The Three Aspects of Sustainable Living!
By Leslie Delong
While I’m a big fan of Southernprepper1 in recent videos (links listed below) I find we have disagreements on “The Three Aspects of Sustainable Living”
While SP1 and I both agree on using wood for a renewable heating source, I disagree with using the average wood stove. Lets face it, if everyone had to make the switch to wood now, we’d run out of forest within a few years. Though they have made great strides in making wood stoves more efficient, they pale in comparison to Rocket Mass Heaters. A Rocket Mass Heater is over 75% efficient. Meaning that if you use 8 cords of wood to heat your home in winter with the average wood stove, you can cut it down to just over 2 cords for the whole winter. Rocket Mass Heaters also burn wood almost completely, leaving no smoke or smell (after the first minute of start up) just carbon dioxide. These two main reasons alone make it worth the investment. However, the Rocket Mass Heater is also extremely cheap and easy to build.
As far as waste goes, by that I mean human as well as basic farm “waste”, my thoughts lean toward composting and methane production. I mean why not use everything to its maximum potential? Yes, you can compost and make humanure that is plenty safe to use. I recommend you read The Humanure Handbook Third Addition, by Joseph Jenkins. If you can keep an open mind, you might be pleasantly surprised. You can also use that product to make methane. A valuable recourse if you want to use gas appliances. This has already been a proven useful tool for self sustainability. I have seen a report of a farmer in North Dakota (or south, it was a few years ago but has been burned in my mind) that was able to have a completely off grid dairy farm run on the methane the cows produced. They also have systems you can buy (or make) for your home.
Lastly, Farming. SP1 is the typical American farmer with quite a few gas or diesel powered toys that are great for making some chores quick and easy, but are in fact destructive and cause more work (i.e. maintenance). It is this very thing that could be the biggest problems with modern farming, the dependence of destructive gas/diesel machines. In my humble opinion, I’d rather eliminate the need of most of the chores to begin with, in order to save time. Why till the land when you could be stripping nutrition from the soil? Why not add compost and grow cover crops to the land every year to improve the soil.. A growing method known Permaculture copies from nature to replicate self sustainable crops for the home. This method adds nutrition to the land, produces more food in less space and eliminates the need for many machines. Basically, the less you need to depend on, the more self sufficient you can be.
My goal in life is to have an off grid farm that is at least 90% self containing. I am currently saving for a 80 acre plot if land to accomplish this goal. While I’m not there yet, I can testify that I have used these methods on a small scale to a great deal of success. And there are several accounts of these methods working well on big scales all over the world.
SP1’s tillers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4Akx5UJj4Y
SP1 Waste https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mkmub-_Ajyk
SP1 fire wood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBH79de3mwQ
Basic Rocket-mass heater info. http://www.richsoil.com/rocket-stove-mass-heater.jsp
Visit Leslie on Twitter @ldelong24