Follow my efforts towards self-sustainability on instagram: @bjorns_stay
Some principles I try to live by in the sense of having a permanent location
I started out with the five R’s of Bea’s Zero-Waste
Here are some of my own interpretations of them
- Refuse – Don’t buy or accept new things without serious conscious consideration
- Reduce – Try to give away everything you don’t use
- Reuse – Find new purposes for everything you have
- Recycle – Never throw something directly into nature, unless it came directly from nature
- Rot – Try to make compost of as much residual material as possible
Now let’s see how I handle some other different aspects of modern living
Now when it comes to energy-use, I aim to make the apartment self-sustainable (off-grid) as well. I am currently collecting aluminum cans to build a simple but effective heating system. I plan to install solar panels and an windmill generator together with a battery storage and distribution system when I free up enough funds and resources.
Installations and furniture
I collect any usable materials and furniture I find dumped next to local garbage retrieval sites. People throw a multitude of perfectly usable things, so there is no need to buy anything new unless it is somehow very urgent.
I also recover electrical components and seek to learn what I need to construct any necessary circuitry myself. In essence, if something I need is possible to DIY, I will at least consider it. A balance must be struck however, so that the cost of new and advanced tools and machines does not exceed the benefits. As an extreme example, imagine building an oil-pump, a refinery, a chemical plant and factory just to get yourself a DIY-plastic bag. I know it is beyond silly, but I hope it gets my point across.
Food and terrace garden
I currently obtain my food from fruit shops, the local market and grocery stores. I try to store seeds whenever it is possible to gradually planting more and more on the terrace space available. Many plants are also available to buy from local growers. But to obtain certain plants, I will probably have to order seeds by mail. I also consider it fair to pick fruits, berries and mushrooms naturally growing in the surrounding areas.
I collect rainwater on the terrace to water the plants on sunny days. I do not yet have a filtering system for making the rain water drinkable.
I chop down and put all my food residues in a 3-stage compost system on the terrace. I also collect my pee as added nutrition to the compost. This also avoids the environmental cost of flushing it out to the sewage.
At the moment I do not see it necessary for me to do any longer travels beyond walking and maybe sometimes taking the bus or train, especially since communication can be done world-wide via internet and telephone. Any typical touristic or professional trip has very little value to me since I realized that by varying states of consciousness, a walk of an hour locally, or reading a book in a certain way, can be more mind-blowing and rich, than a trip to another continent.
In the long run, I do however hope to obtain an electrical motorcycle to do some longer excursions. Considering the prolific use of fossil fuel, I consider the material cost might be justifiable in comparison to what stands be gained by positively pioneering and advertising a change of mentality in this regard.
In the long run, I do hope to travel around and see more of the world, but I want to do it when we have a world free of borders, war and any other large-scale manifestations of egotistical struggle, and when the means of faster-than-bike/sail travel are truly self-sustainable.