“Sustainable” has become a buzzword in recent years, used in reference to everything from building materials to produce to fabrics. But, what is sustainability and how does it affect us?
What Is Sustainability for a Prepper?
The definition of sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. Items claiming sustainability have not damaged or prohibited the source from creating more of the item.
For Preppers, living sustainably means living in a way that can continue without outside help or influence – including from the power grid or utilities or the local grocery store. Living sustainably does not leave damaged or limited resources behind.
Sustainability must be considered in all aspects of the life you’re building and preparing for, which may very well not afford access to the luxuries we’ve become accustomed to.
Elements of Sustainable Living
As you diminish your reliance on society, you’ll have to make significant changes in the way that you live and the home that you live in. Depending on local laws, you may need to move to be able to become truly self-sufficient. Many cities require you to be hooked up to utilities and pay a monthly fee for the privilege.
There are several main elements to consider as you seek to limit your footprint and your reliance on others: housing, energy sources, and diet are the biggest ones. As you progress, you’ll also want to consider clothing and household supplies. For now, we’ll explore the first three.
Your home is your castle, no matter how small it may be. And ideally, your home is comfortable, gives you enough room to work, eat, and sleep, and provides a yard space for a garden.
As you prep, you’ll also want your home to be able to operate independently from government-supplied electricity, water, and gas. You’ll want your home to be safe from natural disasters like flooding, blizzards, hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes. And you’ll want your home to be easy to defend against predators.
You want to work with nature, not against it, to create your sanctuary that doesn’t cause damage to anyone or anything.
2. Energy Sources
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Alternative energy sources like solar, wind, and water provide benefits that are two-fold. As long as our earth exists, they will not run out. You can harness their power without relying on the grid.
In the event of a terrorist attack, electromagnetic pulse, or the crumble of society, your home will continue to run as it did prior. Relying on these renewable energy sources provides no strain on the environment, either.
Think about your current methods for obtaining sustenance: you drive to a grocery store, pick from the provided selection, pay for your goods, and drive home. Meats and protein sources are more expensive than produce. Organic produce is more expensive than those treated with pesticides.
As you seek sustainability in your diet, you’ll want to minimize your reliance on outside sources. Use as much space as you can to create your garden, even a ¼-acre has been proven to be enough space to grow a robust garden full of variety.
If/when the day comes that you rely on your garden, you will want it to be full of options right outside your door: no driving, no exchange of money, no settling for what they’re offering on the shelves. Hunting for meat sources requires considerably more energy and skill than gardening; a vegetarian-based diet is more sustainable long-term.
It’s a Lifestyle
Prepping is more than learning how to use a multi-tool and stocking dried beans that you can eat for 30 years. Prepping is living a lifestyle that can be sustained without society, without government, and without outside help. Start making moves in the right direction before your options for doing so become more limited.
What is sustainability for you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!