Living Sustainably

What will it mean to live sustainably at home during a switch to a colder climate with extremes of precipitation (drought, rainfall, snow)? How can we mitigate energy, food, and water supply risks during a climate or food crisis, in the knowledge that governments will restrict trade and corporate suppliers will seek to profit even more when resource supply tightens?

In Chapter 8, the principles for living sustainably were reviewed. In essence, this review highlighted that we must strive to use all energy, water, and food resources (as well as other resources) sparingly and efficiently. We must also maximize residual resource and energy recovery before generating a minimized amount of waste and pollution. Living sustainably should permeate our way of life in everything that we do at home, work, and when we travel.

Decentralized sustainable living promotes a level of self-sufficiency for supplying your own renewable energy, water, and food—at home. That way you will have solutions at the ready in a time of crisis. This will help you manage the risks associated with a tightening of resource supply by corporate suppliers and by trade-restricting governments, and help you avoid becoming a victim to hyper-price inflation. Decentralized sustainable living places you in control of your and your family’s fate, and reduces your vulnerability to climate-related risk.

A sense of urgency is required to prepare for a climate switch and its associated risks, and to begin living sustainably. We’re more vulnerable to climate switching and its associated risks, (i.e., cold climate, extremes of precipitation, pandemic flu) because we’ve depleted our oil, gas, and water reserves more than is generally realized. This resource depletion will impact energy access, food supply and prices, and water access. This is not a transitory situation we face, but the future long-term reality for our species. The Holocene Climate Optimum and, therefore, the start of the current ice age are already 8–10.5 millennia behind us. When the climate switches or a climate-forcing volcanic eruption occurs—welcome to our Ice Age return.

To that end, this chapter reviews best practice principles for building or retrofitting your home in order to reduce your energy needs, operate your home energy-efficiently, and power it using renewable energy. Practical advice is given on how to minimize water use in the home while efficiently using, re-using, and harvesting water, and recharging groundwater.

Also reviewed are best practice methods concerning how to grow climate-adapted food at home using a variety of urban and climate-adapted methods, while ensuring you have food stockpiled, a seed bank, and food growing systems ready to go.

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