Grain stocks will be at the lowest levels since 2004 this year, and overall food stores are down dramatically, global warming will only worsen this problem. Food prices as a whole are up, there are nearly monthly riots overseas for food. Unemployment is up while overall purchasing power of the dollar is down. What can average citizens do to protect their families and insulate themselves from this economic downturn? Here are a few environmentally friendly ways that you can survive the economic disaster known as “The Great Depression 2”.
6. Get a Bike – Bikes are a great way to get around, and if you have saddle bags or a trailer you can haul a significant amount of goods. Travel to work, your local store, or just to your neighbors house up the road, a bike will get you there and back again with very little energy.
4. Electrical use – Cutting back is a obviously the first choice, turn off the lights, get LED light bulbs etc. When you have the money to, invest in an off-grid system consisting of wind, solar, water, or any combination of whatever you have available in your area. If you are technically savvy you can even get cheap kits to make your own solar panels or wind generators, if your not so mechanically inclined, maybe someone you know and can barter with is.
3. Learn A Craft – Basket weaving, candle making, sewing, spinning, knitting, crocheting, construction, or even woodworking. The more you can do for yourself the better, and you can trade the baskets and sweaters if you need.
2. Move in With Roommates – Even if your older, even if your have two families, moving in together and sharing expenses, labor, and resources can be beneficial and is better than both families having a lesser quality of life. Two older couples whose children have moved out could be the perfect pairing to live together. Or even two young couples who are just starting out.
1. Plant A Garden* – raised beds, bay window spice garden, greenhouses or even just a “hoop house” can produce a significant amount of food and spices for your family. If you find that you cannot do this, try finding a Community Supported Agriculture club in your area, you can usually get a lot of fresh, organic food at a good price.
*Many cities will not let you, but if you can, small livestock are also an excellent way to produce some food at home, a single goat or a few hens can give you lots of food and materials, and take little care and food. (goat hair can be spun, and they can be milked, feathers can be used in pillows and bedding, and of course eggs)
These are only a few of the ways you can keep yourself out of the consumer trap and get better quality, ethical, organic products and foods, while surviving the current economic hit that the working class is taking. Think locally, a group of people doing this in a community can easily support each other and make a resilient and diverse economy. Do not wait on the Government to fix the problem, lets roll up our sleeves, get dirty and get it done. Yes you can…do it yourself.
This is a wonderful book that 3 out of the 5 board members of Future Farming own (and other will eventually get a s a gift, but don’t tell them). Its by John Seymour, its titled Self Sufficient Life and how to live it. Check it out, its a great resource.