In this world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to rely on a large system to meet our needs. Yet, we have little self-sufficiency and depend on that system to provide everything we need. The grocery store gives us food, the electric company gives us energy, and so on. Any disaster or major event and job security is lost, food supply and other resources can be wiped out, and energy can go out. For example, the United States is going through a bit of an economic repression due to the Corona Virus. Many are out of work, relying on government assistance, and not having their needs met. Other factors can also affect the availability of resources, such as natural disaster and peak demand. In California, rolling blackouts are frequent during peak energy seasons, because the systems cannot support these huge loads. The domino effect of all these problems coming together in times of emergency can be disastrous.
The solution, to dependence on unreliable systems that cannot always meet our needs, is self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is the ability of a person, community, state, or nation to meet its own basic needs. Basic human needs are usually defined as food, water, shelter, and energy. All of these things are required for humans to survive. The basic needs of a larger population or society could extend to include transportation, construction, available workers, hospitals, schools, and so on. These are the components necessary for a society to run itself. What would it look like if people and societies were self-sufficient?
Well, many already are implementing pieces of independence. States are investing in microgrid technology. Microgrids allow homes, businesses, and communities to create their own supply of energy. People and communities are growing gardens to make their own food, so they have more options than a grocery store. The whole picture is something that has yet to come together. Think about it, the earth produces everything it needs to sustain itself, so why can’t we? Plants, animals, atmosphere, earth, water, and fire, all coexisting symbiotically. We can take these lessons from nature and learn to use our waste, as well as the supply of infinite renewable energy sources around us.
Resources are not limited in the way we believe we are, within our current limited parameters. It is rethinking the way we do things, and the efficiency we do them with that can uncover untapped resources for everyone. Everyone can have their needs met, and everyone can be wealthy. We can all create our own jobs and design our own lifestyles. We “don’t have the time” to do that now because we are so busy working for minimum wage making a large corporation rich. We depend on them because we depend on the money in our pockets to buy the resources we need, instead of creating them ourselves.
Big business will have you believing that large corporations, like Walmart and Apple, are good for the economy and good for America. The truth is, small businesses account for 99% of employers in America. When small businesses prosper, that is when economies are the healthiest. In America, we have all the space and natural resources we could possibly need. What changes do we need, and what could we benefit from the most? The main categories of sufficiency are energy security and agricultural security. All the elements of society require those two things.
What Can I Do?
Within the energy category we can investing in solar or another form of alternative energy. Loans will typically be broken down into monthly payments that are no greater than the money saved on electric bills, to make it affordable. Complete energy independence would mean having a microgrid for our homes and communities. A microgrid is an independent energy-generating system that can supply you with energy during the event of power outages. Microgrids are especially a good investment in areas that experience frequent natural disasters or rolling black outs.
To become more self-sufficient regarding food and water, there are many things we can do. We can grow gardens in our homes, in our yards, or in our communities. After the initial start-up, garden maintenance is cheap and produces abundantly. Rainwater capture is also an option in some states. Rainwater can be used in gardens or used as free drinking water. If we want to take self-sufficiency one step further, we can start our own compost. Compost uses the biodegradable trash your home produces to make fertilizer. We can then use this fertilizer in gardens or sell it.
Once we have energy security and agricultural security, savings will pileup. As we save more time and resources, we can begin to experience true freedom. True freedom means independence and self-generating resources. Instead of outsourcing all our needs to the grocery store, or even to other countries, we should be taking steps to supply our own demands. Then we can take back our own lives, and even create our own businesses. If disaster hits, we will be prepared to handle it and survive through it. In the meantime, let’s take the steps we can.