Saturday, February 4, 2012

Suburban Sustainability: What is Sustainability?

I am so so excited to introduce our new feature, Suburban Sustainability to everyone! A take on growing  movements such as Urban Farming , Permaculture, and Homesteading; Suburban Sustainability will focus on bringing self-sufficiency to communities like the ones we live in {suburbs of Phoenix, AZ}.

Let's get down to brass tacks, shall we? What exactly is Sustainability?

Ideally, an entirely self sustainable community or "family" is one that "attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources and his/her own resources"{source}

Sustainability is an incredibly broad term, that can be used to describe a number of practices. ASU has an entire Sustainability School that is focused on global sustainability on a wide range level. Here on our little blog, we are going to focus on what we can do personally and within our own neighborhoods to promote sustainability. 

Therefore, our definition of Sustainability will be steps that we can take to reduce our need to consume other people's resources, therefore saving our own resources. 

What are some small steps we can take to develop sustainability within our own homes?

In our house, we decided to keep chickens. We go through a ridiculous amount of eggs in our house, and if we are able to produce those eggs we eliminate the money we spend on those eggs at the grocery store, we eliminate the waste from the cartons we would be buying. We also get eggs without any chemicals or hormones that commercial eggs are usually laden with, and we know our chickens are happy and not crammed into sad confinement. We also get the added bonus of chicken manure, which we further our sustainability by using as a fertilizer for our grass & gardens.  Chickens are relatively easy animals to care for and you can further the self-sufficiency by growing your own grain for their feed! So, their manure and the shells from their eggs can go into the compost you use for the soil that their food is growing in! It's just a fraction of the different cycles you can use in your own home! It's a fascinating concept and there is SO MUCH you can experiment with. 

Sustainability can be combined with countless other disciplines {such as organic farming!} and we are going to delve even further into the partners of sustainability to create a solid "guide" for our readers to join the movement and become more self sufficient! 

If you are looking for a great starter resource for sustainability, The City of Mesa has a web page on Sustainability local efforts and how to take some baby steps.

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