“Sustainability” And “Self-Sufficient” at Home

When we hear about sustainability and being self-sufficient, most of the time we think about electric vehicles, smart homes, solar panels, home grown food, environmental friendly working systems, etc. So in a way we think about the idealistic version of being sustainable and self-sufficient or in other words where we want to be. But in everyday life we are not placed in the idealised world, we have real life situations to deal with and even if we do not have all those things mentioned before, we are using what we got, we are improvising. So, how do we do it? What are our mistakes? Where can we do better? What other habits do we have to change to be better, to do better?

For starters let’s talk about being self-sufficient and being capable of taking care of your own food supply. I come from a small country Slovenia, where I live in a house, with my parents. For the country and this part of the continent too, it was always in practice that every house which has even just a tiny piece of land has a garden, even if it means tomato just for one week, salat for maybe the whole month, etc. you do it, because you know, it is healthier and better for you and the environment, then buying it from the supermarket which imported goods from example Spain, Israel or even further away countries. As it goes for my household, this year we decided to designate ⅓ of our plot just for the garden, which is around 200m2. Vegetables, fruits and herbs, all around the house and as it looks like so far, there is gonna be food for the summer season and whole winter. So in a way you could say our household is to some level self-sufficient.

On the other hand when we talk about sustainability, well, for a 3 person household, there is a long road ahead of us. To have a connection with school/work/friends by train and bus every 10 minutes and still have  and use two cars, neither of them electric, not that much sustainable. If we take waste disposal into account, in our country for some time now, we have to separate waste in three containers (mix, packaging and organic), but being able to fill all three 120 liter sized containers of waste every week well, we can’t talk about sustainability here eather, maybe we can talk about consumptionism?!

These are my/our cases, we are lucky to live in a house and to have a place/land, where we can do it, try it, experiment. What about people who live in apartments, who live in places where not the environment and even architecture are not giving them opportunity to try? Of course most of the time is up to us, but If we don’t have a place where we can do all the things we talked about, then of course it is logical, that we will go and do things the easiest way possible, or we won’t even think about sustainability and self-sufficiency.

As an architecture student, I would like to see projects/cities to be done and built for example as a Venus project or Masdar city, so in a way to see huge global projects to be developed. But this kind of thing can’t be possible in our area, Kekec guy has never and will never see huge amounts of oil under his feet. So instead of aiming for newly built sustainable and self-sufficient mega projects, let’s do small steps. So again how do we do it? What are our mistakes? Where are those mistakes done and how to solve them? Where can we do better and what habits do we have to change to be better, do better?

Author: Sanel Fazlić


Image sources:
Image 1: https://www.tesla.com/en_EU/solarroof
Image 2: https://unsplash.com/photos/hvSBya7hX2Q
Image 3: https://www.prodnik.si