Are You a Green Homesteader?
By their very nature, most homesteaders believe in living a fairly ‘green,’ or earth friendly, lifestyle. We wish to become more self reliant for many reasons. The benefits include: reducing our expenses, providing healthier foods for our family, preventing cruelty to the animals we rely on for food, returning to our roots, and (hopefully) reducing our negative impact on the environment.
Although we strive to decrease our dependence on outside sources, many homesteaders, gardeners, and small farmers still purchase and use some environmentally questionable products. They might seem like little things and it’s easy to justify some weed killer here and a bit of extra garbage there. But when you examine those little things over the year, or your lifetime, they can really add up.
What Do You Mean by Green?
When we talk about being ‘green’ we are usually referring to reducing the damage that we directly, or indirectly, cause to the environment. Every purchase we make has a potential effect on the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. By choosing to purchase fewer, more environmentally responsible, products, we reduce our negative impact.
Some examples of environmentally responsible practices are:
- Using organic pest control and fertilizers
- Treating disease and parasites with herbal remedies
- Reducing fuel consumption
- Using sustainable energy when possible
- Purchasing organic foods and organic livestock feed
- Making the most of what we have
- Buying locally grown and produced products
- Foraging for food
- Avoiding synthetic hormones for livestock
- Raising more of our own food
- Buying in bulk reduce waste
- Repairing and maintaining our tools, clothes, and buildings
- Make your own all natural cleaners
- Don’t use synthetic chemicals on your lawn
Of course, there are many more things that we can do to reduce our negative impact on the environment. Although most of us won’t be able to implement all of these ideas, the more you can do, the better. Our family strives to do what we can and every year we try to increase our self sufficiency and reduce our carbon footprint.
Some of these changes will also keep your family healthier and reduce some of your expenses. And learning to do things for yourself helps to prepare for difficult times. So think about changes that make sense on your homestead and work to implement them as you are able to.