Being self-sufficient at home

There are many ways to be self-sufficient at home. Being self-sufficient is a way to reduce your net ecological footprint by increasing biocapacity. The following is an outline of some of the ways you can be self-sufficient at home.

Generate your own energy

One of the best ways to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions is to conserve energy through insulation, energy efficient appliances and good habits.

In addition, there are also a variety of ways to make your own energy at home which is a way to reduce your carbon footprint including solar panels, wind turbines, micro-hydro, biomass and many others.

Read more about generating your own energy at home –›

Waterless toilets

The flushing toilet may well be one of the most wasteful inventions ever. A waterless toilet is a sustainable alternative.

Waterless toilets are common where mains sewage connection is not an option, and where other on-site systems such as septic tanks aren’t practical (if there is no room for a soakage area, for example). However, many people are starting to choose waterless toilets because they make more sense, the most common being a composting toilet.

Read more about waterless (composting) toilets –›

Backyard farming

Not very long ago the majority of people grew vegetables, herbs and fruit in their home gardens. It was a valuable part of the household economy. It made practical use of available land and offered a modest level of self-sufficiency, at the least. In some cases, it provided a large proportion of a family’s vegetable needs.

Over the past 50 years, there has been a significant decrease in the number of people who grow their own produce. As the work-life balance has leaned steadily towards the work side, the household economy has become largely outsourced as people are money rich but time poor.

However, in recent times there has been renewed interest in ‘growing your own’ as the cost of produce and the need to reduce footprint increases.

Read more about the benefits of Urban Farming –›

Also, read more about growing your own –›


Composting is quite easy, and it has many benefits for the environment and your own backyard. Compost is your ‘homegrown’ free fertiliser allowing you to condition and enrich your soil for a better garden. Composting will replenish nutrients, improve drainage and water retention, and protect plant roots when used as mulch. You can skip on synthetic fertilisers and soil enhancers, which cost money and may hurt the environment.

Read more about composting –›

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is the collection and storage of rain from roofs or from a surface catchment for use in the home or garden. The water is generally stored in rainwater tanks (also known as water butts) or directed into mechanisms which recharge groundwater. Houses away from municipal water supplies often rely on rainwater collected from roofs as the only source of water for all household activities.

If you harvest rainwater you decrease the need for municipal water supply and also the demand for stormwater drains both of which require energy and maintenance resources.

Read more about rainwater harvesting –›

Also, read about grey water recycling –›

Other ways to be self-sufficient in the home

Even if you don’t have land and/or if you are renting and can’t make the sorts of changes mentioned above, there are many other ways to be self-sufficient in the home, including:

Working from home

Working from home is a way to be self-sufficient, it reduces your footprint and saves you time and money. Read about the pro’s and con’s of working from home –›

Do it yourself (DIY)

DIY is essentially another name for self-sufficiency. DIY is usually used in terms of house maintenance, improvements, renovations and even house building. The more you can do yourself the more you will save money and reduce your footprint.

Making and mending

Making and mending things is a form of self-sufficiency/DIY too. You can make and mend clothes, furniture, furnishings, craft goods, cleaning products, Read more –›

Home economics

When it comes to food there is plenty more you can do than growing your own including preserving (freezing, pickling, brining, drying, fermenting), cooking (meals, baking, sauces etc), and looking at alternation ways to source food (including foraging, hunting, fishing, bartering, sharing). Read more about home economics –›