Self-sufficiency, also known as self-reliance, not only saves you money it protects you from the vicissitudes of life and also helps to protect the environment.
Over the past 100 years changes in the economy and in society generally has led to less self-sufficiency. Increasing centralisation and globalisation of production means you can buy almost anything ready-made but it is not likely to be made locally. Increasing specialisation, both parents working, and more work-life pressures generally means that people have lost the time and skills to be self-sufficient.
Whilst people will never be totally self-sufficient, it is good to be interdependent, we are increasingly dependent on other countries or distant areas of own countries for even basic needs like food and clothes. With increasing fuel prices and the need to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment it is much better in the long term that people be resilient and sustain themselves within their local communities.
Self-sufficiency is surprisingly satisfying as anyone who has grown vegetables or made their own clothes will tell you. It provides us with intrinsic rewards like a sense of achievement, self-esteem and self-confidence.
There are many ways we can be more self-sufficient, including:
- Growing vegetables at home
- Cooking your own meals
- Preserving food
- Walking or riding a bike to work and school
- Foraging, hunting and fishing for food
- Making and mending clothes
- DIY home improvements and home maintenance
- Solar panels, solar hot water heaters
- Insulation and passive solar heating
- Recycling and reusing