Sustainable living encompasses all areas of your life. Whether you live in an apartment in the city, a farm in the country, or everything in between, you can live sustainably.
Self sufficiency is also a big part of sustainable living. However you don’t have to be self sufficient to live sustainably.
Land and a country lifestyle is not a prerequisite for sustainable living. It is more about the decisions you make than where you live. In fact, living in the country doesn’t necessarily mean you are living sustainably. We know a fellow who lives by himself and his electricity bill is over $1000 each quarter. He leaves all his lights on all the time because he can’t be bothered to turn them off. Not only is he wasting a lot of money, he’s being very selfish, using all that electricity simply because he’s lazy.
These are a few things we are passionate about:
Heritage Breeds When you buy chicken, you are generally buying a commercial meat broiler, which has been specifically bred to grow to full size by six weeks so whether you buy free range or not, you are still supporting the commercial broiler industry. Unfortunately, there isn’t too much choice in the industry at the moment so buying free range is probably the best option you have. However it is important to understand this so that if you do ever have the opportunity to select a heritage breed over a commercial meat broiler, that you support the heritage breed to encourage more variety back into the market place. Chickens are just one example of commercial vs. heritage. There are commercial and heritage breeds in almost all of your produce (meat, fruit and veg). What you have to remember with heritage breeds is that you get quality over quantity. Yes, your chicken breast won’t be the size of your plate, however it will be a lot tastier and better for you.
Organic Produce There is at least someone you know who has jumped on the organic bandwagon, however sadly there are so many who are only obsessed with the label. Whether or not the product is of any quality does not seem to matter as long as it is “Organic”. Obviously the lack of chemicals used to produce the product is better for your body than any product that has had chemicals used, however organic doesn’t ensure quality or even ethical produce, it also doesn’t ensure sustainable farming practices. Just because your apples are organically certified, doesn’t mean that they haven’t been cold stored or the tonnes of organic fertiliser used on the apple trees hasn’t been washed into waterways. We need to be ensuring that the quality of the organic produce is high otherwise you may not be ingesting chemicals but you certainly won’t be ingesting any nutritional value either.
Electricity Earth Hour is a great initiative, however how many people aren’t getting the message that it’s not one night every now and again, that it’s a lifestyle? Apart from our fridge and our wireless router, we turn everything off at the power-point when it is not in use. At first it was a pain however it only takes around 21 days to create a habit and now we don’t even think twice about turning the kettle on at the wall when we have a cup of tea (and turning it off again when we’re done!). Reducing your electricity bill not only saves you money, you are reducing your carbon footprint. However you can be even more sustainable by finding out how your electricity company actually acquires the electricity. A lot of companies are trying to go green nowadays and they aren’t generally any more expensive.
Water Whether you are on town water or have your own tank, saving water is not just about you. Australia is very prone to drought and having three showers a day is quite selfish (especially when you are only a teenage school girl – Laura went to school with such as these). When you have to pay for water, it is an incentive to be conscious of where it is going. You can be extreme and follow the ‘If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down’ or simply by reducing your shower time – sometimes it’s more economical to have a bath. Having a small tank connected to one or all of your downpipes is a great way of harvesting water for use on your garden.
Vegetable Gardens Whether it encompasses your entire backyard, that little patch of grass that is never used on the side of your house or even a plant-a-box on your windowsill, you can still grow some of your own produce. Fruit and vegetables start losing their nutritional value once you’ve picked them. You can then imagine how little (if any) nutritional value that cold stored apples have. Being able to pick straight from your garden not only tastes so much better because of how fresh it is, it is packed with nutrients. Other benefits include: saving money (and if you are so amazing and have excess produce you can sell or swap with your neighbours), a project for kids to get them out of the house, aesthetically pleasing (a passion-fruit vine is a great cover for an ugly fence or even to give you some privacy from that nosy neighbour), and you can grow the varieties that you enjoy rather than having to settle with what’s available at the shops.
Meat and/or Meat Products Coming Soon