HOW SUSTAINABLE ARE WE?Do you recycle? Buy local or grow your own food? Drive an electric vehicle? Have you made home energy improvements? Do you live off grid? Just how sustainable are we?

I grew up with a mom who was totally committed to recycling. In fact she started the first recycling program back in the early 70s! Every Saturday we would go to the town hall where folks would drop off their glass and aluminum. The glass would be sorted by color and crushed in barrels using sledgehammers. The profits from selling the glass and aluminum was donated to the local land trust and used to purchase land for the town. It was never an option to not recycle in our family.

My mother also had a vegetable garden and blueberry bushes. What fruit she didn’t grow we would go to the local orchard and pick. Not only did we eat extremely well but also the harvest was canned or frozen to enjoy later in the year.sustainable

We may not have lived off grid but we were a family that desired to be more sustainable.

My husband and I have always had a garden as well and we always had a full stocked pantry. I would can or freeze anything that wasn’t consumed immediately.pesto, freezing

My husband deigned our home to be south facing to take advantage of the passive solar. The floor plan was open so we could heat easily with a woodstove. The house was also equipped with both solar hot water and photovoltaic power. Out yearly electric bill was between $300-400 dollars! The solar hot water not only gave us an abundance of hot water but also helped cut down on the propane bill used to heat the hot water.goal setting 19

Now that we are living in another part of the country we are looking for a new home, one that is either already equipped with some of the features we let behind or one that we can implement these features ourselves.sustainable

We still recycle and as soon as we can we will have our own garden again. In the meantime I am helping my daughter with her vegetable garden. Nice to know that the lessons my mother taught me have been passed down to another generation.

Join us as we challenge ourselves to live a more self-reliant lifestyle for the entire month of January.

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Kathi – Oak Hill Homestead

Nancy – Nancy On The Homefront

AnnMarie – 15 Acre Homestead

Farmgal – Just another Day on the Farm

Candy – Candy’s Farm House Pantry

Kristi – Stone Family Farmstead

Marla – Organic 4 Greenlivings

Heidi – Healing Harvest Homestead

Victoria – Modern Homestead Mama

Shawna – Homegrown Self Reliance

Stephanie – Happily Homegrown

Bethany – Family Growing Pains

Dianne – Hidden Springs Homestead

Julie – The Farm Wife

Lacey – Home & Harrow

Robin – A Life in the Wild

Sheri Ann – Experimental Homesteader

Lisa Lynn  – The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

The New Homesteader’s Almanac

24 comments on “How Sustainable Are We?

Julie Murphree on January 7, 2019 6:33 pm

This is an excellent post. It always helps me to ask this question. By doing so, I know where I stand and where I need to go next. Great post, Nancy!

Nancy Wolff on January 7, 2019 10:33 pm

Thank you Julie!

Lisa L on January 8, 2019 1:18 am

I hope you find a home that is exactly what you want!

Nancy Wolff on January 8, 2019 2:08 am

Lisa,
I hope we can find just what we want, the search has begun.

Lisa L on January 10, 2019 1:34 pm

Very exciting! I know you will make whatever home you choose a more sustainable abode. 🙂

Rosie (@greenrosielife) on January 9, 2019 6:44 am

So many people think living sustainably is a new thing we all need to do where-as in fact we all used to live much more sustainably and we now need to look back to some of those “old” ways as we go forwards. Popping by from Stone Cottage Adventures link party … oh and if you wanted to link up to my Going Green link up I’d love to see you there. Happy Sustainable New Year!!

Nancy Wolff on January 9, 2019 5:05 pm

Rosie,
Would love to connect to your party and YES I agree, so many of the “old” ways were better ways!

Robin on January 9, 2019 5:31 pm

I’d like to build a new home before we retire but the thought of leaving our permanent high tunnels, orchard, established gardens and all the rest is unsettling. We do so much for ourselves that finding a new place would be difficult. Good luck in your search. I hope you find exactly what you’re looking for and then some!

Nancy Wolff on January 9, 2019 6:17 pm

Robin,
It was hard leaving our house but our desire to be closer to our children and grandchildren overruled!

candy on January 9, 2019 11:00 pm

We are looking at adding solar panels hopefully in the next two years. Always thinking ahead and trying to be more green and sustainable.

Nancy Wolff on January 10, 2019 1:57 am

Candy,
Our solar panels were the best investment ever. We were still grid tied but had a yearly electric bill of only $300!!

Marla on January 9, 2019 11:22 pm

Hi Nancy,
I certainly think recycling is extremely important and thumbs up to our husband for being so committed to it. Its good to hear that you have always had a garden because that is the safest and healthiest way to eat and be self sufficient.

farmgal on January 9, 2019 11:27 pm

Good luck on the house hunting! Family can be such a blessing!

Cheryl | TimeToCraft on January 10, 2019 9:51 am

Hope you find just the right place to call home. So good to pass on your knowledge. When my children finally leave home, I hope I send them out with all the tools and knowledge to live sustainably. One area I’d like to improve my confidence in is canning. Not a skill passed on to me. #GoingGreen

Nancy Wolff on January 10, 2019 2:39 pm

Cheryl,
I am so glad our two daughters are interested in gardening and living sustainable lives.

candy on January 10, 2019 12:38 pm

Even when we didn’t have our forever home while moving in the air force we always tried to live as much of a sustainable life as possible. Now we are even more prepared to live this life style and continue to learn new ways. Found you on Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Nancy Wolff on January 10, 2019 2:38 pm

Candy,
It can’t be easy moving often but I think it’s great that you try to be as sustainable as possible!

Kristi Stone on January 10, 2019 1:59 pm

Wow, lovely home and the features sound awesome! We are not that sustainable at all. We garden and preserve some of our food, and we have a wood burning stove in our open floor plan home. We are thinking of adding solar in the future. We do recycle, but I must admit that our mindset isn’t toward being totally sustainable (though I’d like to). I love your post, it’s really inspiring to see what you and your family have done!

Nancy Wolff on January 10, 2019 2:36 pm

Kristi,
Thanks for stopping by our home in Vermont was wonderful and we hope to re-create something similar here on the west coast! Solor panels were a great investment!

Dianne on January 10, 2019 3:26 pm

Nancy, this article is beautiful. Love the images as well as what you are teaching in it. Love the idea of be sustainable. I grow a large garden and preserve everything I can from it. Thanks for ideas.

Bethany on January 12, 2019 2:57 pm

Our parents pass so much down to us!

We’re looking to move too and the idea of moving a homestead is daunting!

Nancy Wolff on January 12, 2019 6:43 pm

Bethany,
It was an overwhelming move and we ended up moving way more than we should have even after de-cluttering for over a year!

Lacey on January 12, 2019 5:10 pm

That’s so neat about your mom! We also grew up pretty self-sufficient for being in town, but I think it was just a more natural thing for people to do. The last couple generations are the ones who really rely most heavily on other people for everything.

Nancy Wolff on January 12, 2019 6:43 pm

So true Lacey!

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