Sustainability

IntroductionWhat is a sustainable society? – from Environment & Sustainable Living

Sustainability is the act of living sustainably, at an individual level and as a society. The general idea is that our actions cannot jeopardize the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A down-to-earth definition is offered in the Native American advice that we must always take into account the affects of our actions on the next seven generations.

To live a sustainable lifestyle, one must always try to be aware of the consequences of their actions since they are but a part of an interdependant web. If an activity is sustainable, it can go on forever without compromising the ability of future generations to lead a quality life. Since the act of determining if an act is sustainable is always based on the information at hand, we must continually reevaluate our actions.

Depending on who you ask, the idea of a sustainable society can conjure up very different ideas. Negative population growth, putting limits on vehicles that produce excessive amounts of greenhouse gases, genetically-modified crops, and other ideas run the gamut from the practical to the insane. My perspective on sustainability is based specifically on the ideas and methods of the pre-European hunter-gatherer society that existed in America.

Loosely defined, the aspects of the various cultures I am most impressed with are:

  • A system of agriculture based upon growing crops indigenous to the area or harvesting indigenous crops for food or medicine
  • A nomadic lifestyle based on making seasonal decisions about location
  • Winter food storage and complete utilization of all resources (i.e. using the entire buffalo)
  • A division of labor based on specific roles and responsibilities
  • An economic system based on bartering real good and services (everyone must have a skill or multiple skills)

As this site develops, there will be more information on how to get live by the above tenets.


Living Off Of The GridDo you live off the grid? Are you on the grid? What’s a grid?

Use this handy-dandy chart to figure out where you stand.


Alcohol FuelThere are several reasons why we chose an alcohol fuel. The first and probably most important one is that alcohol can be made by anyone, with a minimum of equipment. The knowledge necessary to make it can be obtained just by reading this book. As long as folks can grow certain plants, they can make alcohol fuel to run all or part of their power equipment. Dependence upon someone else to supply that fuel is no longer a problem or a threat. Second, alcohol is a good fuel, superior to gasoline in many ways: It can give extra power to certain engines, it is almost non-polluting compared to gasoline, it is safe and easy to handle. Third, the cost of conversion from gasoline to alcohol is inexpensive: For many engines it is merely an adjustment of the carburetor jets.

Taken from – Mother’s Alcohol Fuel Seminar

Also, check out – Biodiesel


IndividualThe Vonu Movement
Vonu refers to a lifestyle that emphasizes finding ways to live outside of the “sight, sound and mind of those who will not live-and-let-live.”

Check out The eighteen approaches to achieving freedom and pick your path.


Fight Club and the Hunter-Gatherer Society“Imagine,” Tyler said, “stalking elk past department store windows and stinking racks of beautiful rotting dresses and tuxedos on hangers; you’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life, and you’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. Jack and the beanstalk, you’ll climb up through the dripping forest canopy and the air will be so clean you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn and laying strips of venison to dry in the empty car pool lane of an abandoned superhighway stretching eight-lanes-wide and August-hot for a thousand miles.” – Fight Club, Chapter 16

Permaculture

“Permaculture…I know I’ve heard that term before; doesn’t it mean doing organic gardening, or living off the land?”

Such comments typify the reactions of many people I’ve mentioned Permaculture to; they often think it’s just a new name for old techniques or life-styles. In a way they are right, because permaculture design does incorporate many time-honored techniques. But they are also wrong, because permaculture goes far beyond mere techniques, just as it applies to far more than agriculture. The intent of this article is to briefly outline the essential basics of permaculture design.

The term permaculture, meaning “permanent agriculture” was coined in the 1970’s by Australian Bill Mollison:

As I saw permaculture in the 1970’s, it was a beneficial assembly of plants and animals in relation to human settlements, mostly aimed towards household and community self reliance, and perhaps as a “commercial endeavor” only arising from a surplus from the system.

However, permaculture has come to mean more than just food sufficiency in the household. Self-reliance in food is meaningless unless people have access to land, information, and financial resources. So in recent years it has come to encompass appropriate legal and financial strategies, including strategies for land access, business structures, and regional self financing. This way it is a whole human system.

From – A Brief Introduction

Rewildingn. the process of healing from domestication & rejoining the community of nature. Redefining our relationships with nature on nature‚Äôs terms. Biologists sometimes define rewilding as “reintroducing a captive animal to its natural habitat.”


Hunting vs. TrappingI am a big fan of hunting. I think it is one of the few things that we can do in modern times that really ties us directly to our ancestors. Add in some primitive weapons and you are a modern caveman. While I am not a fan of sport hunting or trophy hunting, I have no problem with those who are. Deer and wild hogs, the two primary animals I hunt in Texas, are both seriously overpopulated. In fact, every sport hunter in Texas could shoot their limit and we’d still need to be actively involved in conservation to make sure the herds were at practical limits for the land. Besides that – hunting is a great way for father and son to connect. It is a Texas tradition.

In the sustainable sense of it, hunting really isn’t that practical as a way to harvest food. There are several keys issues working against it:

  1. It’s noisy and if you miss the projectile goes a long way – not good for harvesting game in an urban environment
  2. It relies on an you and an animal both being in the right place at the right time (difficult even with feeders)
  3. Each encounter can usually only net one animal – fine for individual hunting for one family, but doesn’t work to feed the whole village

The alternative to all of this is trapping. Trapping is like hunting without having to be there. If you can set some trap lines, then the lines do the hunting for you. There are ethical traps – traps that kill instantly or hold the animals humanely to be dispatched via pistol or axe (calm down – this is far less disgusting than what happens at a commercial slaughterhouse). Trappers are closer to the land than hunters in that they have to be constantly in the woods checking their traps.

Here is an article on snares – Snaring For Survival

Just remember that unless you are in an emergency situation, trapping may not be legal in your area.


Related Links


We wanted to blast the world free of history…. picture yourself planting radishes and seed potatoes on the fifteenth green of a forgotten golf course. You’ll hunt elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center, and dig clams next to the skeleton of the Space Needle leaning at a forty-five degree angle. We’ll paint the skyscrapers with huge totem faces and goblin tikis, and every evening what’s left of mankind will retreat to empty zoos and lock itself in cages as protection against the bears and big cats and wolves that pace and watch us from outside the cage bars at night. – Fight Club, Chapter 16