Thursday, February 12, 2009

On Being Self-Sufficient

I thought I would write a post on being self-sufficient. Now, as I've stated before, I think it's impossible for someone in my position to become completely self-sufficient. However, I think a lot of people could stand to be more self-sufficient- they just don't know how.

Why would someone choose to be more self-sufficient? Why would someone choose to do things the hard way, as opposed to the easy way?

Because it saves money. Sure, you could drive to the grocery store and buy a lasagna from the freezer, bring it home and pop it in. Or you could buy (or even better, grow) the ingredients for a fraction of the cost.

Because it cuts down on waste. For all the packaging involved with the lasagna scenario above, you could use less than half the packaging to make your own. I buy noodles (in bulk) and cheese for lasagna, so the packaging for those gets reused or recycled. Also, since I buy the ingredients in bulk, it saves trips to the store, thereby cutting down on gas I am consuming.

Because it contributes to a healthy lifestyle. If you turn over your store-bought lasagna and look at the ingredients, what do you find? Can you even pronounce some of the ingredients? Now consider what your ingredients list would look like if you made the lasagna from scratch. If you grew some of the ingredients, even better. Not only do you know exactly what contributed to their growth, but also you got some exercise while growing them! When you prepare food from scratch you burn less calories than if you had bought it at the grocery store and "prepared" it by picking it out from the freezer section, bringing it home, and popping it in the oven.

Because of pride of ownership. Would you be more proud of a lasagna you bought from the store or one you spent all day carefully preparing? Would you be more willing to throw out the left-overs from the store-bought lasagna or the one you made from scratch?

Obviously this isn't all about lasagna. Being self-sufficient is a lifestyle based on concious choices. Whatever your main motivation, I urge you to give self-sufficiency a try, one small change at a time. You cannot change your entire lifestyle overnight. This is a series of baby steps in the right direction.

This is my first in what I hope to be a series of discussing being self-sufficient.

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