a broken heart". He would tackle any job and was always successful. He taught my husband a lot for which we are both grateful.

      I am slowly getting back to gardening. I have a small yard so have been mixing tomato plants in with my flowers. This year, lettuce is on the agenda.

      Unfortunately not everyone has your stamina and determination but every little bit we can do is an improvement.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katrina, thanks for the visit. I think we are going to see an increase in this activity out of necessity in the years to come...I'm just trying to get a head start on the crowd. :)

    • Katrina Ariel profile image

      Katrina Ariel 3 years ago from The Highlands of British Columbia, Canada

      This is a great hub, and on a topic I'm very interested in. I think all of us can become more self-sufficient, and help make the world a better place in the process!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You can indeed, Ann!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Certainly will but can I have coffee instead of tea? Thanks! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you are back and I am grateful. Sit down and I'll serve tea while we chat. :)

      You are a wonder my friend. You should have written this article with your experience. Thank you for sharing all of those things that you do...now if we can only get a few hundred million more people to follow along things will be much better in this world. As always, I enjoyed your visit; stop by again soon.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Your 4 reasons for self-sufficiency are exactly what I would've come up with. We're becoming more sufficient as we get older. We've always saved money, mended things, done our own repairs, electrics, plumbing etc (I'm lucky with that as my partner does all these things well, as well as building). It's satisfying to the very nerve-end; what better than standing back and saying 'I did that.'?

      I grow herbs and now we're home more often will get around to sprinkling lettuce amongst the flowers and growing veg in pots (not enough room for a plot and no allotments close enough).

      We recycle in the extreme; always off to the charity shop or clearing out and supplying neighbours with bits and pieces (you DO want this, don't you?!). We're in the throes of rearranging the sitting room to accommodate a 'workstation' for me; we don't want to get rid of certain pieces of furniture, storage being at a premium, so we're going upwards and stacking.

      It goes on in that vein. We have more time. We have no mortgage. Youngsters are finding it more difficult but learning how to do things is a must. My younger daughter was a single mum for a while; she learnt to do all sorts of things and, boy, is that coming in useful now!

      Superb ideas, superb writing, as chatty and as witty as ever. Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, one day we will both write from our little farms and won't that be joyful? Thank you my dear and I hope things dry out in your country soon.

      love,

      billy

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      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant as always Billy and so inspiring. Although we only have a small patio we do grow so many vegetables, fruit and herbs. I wish we had a bigger garden so we could grow so much more.

      However you never know....?

      Thank you again Billy and voted up for sure. Here's wishing you a great day and lots of love from Wales.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you vkwok. I'm happy to help out.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing these great lessons, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, good morning and thank you! I'm just trying to spread the word about alternatives to the consumerism madness that has swept over this country. Hopefully someone will listen and adapt. I appreciate you, Sir! Have a blessed day as well.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hello Bill.

      Informative,practical, perhaps the most needed to think over as to understand and assimilate with ! Self-sufficiency need to be promoted for all the reason listed in your hub, making awareness that self-worth of an individual comes with it. Looking at a product of your own hands , if it be a simple breakfast, painted room or an addition to a room or just planting seed of a tomato boosts a persons perception of worth. Everybody wants it, everybody has enormous potential ;

      -- keep up with encouragements as you do. The above type of information need to be rewritten, re-posed, forever… Great work doing it is your ingenuity- proven by now ; and when you disagree with ' noble ' then yore genius- just read some of definitions- you will find out being a ' dazzlingly skilled in what you are displaying.'

      Voted up on all counts for this HUB except funny.

      Have a blessed day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      grand old lady, you bet it is a step and more will lead from it. Very well done my friend. Best wishes today and always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, bravo to you. You are very correct...once you build a home then it is all gravy after that. Well done my friend...well done!

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      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      BillyBuc, I want YOUR life. If only. So today I am gonna paint the bathroom door by myself. I guess small steps can only lead to larger steps. PLUS I will do online research on how to make a decent compost.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Glad to see you continuing to push this admirable message Bill. I have learnt how to do a lot of home maintenance that I had no idea about before. I never knew I would be capable of building my own home (even if it's very basic) , so that was the biggest step for me. Once you've done that you find a lot of other things come easy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, it is the only responsible course of action. Well done and thank you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Wise words, Bill. I believe our future will not hold a promise for the America Dream. We are working towards self-sufficiency in our own home and we are actually happier. Sharing this one!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing all that, Faith. I really am amazed by the number of people who do not know how to do basic jobs and repairs. Growing up everyone knew how to do those jobs. I'm not sure, in this case, that progress is really progress. :)

      Have a great remainder of the week and blessings always

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Very wise indeed, to become self-sufficient. If we all could look into the future, and I mean, the very near future, the more self-sufficient one is the better off one will be without a doubt! I have always painted the inside of our homes, and I learned that while watching my mother paint our house growing up and I put in a kitchen floor before too and many other things that other people hire people to do for them. I would have never thought to pay someone to paint my home. My father-in-law came to visit us in our home in the small town, where I had to paint the inside of this home too, which has varying heights of ceilings up to 12' and he was just amazed that I had painted it all by myself and had done such a good job. LOL, as they had just hired painters to paint their house and it was very expensive and they did a terrible job. He said, he would have paid me to paint their house. Plus, when we were getting ready to move out of our house in the city, I put in a new kitchen floor, and my father-in-law was once again amazed that I had done that too and all the tiles were straight. LOL Oh, my mother changed out storm windows for my Aunt who lived up north when "The Perfect Storm" hit and she was amazed at my mother who was near 70 knew how to change out all the windows in my Aunt's home and put in the storm windows. So, I guess I get it honest as they say.

      Up and more and sharing.

      Blessings,

      Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, hello! I hope you survive the ice storm. Nasty winter for most of this country and it appears it isn't over yet. As for job security, there is none. I have a friend who was given her termination papers two weeks ago....28 years as a nurse at the same place, and fifty staff were given a termination package on a Friday with no warning. Nobody is safe in this economy. Thank you for your great observations.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, that's the kind of news that makes my heart soar. Bravo to your town and neighbors. There will be more and more of that activity in the years to come. Thank you for sharing that.

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      Very wise words. Let us not be so foolish as to depend on the government to bail us out of anything, or to think there is anything as a stable job anymore. That said, I am far from being self-sufficient as defined in this hub. I admire your commitment to this life you believe in so - it takes courage and determination.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Bill! A garden is a definite start, and doing your own home improvements is a biggie. Keep up the good work my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I would like your dad. :) Thank you as always.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      We try to be as self sufficient as possible too, on a small budget that we have we seem to have started a bartering system round near where live. we give stuff to the neighbors, they give us stuff back, the allotment next door is always full of great produce which we buy at a small price, and we help them with their gardening and such, it's a great way to do it, great hub bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I think that very much reflects self-sufficiency. It's the old way of trading skills for skills with little money passing between....very important and I applaud you for it. Keep it up my friend and thank you.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. You should teach a class on self-sufficiency. I do try but I'm a long way from being self-sufficient. I will have a garden this year so that's a start. I also do most of my own home improvements and repairs. Like your dad said when you asked "how do we start", I just figure it out sometimes on the fly. Eventually when I retire from my day job I will get better at this. This house will go because while it was fine to raise our 4 kids in, it's too big for just me and my wife. I do think about this stuff all the time and look forward to the day when I can become more self-sufficient. Great job. Have a great week.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      My dad is much like this -- creative, frugal, a real do-it-yourselfer

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      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I love the ideas you give for becoming more self-sufficient. I do try to do a lot of things myself and am ready to make the attempt to do even more. The wonderful thing about my neighborhood is that my neighbors are always willing to help out if I run into something I can't do but they can. Maybe it goes slightly against the definition of self-sufficiency, but even doing something for a neighbor I know how to do in exchange at a later date for something they know how to do helps us get away from depending on the services of people who charge high prices for what we can do ourselves.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy. rompous room sounds like a blast. I'd forgotten that term.....LOL When we have our farm you are invited out...twenty acres for your kids to run free on....farm animals....come visit us, okay?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      erinshelby, great point. We still have some of those communities here in Washington and they work as long as people pull their weight and leave their egos at the door. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tolovaj, I think you are right. One percent....3 million people....is it possible? I hope to see it one day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, there are definitely hard days.....the struggle is worth it, buddy; hang in there.

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      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I hope to be more self-sufficient someday soon. And I prefer to call it a rumpus room because it sounds more fun.

    • erinshelby profile image

      erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

      You know what else is interesting about the "self-sufficiency" movement? At least with the California homesteaders, it showed a team effort. Everyone had a specific role that mattered. The success or failure of one would influence the whole project. Very family-oriented, I think.

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      If i think how many things would change if only one percent of people became self-sufficient, I think we should look at self-sufficiency as a political statement!

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Bill, self-sufficiency is all I want. Some days it's incredibly hard when the bills are piling up and the wolves are at the door to say, "Hell, relax, man. I've got this." But those who have been there will tell us, that only those who endure, will succeed. Thank you for what you do.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, there are quite a few rooftop gardens in our area. Many of the newer buildings are incorporating that theory into their design....looks wonderful when you drive by them and realize the good that they are doing. Good for you and that chili...I love hearing stories like that. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, every little bit helps the cause. Local farmers need our support, and it is support that benefits us and our health. A win-win situation. Thank you my friend; it's always good to hear from you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Barbara! I think this is important; hopefully I can convince others of that fact.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, my best to you too my friend. Great book to have as reference material. We use the Book of Life around our house. :)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Bil, This is amazing as well as the videos. The vegetarian family looked so healthy. The roof top garden was unique, who would think to do this? I know, you! Ha. I know i have a long way to go to become self sufficient, but i do grow many things, such as raspberries, strwberries, tomatoes peppers and cucumbers. My son grows all i mentioned, plus watermelons, peanuts, squash and okra. I made chili today using tomatoes and green peppers i had frozen from last year. It really does feel good to do for yourself. Interesting topic...

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 3 years ago from Finland

      Everyone should think more like you do, Bill. I grow some vegetables in the summer, but I guess there are more things I could do. Right now some organic farmers, in the area where I live, are going to build a slaughterhouse. In a near future people here around can start buying their meat and support the local farmers and also start eating more organic meat. I don't like supporting the big companies when I buy food. I can't grow all the food I need myself and then it feels good to be able to support the local, organic farmers.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 3 years ago from USA

      This was an enjoyable read. I do many of those things, but need to start doing more. Have a great day Bill.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      I have a book--how to fix just about anything--and it lives on my coffee table--next on my list--a leaky faucet--

      Best to you Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, I love all of your ideas. Olympia, where I live, is very active with ideas like that, and you have now given me food for thought as the spring approaches. Thank you for that. As for sewing on a button, I still don't know how, but I can change the brakes on the car. Go figure! LOL

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Useful, Interesting and shared.

      When I lived in Idaho, I knew a woman who lived "off the [electricity] grid" in the foothills of the Bitter Root Mountains. It was a frustration to her to be reminded that her ax, her saw, her garden tools, etc., were made in factories using machines run by electricity.

      I recently thought about learning how to sew on a button, but then I figured why bother when I can buy name-brand, like-new shirts and pants at the Salvation Army for 69c each.

      I have seen documentaries and read articles about homes being built little by little starting with a streetcar, a railroad car, or a cargo container.

      Self-sufficiency can be a community matter and not just a family matter. Marquette MI has a community compost site. In the 80s I belonged to a computer users club. At meetings the more experienced members helped us beginners solve software and hardware problems. Why not similar gatherings for learning/teaching the tricks and tips of repairing, winterizing, food growing, etc.? How about someone with extra acreage providing clotheslines in a sunny spot for apartment dwellers to come with their washed laundry to use? How about cooperative ownership of expensive and infrequently used tools? We're all on this blue boat home together.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it Jo....the girls thinking you spend a fortune on handmade clothes. What a great memory that is. Thank you my friend and I hope you are having a great week.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I'm not sure noble will ever be used in describing me, but common sense might be. :) My goodness, society has to wake up and smell the decay and start changing before it is too late. Well my friend, I'm just going to keep singing this tune and hopefully I can affect some change. Thank you Marlene!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Greg, been there and done that, but I keep trying despite the setbacks. I love learning new skills and I love even more not spending money. LOL Thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww, Dora, thank you, but I love life too much to be President. :)

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, we seem to have lost a lot of the skills our parents took for granted. I agree with Ann about sewing your own clothes. As a teenager, I would see a design I liked and I would either get the pattern or show the particular piece to my mum, she would reproduce the outfit down to the lass stitch. At modelling school, the other girls thought I spent a fortune on clothes. Great hub, as always, you are right on the money.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes he is, Ann! LOL

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      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I'm not so noble that I can say I practice self-sufficiency to lessen my carbon footprint. But, it does happen to be a positive result of minimizing and doing as much for myself as I can. I'm more aware of waste than I ever have been. In fact, I live to find different ways to repurpose things. Like you, I woke up. I found out what time it was. Time to get out of the rat race. I don't have much faith in the decisions being made by government, either.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I suspect that Goodwill stores are going to see a huge increase in business in the years to come......as for sewing, I think you are right...they do last longer and that has to be factored into the equation.

      Thank you for your memories and thoughts.

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      Greg Boudonck 3 years ago from In Nebraska After Hurricane Maria

      Great hub again Bill. I also try my best to be self sufficient. I just hate to pay someone else for something I should be able to do myself. That attitude has bit me in the butt before, but I still keep on with it. What I mean by that is attempting to do something myself that all the mistakes end up making the cost higher than if I would have just paid. Live and learn though.

      Good job my friend.

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      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      MsDora, Bill is too smart to run for president! lol

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      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, you should be president just for teaching this self-sufficiency principle to the masses. Thank you and Voted Up!

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      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      More of us should probably take lessons from our parents. For instance, my mom made a lot of my clothes growing up and even though today, the price of material has gone up to where it is hard to save money when you sew, you must consider the fact that the clothes wear better and last longer, so what are you giving up in the long run? I'm also a firm believer in Good Will stores and used book stores.

      Great suggestions, Bill. Enjoyed the hub!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I have found that one grows to love doing for themselves. There is a great feeling of accomplishment involved, and I love that you are teaching your son. Carry on my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, honestly, this is just stuff I was taught when I was younger. I got away from it when I got caught up in the consumerism b.s., but now I am returning to it with a vengeance. :) Thank you for your kind words.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I love that your husband is willing to try. That puts him in the upper 5% despite his time frame for getting things done. LOL I hope I'm wrong about the economy but I doubt it. Time will tell; in the meantime I'm preparing. As for those Little Debbie cakes....I have no words of wisdom. :)

      Thank you dear friend.

      bill

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      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great stuff here. We are just getting to the point with my 4 year old, where the best playing is helping daddy do stuff. We are really close to finishing the turning and prepping of soil. (we cheated and made some little area for his carrots and tomatoes already) And we have some roof work and fencing in the plans.

      But I admit, I only do it cuz I like it!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thundermama, I never doubted it for a second. Let's hope we can inspire others to pick up the torch. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      cecileportilla, good for you and your husband. Those projects do take time but they save money and give a feeling of accomplishment that is missing in society today. Carry on my friend and thank you.

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      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      You never cease to inspire and amaze me. Up, interesting, useful and always awesome!

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      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      I admire you for your creativity and self sufficiency. My Father was a man who lived by the motto; 'where there is a will, there is a way.'

      My first husband had good intentions but never finished a project in his 13 years we were married. We lived with a patched up hole in the outside wall, ripped up carpet and dead cars in the back yard.

      My present husband had a career in the military and never owned his

      own home until he was in his forties. He knew little, other than how to change light bulbs. When the internet became a big part of our lives, he learned to google the "how to" department and he has evolved greatly. I

      am very proud of how far he has come. His favorite quote used to be;

      "there is no way, it cannot be done!" Now, I am thrilled when he says, "I'll see what I can do." Of course, he may have 'next year' in mind,

      while I am thinking, 'this afternoon'.

      I have learned the fine art of planting the seed and then letting it grow. Keeping my mouth shut has been incredibly hard for me.

      Your article is quite informative and encouraging to those who may be thinking of attempting this lifestyle. My hat is off to the hard work

      involved in creating and maintaining this 'back to nature' way of life.

      However, if an economical collapse is in our near future, I will be up

      a creek without a paddle when my Little Debbie cakes run out!!

      Great article, Bill.

      DJ.

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      Catherine Taylor 3 years ago from Canada

      I loved this hub bb, you and I are cut from the same cloth.

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      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Great advice Billybuc! We can save a lot by learning how to take care of certain needs. We can also set examples for our children. I know how to paint with a roller and I recently learned how to re grout my own bathroom tiles. My husband had to rehang doors after our paid contractor hung them improperly. Even though time is a factor as you suggested when you are working on your own projects you can do certain tasks in increments. The ares that you suggested for consideration are right on. Voted up!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Sha....i find it takes commitment to move in this direction...a willingness to give up the conveniences. There aren't many people willing to do that my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Wow...good luck to your chickens, Deb, and to you. :)

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent article, Bill. Self-sufficiency is becoming more widespread, as the videos above demonstrate. Implementing it our individual lives will not be an easy task. A lot of know-how, ingenuity and sacrifice will be involved. Touche to you for going in that direction!

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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      Me, too! -21 this morning. Poor chickens. :(

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, our compost has been working its magic all winter long. We are getting close to gardening time and then we will be quite busy.....let's see...we will be laying our kitchen floor this summer....and we do much of our own car repair....I guess we are pretty handy.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joelle, I love your dream and I hope it happens soon. Oh if I had only started out this way when I was younger. I could be completely off the grid by now....sigh!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I understand Deb. I'm going to get a motor scooter this summer to cut down on the gas consumption....we live in a pretty good city for walking and we do as much of it as possible, but Bev's job is almost all driving. But we are making progress.

      Thank you and I hope you catch a break on the weather soon.

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow I learned so much from my dad, even wiring! I can wire a ceiling fan or anything really; not that I am into that much anymore, lol. Hey and I am working on some compost from the chickens that is supposed to make killer plants, how about you?

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      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      I like the idea of being self-sufficient! I also like the idea to exchange with family and friends if they produce things that I don't produce and the same the other way around.

      My dream is to have solar panels to be off the grid :-) It's another way to be self sufficient and more environmental!

      As always Bell, great suggestions! It's better to be ready!

      Enjoy your day!

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      Deborah Neyens 3 years ago from Iowa

      I am pretty self-sufficient with one exception: We live in a rural subdivision 3 miles from the nearest town (which is tiny) and 8 miles from the nearest grocery store so I have to rely heavily on my automobile. When I lived in Chicago, I didn't even own a car. I could walk to the grocery store and take public transportation to work. Even when I lived in Cedar Rapids I had a Walgreens and a few other stores just a short walk away. I miss having that sort of mobile independence.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Victoria, it is true, anyone can do this stuff....but there has to be a willingness.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, it is interesting that there are a lot of overweight people at fast food restaurants. I've noticed that as well. Says something about society, doesn't it? Thank you my dear; have a great week.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good luck, Mari! I hope you write about your experience.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great memory Janine....I wish I had paid more attention to what my dad was doing while growing up...now I have to learn it all on my own and I make a lot of mistakes. LOL Thank you dear friend.

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      Victoria Van Ness 3 years ago from Prescott Valley

      Great points that anyone can pick up and do for themselves! Great ideas! Thanks Billy!

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      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      I think one of the biggest symptoms of our society are fast food restaurants. We stop at one on the way back from California as we are in ahurry to get home...And what you see are a lot of fat people stuffing their faces. Even though I don't grow my own veggies and fruit I don't buy anything that is not a natural food...Priority is taking care of our health. If more people did that--medical issues would not be epidemic..

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      dragonflycolor 3 years ago

      I am going to try to grow a very small garden this year, get my thumbs wet, and see if they turn green! Thanks, Billy!

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      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, my dad was a lot yours when I was growing up with doing most jobs himself around the house hands on. One of my favorite memories was when my brother was being born and was to get the larger bedroom. My dad wanted to make it special for me and did the whole room himself in shades of pink, because yes I you know always sky favorite color. He even found and cut pink paneling and dyed pink molding for the room, too all with his own two hands. That room was truly the best in my little girl eyes, because my dad did it himself and for me. Thanks for bringing back that memory for me and think you are totally onto something with becoming self sufficient, too. Have a wonderful day now!