Whether you are looking to become more self-sufficient to lessen your impact on the environment or have a distant dream of living a ‘Good Life’, there is much to be said about living a more sustainable life, consuming what you make and reducing wastage in your home. This is not only great for the environment, but it is often a lot kinder on your pocket.
The truth is that we all probably want to be a little more self-sufficient, but there are often many obstacles that are thrown into our way.
When many people think of being self-sufficient, they imagine a cosy, rustic, cottage surrounded by an abundance of land to live off of in the countryside. Not an urban place in the middle of London. But even if you live in the centre of Soho, there are ways that you can live as self-sufficiently as possible.
Assess the energy efficiency of your property. You can have an Energy Performance Certificate assessment carried out by our EPC London team, who will look at how energy efficient your home is. The assessor will look at aspects such as insulation, the health of your boiler, and heating systems to give the property an energy efficiency rating.
Crucially, the domestic EPC will also give you a list of recommendations of measures that you can do to your home to improve its rating and make it more energy-efficient.
Whether you are getting your energy from the national grid or are creating your own, becoming more energy efficient is an excellent way to start out in your quest for self-sufficiency.
Grow your own Food
Even if you don’t have a big house with a lot of land, there are some ways that you can begin to substitute the food that you buy in the supermarket with produce that you have grown yourself.
If you live in a central London home, space is likely to be in short supply, so you could consider planting herbs in a window box, or using plant pots on a balcony, porch or veranda if you have one. Tomatoes, peppers, and chillies are easy to grow in a pot, as are carrots, potatoes, beetroot, and radishes.
If you have a small garden you could also think about having a vertical vegetable garden for maximum produce in a minimum space.
When you are using energy from the national grid, you don’t have much choice over where it comes from. Although the UK is getting better at using renewable energy we are still far off only using renewable energy as a nation. Having a home that is as energy efficient as possible is important, but it’s also important is where you get your energy from.
By creating your own energy, you can lessen your impact on the environment and the best way to do this in a self-sufficient way is to use natural, renewable resources. Where you are based will have an impact on what you choose to do but some ideas include installing solar panels or wind turbines on the outside of your home.
Water is another valuable resource that is becoming limited on our planet, and we have a lot of natural water that can be used when you are trying to become more self-sufficient. Although you might need to process it yourself if you want to drink it safely, you can use collected rainwater for things like watering plants, flushing toilets, or general household cleaning.
You can collect your rainwater through a drainage system and water butt or a more complex rainwater harvesting system.
Composting and Food Waste
Even though the most conscientious among us create food waste – even if it’s just some vegetable peelings and tea bags. Although there is some food waste which can’t be composted, there is a lot that can.
By keeping a compost bin in your garden, you can find a natural, safe, and green way to dispose of your food waste and create some nutritional compost to put on those vegetables which you have planted. This can help them to grow and stay healthy, won’t cost you a penny, and also won’t put nasty chemicals into your soil (and consequently, your vegetables).
If you are living in London and hoping to become more self-sufficient, you don’t need to move out to a farm in the countryside. There are plenty of things that you can do to adapt your home in the city to get on your way.