Goals for living sustainably and becoming more self-sufficent

It seems a growing trend these days to get back to the basics and live a more connected life. Like so many others, we are daydreaming of days spent producing everything we need and spending more time working for ourselves versus someone else. For some, this desire manifests within the tiny living movement, or maybe it's in the release of stuff and embracing minimalism? And then there's the DIYers who are more drawn to a lifestyle of urban or non-urban homesteading...gardening and raising your own chickens. Whatever you choose to call it, or whatever your reason is to do it, it boils down to a desire to live more simply, sustainably and self-sufficient.

I would say here at our house, we are a generous mix of a desire to be more connected to our day to day actions, to live simply, and yet a deep urge to have a large plot of land to call our own. I'm crazy about gardening (though I have LOTS to learn) and someday want to be savvy enough to grow and preserve most of our food. We both want to reduce our expenses and increase our time; to get out from under debt so we don't have to work so hard and then we can "retire" (aka - travel, hike, learn, create, side-hustle) sooner.

Of course this all goes hand in hand with our downsizing efforts, so in addition to clearing out the clutter, here is a list of a few small changes we are making and skills we are learning as part of our goal to lead a simpler and less waste-filled life. 
  • We converted pantry staples to glass jars and storage containers. We can buy a lot of these items in bulk and cut down on trash from packaging. This will also make small space storage a lot easier if the containers are all a similar size and we can plan accordingly. 
  • This week I am going to research some easy sewing patterns to start sewing some of my own capsule wardrobe pieces. I have hoards of fabric just waiting to be transformed and an adjustable dress form that is begging to be used. 
  • I will be learning to make various salves, soaps, teas, and treats from oils and herbs. So far I have tried whipped body butter made with coconut oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter, scented with lavender and grapefruit. It's a bit oily, but works great for dry hands and feet. 
  • I have started experimenting with baking sandwich bread, dried fruits, etc. So far the bread isn't turning out, but I know I will find the right recipe and technique after some more practice. 
  • I am starting several plants from seed this year and studying up on new gardening techniques, like permaculture and companion planting. 
  • I am already making my own kombucha (mmmm.....booch) and daily wellness shots.
  • We started eating a plant-based diet last summer. We are about 90% vegan, but the past few months I have been on an elimination diet and the meats have started creeping back in.
It's been fun trying new things and learning how to create a few things from scratch. Especially the skills that could serve us well if there ever were an apocalyptic type event, or those which come from our family heritage and will be important to share and preserve for future generations. There's something to be said for the old ways of doing things, back when we were connected to where our food came from and we worked hard daily for our own health and happiness. 

So raise a glass of kombucha with me and cheers. Here's to living a life more simply and sharing the progress as we go.