Sustainable Living Skills You Need to Survive
It might not seem so serious to the average consumer in the First World, but the future of the world as we know hangs in the balance. The media is full of bad news that can make changing things for the better seem hopeless, but there are simple and radical things you can do to reduce your impact and set an example for others. It's not just a choice, our survival depends on it.
Follow my YouTube Channel Hardcore Sustainable to find out how I've implemented sustainable technologies and techniques at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage to help me live more lightly on the Earth.
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I designed my house with the sun in mind, and since I get so much sun inside the house in the middle of winter, why should put a solar cooker outside to cook? The GoSun, a relatively new design for solar cooking, is small, portable, and powerful enough to use in my house with just the sunlight coming in through the window. My DR neighbor Aaron and I tried it out last January to see how it would work even in the low intensity winter sunlight. The GoSun is just another tool we can use to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and make use of the abundant solar energy that bathes our planet year round.
Sugar often comes from faraway places and requires much processing to get the product we buy in our grocery store, but there are other ways to get sugar locally and more sustainably. Obviously there is honey, and there is sorghum syrup, which was a popular form of sugar in the past in our part of the country. But there’s also maple syrup, which in our southern region can be made from silver maples.
Part of living sustainably is getting your food as locally as possible. To maximize the productivity, diversity, and sustainability of foods you get in your diet locally, it’s a good idea to know all the crops that produce the best in your climate using organic methods. There may be many potentially useful fruits available and adapted to your climate that you don’t know about. Continue reading
So I got some new plastic for my hoop house. This is more of a vlog post than anything else. Just let you know what I’m up to. This new plastic is different from the old. I thought there was something wrong when I opened up the box because it was so cloudy, but apparently it isn’t as clear as the old stuff because it refracts sunlight so the light is dispersed more evenly for the plants. No shadows are cast inside the house and the sun’s energy fall evenly on all the plants inside. It took awhile and I needed to recruit some helpers from my village, but that’s what’s great about living in a community–you can always count on help from neighbors.
This is the first video documenting a cooperative local sugaring effort that happens every year at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. It’s mid-February and the smallest hint of spring is in the air. The robins are returning, the woodcocks are finding places to nest, and the silver maples are just starting to flow with sap. Sugar maples like a colder climate, but If you live south of the zone where sugar maples can grow, you don’t have do without delicious local maple syrup. Silver maples like warmer climates and produce almost as much sugar in their sap as sugar maples. Continue reading
When I built my house I noticed that one corner of the foundation was really deep, so I planned to make it into a root cellar. Now I use this space to keep the food I grow in the summer fresh through the winter, without refrigeration. It was a rather simple design feature, but it saves me a lot of energy in the long run and allows me to eat my harvest year round.
Our economy expends a huge amount of energy on refrigeration, not only to preserve food so that it can be shipped across the world and eaten fresh, but so that the food industry can recreate the climate conditions of a root cellar. Continue reading