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How to live healthier and more independent | Sustainable & self-sufficient lifestyle

Updated on October 5, 2012

Take control of your destiny by becoming healthier and less dependent from the knowledge and products used in sustainable living lifestyle cultures.

If you are growing disenchanted with the economy, constant news of harmful items in our food chain, afraid of losing a job or income, or just frustrated with things in general, perhaps like many others are doing, it is time to become more self-sufficient.

Somehow it seems we have developed into a very dependent nation and just not only on oil. As each family generation leaves the nest it appears less and less emphasis has been placed on the basics of self-sufficient living skills.

These were skills once mandatory in school systems to prepare people for the world of living. They included some very but helpful basic skills of home maintenance and repair, growing vegetables, sewing, cooking, and the basics in raising a family. Thankfully some of the schools still host programs such as 4-H and FFA to provide skills for those who join and seek them out as part of their education.

As the economy has turned downward, people are quickly finding the luxury of paying others to provide for these basic daily necessities and habits are becoming more difficult to maintain. The numbers of the younger population who were depending on the economic boom to continue are now finding themselves struggling with the lack of basic self-sustaining life skills.

Many simply do not know how to cook from scratch, sew on a button, iron a shirt, change a tire, use a paint brush, repair a leaky faucet, or grow anything including vegetables. Many don’t even cook or eat vegetables and have become totally dependent of unhealthy fast food, or make daily trips to the grocery store to buy premade products for the microwave or oven.

Just imagine what would happen if a major disaster took out the grid, and closed off the access to infrastructure for an extended period to everything that we have become so dependent on. Most are only prepared for a few days, after that many families could become desperate for basic food and comfort. With the ever so increasing storms and hurricanes, and the potential of a major earthquake or another terrorist attack on Americas infrastructure the possibility is very real.

People have made fun of those living a more basic sustainable culture for years. The Amish are probably the most extreme of sustainable cultures, but many other cultures and lifestyles have supported and promoted the idea of living a sustainable culture. Some of these cultures are based on religious beliefs, some are just based on lifestyles they have grown up with or have followed, such as country style living on a farm or ranch.

These are the people probably the best prepared to sustain through a long drawn out time without electricity or the other infrastructure we have become so dependent on.

Now living a simpler less dependent lifestyle is starting to make a lot of sense. The basics are still there just for the seeking, but as our older generations who survived the Great Depression are passing we are losing much of the knowledge on living less dependent, family traditions and recipes. Everyone should learn all they can from surviving parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or just an elderly friend.

Short courses on basic automobile maintenance; home repairs, cooking, and sewing are all readily available on the web or in local community colleges. Many DIY shows on television offer great knowledge for self-sufficient living.

Take inventory now of your weakest self-sufficient skills and add them to your to-do-list for the coming year. As you are together with family for Holidays and other events make a point to learn and write down old family recipes and how they coped during hard times and without all the convinces that surround us today.

If you live close to a sustainable culture such as an Amish community try to visit and learn from the products they use. We don’t need to go back to the horse and buggy age or washing clothes by hand, but some of the back-to-basics of growing our own food; processing and storing it, building our own furniture, and making our own home repairs just make great economic for healthy living choices and surviving with less.

Although at the time my husband and I probably didn’t appreciate all the things our parents made us do growing up, we now are so thankful and feel blessed those times were the best education we could have ever gained for us to live the self-sufficient lifestyle that we have.

We have dedicated the many years of our knowledge and seeking out back-to-basic products for our own use to now share with others. We have assembled some of the best self-sufficient products and knowledge at

With over 200 self-sustainable living how- to- books and over 3000 back-to-basic-non-electric products Cottage Craft Works provides a full line general store full of sustainable living lifestyle information and products directly from the sustainable communities who have been making and using them for generations. You will find free how to information on how to do and build things as well as our favorite recipes.


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    • KrystalD profile image

      KrystalD 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      I also tatotally agree and I am glad you are sharing the good news.

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      I bookmarked this. I could not agree more that we all need this basic information that too many of us lack. I have to admit to lacking skills in some of these areas myself. Thank you for the highly useful link and thoughts.