Monday, February 14, 2011

Energy Descent / Climate Change Personal Action Plan 2.0

I became aware of the Peak Oil predicament around 2005. After about two years of reading and learning on the issue, with an anxiety level rising, I decided to write an action plan. The amount of changes that must happen in our life was so overwhelming that some kind of plan was necessary.
I wrote my first plan in late 2006, in my earlier website (down now).
In May 2009, I re-wrote it, and added it to this blog. Here is the link:
Action Plan 1.1
We moved to a new house in early 2010. After one year in our new home, it is time to revise the plan again. This is version 2.0.

1. Finances. 6 month cash reserve more necessary that ever.
Generate income from your home, by renting empty rooms for example.
Pay off debts, starting with highest interests, or longest term debts.
Buy second hand, this also reduces both waste, and unnecessary manufacturing and packaging.

2. Food. Start a vegetable garden. Plant fruit trees. Built a greenhouse. It takes a lifetime to learn gardening, start now! Get laying hens. They can eat kitchen scraps, will provide fresh eggs, fertilize your garden, get rid of bugs and provide meat as stew hens at the end of their laying life (~2-3 years). If you have a lot of grass, get a dairy goat.

3. Fresh Water. Collect rainwater and use it for non-critical needs, like toilet flushing, cloth washing.

4. Reduce your waste stream.
Stop city garbage service, and haul your garbage to the dump. Buy 7 garbage cans, that will match their flat fee.
Star a compost system to remove organic material from your waste stream.

5. Energy. Build a $1000 solar water heating system, as described here. If you have the skills, extend the system with radiant heating.
Use a local source of heat. Here in the PNW, that would be a wood stove.

6. Food Storage. Store food that is not easy to grow, such as grains, sugar ...
Build a solar dehydrator, learn how to can.

7. Grey Water. Nothing in Nature is a waste. Grey water from the laundry can be used to irrigate shade trees. Water loving trees such as willows will thrive, and their leaves are good forage for goats.

8. Transportation.
Get a sub-compact stick shift car. They are cheap on the used market, reliable, fuel efficient, and are enough for most people. A 2-liter 4 cylinder manual car can easily haul a 4X8 trailer.
Get a bicycle and train yourself now.

9. Sewage. We may eventually find that using drinkable water to flush the toilet is an obscene waste. Even rainwater may become too valuable for this. Learn how to use a saw-dust toilet, they are cheap and allow to safely dispose of our sewage. If water distribution is interrupted, it won't take long until Cholera sets in, as seen in disaster stricken areas.

10. Skills. Modern convenience has led use to loose valuable skills. Learn skills that allow to provide for your needs without using energy.

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