We have looked at supporting wisely, i.e., spending your money locally and researching before you buy as part of living a happier and more sustainable life and now it is time for Part 2. We are now going to look at how you can grow and use things from your own home. This is the pinnacle of sustainability and saves you a lot of money!
My manager at Erin Earth has an excellent saying, “Use what you have to make what you need.” It’s a great way of looking at what you have and then trying to make what you need rather than buying it. Sometimes you might find that you will need to buy things like garden tools etc., but if you research and support wisely you can buy tools that will last you your whole life.
Organisations like Gardening Australia even teach you how to fix old second hand tools you might find at garage sales and property clearing sales. Yes, it’s cool and nifty to have second hand things, or vintage as I like to say. There is no need to buy a spade that looks like everyone else’s spade!
Grow Your Own
The first step and very much the easiest way of becoming sustainable from home is growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs! You can do this in various ways such as planting in your garden bed, making a vertical garden on your shed wall, growing a garden on your fridge (yes it can be done!) or just delve into the rabbit hole of indoor plants! For some more info, check out my articles on Easy Grow Fruits and Vegetables.
For more information, check out:
- Vertical Garden Bed: https://www.mrstacky.com.au/vertical-gardens/vertical-garden-wall-kits/
- Gardens On a Fridge: https://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic-Fridge-Herb-Garden/
- Indoor Plants: https://www.abc.net.au/life/indoor-plants-that-are-native-to-australia/12049214
- Gardens In A Fridge?: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/2983387/try-a-refrigerator-garden
Raise Your Own
This will depend on whether you have a property or a big backyard but even a small backyard can support at least a chicken or two. Nothing beats fresh eggs and don’t forget the money you save by not buying the organic ones at the shops.
You don’t even have to worry about feed, just boil your food scraps (no meat or citrus) in a little bit of water and voila! And use the chook manure as fertiliser! The benefits are never ending! If you have a bigger property, think outside the box! Ever considered getting a cow for milk, cream and butter? What about raising a couple of steers for meat? Fancy some duck eggs?
- Chooks for Beginners: https://www.backyardchickencoops.com.au/blogs/learning-centre/a-complete-beginners-guide-to-keeping-chickens
- Bees for Beginners: https://blog.flowersacrosssydney.com.au/beekeeping-guide-beginners/
Make It Yourself
There are countless tutorials on how to make your own paper, make your own butter, make your own bread, reuse old clothes to make new ones, how to make your own cleaning products and to make your own Christmas cards. Check out my article on Clothes Hacks for Students, Enviro-Friendly Makeup Products, 4 Ways To Be More Environmentally Friendly, 5 Ways to Live more Eco-Friendly and Life Hack: Money Saving.
- Natural Cleaning Products: https://theorganisedhousewife.com.au/organising/money-saving-budget-tips/natural-ingredients-for-diy-homemade-cleaners/
- Recycling Old Clothes: https://www.urbanrevolution.com.au/blogs/blogs/how-to-recycle-old-clothes-in-australia
But think outside the box. Don’t assume you can’t make or grow anything at home because you live in a flat or because you don’t have a lot of money. There are resources everywhere online and in your community! Get creative!