Before I get into the meat of this project, I thought maybe it was best to start with some reasons why, and in talking with friends, I settled on a few basic categories of information.
First, given the recent economic mess, clearly there are pretty big financial reasons why someone might want to become more sustainable. For years as a society, we’ve lived on credit, sometimes staggering amounts of it. It’s been easy, and despite one’s best intentions, often hard to avoid, especially in the case of emergencies. It looks like that trend is reversing; statistics from the federal reserve say that the amount of credit card debt people are carrying has dropped significantly over the past several months. Listening around, it’s clear that many people are concerned about banks and card companies’ roles in their lives.
So it seems like true financial sustainability is becoming a goal for more and more people. People who are trying to get out of debt by paying off all those credit cards, or people who’ve recently been laid off, furloughed, or had their salary reduced. Others are looking at rising costs of living on a set income, or maybe they’ve lost their employer-based health insurance and are paying more of their income towards coverage. Yet others are just tired of being seen as only a “consumer”.
Then there’s what Liz insisted I call the “Zombie Preparedness” angle. We’ve witnessed some pretty horrific natural disasters fairly close to home in the last few years, and the effects of those disasters are still being felt years later. Learning to do things for yourself so that if your area ever faces it’s own Night of the Living Dead (or Hurricane Katrina) you have some degree of knowledge about how to pick up the pieces and move forward seems like a really smart idea.
Lucie, the Zombie Preparedness Kitten has a few things to say about that angle. She’s my zombie lookout. Fierce!
The DIY craft movement has also encouraged people to look more deeply into what is meaningful, and what could be considered wasteful. So has recent press coverage of our industrialized food system. When gasoline prices skyrocketed briefly a couple years ago, many people realized just how much they depended on cheap oil and decided maybe that needed to change. Others have been inspired by people like No-Impact Man and just want to simplify their lives.
Whatever the reasons, here we are. Hello!
So a little about me: While I’ve always been a pretty avid DIYer, moving into a home that needed a ground-up renovation really kicked things into high gear. The more my husband and I learned how to do, the more I wanted to know, and it’s grown from there. This year was the first truly successful garden (in other words, more than one thing thrived), I learned to can more than just jelly and pickles, and we took on a second property to fix up. This fall, I’ll be learning how to rebuild a 71 VW Bus, and planting my first winter garden. Liz and I are determined to learn to make cheese, and I WILL finally produce my own bread that doesn’t resemble a doorstop.
I’ll be tackling the DIY/Zombie Preparedness angle, as well as tips on how to live well on a pretty small income. Thank you for reading!