For me sustainable living doesn’t just mean being completely self sufficent but the ability to maintain a lifestyle as well. The thing is I look at the UK and can see being sustainable is possible even with wings being heavily clipped financially right now especially if you have the right type of home. My previous house there was a Victorian railway house with an extensive garden originally designed for allotment type gardening in the back. Nearly every single house along that road isn’t producing anything in their garden except for space. Now I can understand having a deck area or BBQ stand but these gardens are huge you could have that plus nearly all have already been extended and still have a garden nearly 100ft long by 15ft wide. Its completely under utilized.
So gardening at the weekends anyone? At first its a pain to be honest getting everything setup and also expensive. But I look at it this way its possible to produce 20 – 30% of your food and once setup it becomes more of a cycle than a task and one that’s good for kids to get involved in. Here in the Philippines we are starting to build up our herb garden which is now seeing the Oregano go crazy and the mint is just starting to establish. Makes rainy days all the better with the soft aroma’s flying around the various parts of the house and garden.
Getting back to the UK though its believed people waste on average 30% of their food which I can agree on with the amount my parents throw out. For me its a bit different as I am generally passing a supermarket wherever I am going when working so just grab something when I am near one or eat in a restaurant (before you say it reason being the receipts are needed “daily” for tax reasons or should I say tax deductable reasons). So my food waste is none existant and generally I try to avoid plastic packaging or carrier bags. But the point being if you take 30% is wasted and you can produce 20 – 30% in your garden suddenly you can see your household food bill could be cut in half after you get things developed. For my parents with my food muncher brothers that would mean £50 a week easily without even trying to cut back.
The other thing is throwing bread into the mix or should I say baking your own without adding any of the bad things in it the bread works out cheaper in many cases but will always work out better than a supermarket produced loaf aswell as being straight from the oven. When making bread though I would way up the size of your oven and freezer and make several at the same time as you can freeze them for another day. Generally the average size oven doing 3 at a time is ideal.