Want to be self-reliant without leaving the comforts of the city? Check out these 10 ways to make it possible
Have you ever wanted to become self-reliant but felt it wasn’t possible because you live in the city? Fortunately for you, this is an itch that you can definitely scratch. You don’t have to uproot your home in the ‘burbs and move all the way to the country just to embrace self-sustained living. There are all sorts of habits and practices you can develop for that purpose, and here are some of them:
- Grow your own garden: Who says you need a big backyard just to grow a garden? Urban gardening says otherwise. This type of agriculture is growing in popularity due to how efficient and easy it is to do. The incredibly helpful resource site Gardeners.com covers the basics of urban gardening in depth, so this is an excellent place to start. Follow this and in no time at all, you could be waking up to peppers, salad greens, and broccoli thriving in the pots and planters around your apartment. So in addition to having your own reliable food supply, you’ll have the satisfaction that comes with a flourishing garden.
- Turn your food scraps into compost: Make your garden even better by creating your own compost from your food scraps. Eggshells, used coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peelings, and even teabags can all be turned into nutrient-rich compost to feed your garden. Similar to urban gardening, you don’t need a whole lot of space to make compost. A small rotating compost bin and some soil from your own garden will suffice. (Related: How to grow big, fat happy worms and beautiful compost.)
- Harvest rainwater: Plants need water to survive, though you don’t need to run your tap just for your garden. Collecting rainwater from downspouts and buckets is the economical approach to watering your garden. While it may take a while for your buckets to fill if you live in a relatively dry area, you’ll save loads in the long run.
- Preserve your own food: This should follow your successful urban gardening endeavor. Whatever you grow you should freeze or can for future use. Though really, it’s not just fruits and vegetables you should be preserving. Meats from your local farmers should be preserved as well as they come at a much lower price and are free of the chemicals that tend to go into supermarket meats. You’ll be keeping your wallet and your body much happier this way.
- Raise your own backyard chickens: While this isn’t possible for small apartments, backyard chickens are feasible for those of you living in homes with, well, backyards. Raising chickens can be a labor- and time-intensive undertaking, but it is an extremely rewarding one. You’ll have your own steady reserve of eggs — one of the most, if not the most versatile of foods — and chicken meat, further ensuring that your trips to the supermarket will be as infrequent as possible. The blog Wholefully.com is a great springboard for backyard chicken raising, so head on over there to learn what you need to learn.
- Learn how to sew, knit, and/or crochet: These essential skills are must-know techniques for any self-reliant person as there are endless options to what you can do with them. Did you know that you can make your own blankets, hats, bedding, towels, and diapers? You certainly can if you know how to sew, crochet, and/or knit.
- Repurpose your old junk: Making do with what you have is one of the cornerstones of self-reliance, and recycling your possessions is the definition of “making do.” Save yourself a trip to Costco for a new bench by making your own from an old dresser. Fashion that old picture frame into an earring holder. There are numerous ways to breathe new life into old items, it’s all simply up to you on which ones you opt for.
- Make your own cleaning supplies and toiletries: Why spend money on potentially toxic laundry detergent and hand wash when you can make your own with a few simple ingredients? Save your money and set aside the time to put together the items to keep your home and yourself squeaky clean. The BrenDid.com blog will guide you towards making your own homemade air fresheners, shower cleaners, and so much more.
- Make the most of your space: If you’re going to become more self-reliant, then you need to make wise use of your home’s space. Divide the area of your home into zones to make organization less of a chore. Utilize your vertical space if you can’t expand outwards. Be more selective of what goes through your door to minimize clutter. The self-reliant lifestyle will require you to put a lot of planning into it, particularly if you call a studio apartment your home.
- Get creative: This goes hand-in-hand with everything about self-reliance. If you can’t solve a problem head-on, work your way around it as creatively as you can. You’ll need a good head on your shoulders if you want to make your self-reliant lifestyle work.
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