Sustainability 101 - Personal Post Oil Era Planning
What to do before YOUR last drop of oil
: Think, your goalmust be elimination of oil dependence. Use it for transition tosomething sustainable, or entertainment, but DO NOT bedependent. Triage, what will continue to function, when willsignificant disruptions start, what natural or manmadedisasters are likely for your area? How will the unpreparedreact locally, nationally, or internationally? Will you as one prepared be seen as unjust, unfair, or evil, your stored food as"hoarding"? Do your present living conditions provide secureclean air water and food, and shelter? Can your communitycontinue “on it's own” with the local ecosystem sustainingthe population? How do you deal with strangers, or friendsor relatives, who after the crash begins come calling becauseyou have food? What do you believe is a sustainable population, and do you see a pleasant way to reach it withinthe remaining time? Do you believe the ecology will be preserved, or plundered in attempts to maintain the failinginfrastructure? Will governments be compassionate and preserve rights as they struggle with local and externalchallenges and dwindling resources? How do you envisionthe post-fossil fuel era? What is needed for you, your family,community, and humanity overall, to reach a better future?
When to act
: Now, when demand exceeds supply it's toolate to make effective preparations. When a critical portionof the population realizes there WILL be a problem, it's toolate. Now, while you can "click" on the web, or make a phone call, and have unique goods delivered, or labour performed. Now, before travel, moving, joining or creating anew community is practicable.
Think beyond the crash
: Post fossil fuel civilizationrequires healthy, intelligent and educated people survive thetraumas of the crash. Knowledge, skills, physical resources,and ecosystem lost in the crash may be lost permanentlyConsult with a physician on improving your health andgetting more exercise. Your physical needs must be metfirst.
Air-to survive beyond 3 minutes
: Avoid areas where dirtyfuel use (coal & wood) is likely. Seal you home as air-tightas you can, and reduce outside air infiltration by a device,even homemade, that allows for the natural air pressurechanges without a physical exchange of air. (Think a hole inthe ceiling with a plastic bag sealed over the hole, lying in theattic.). Mechanical air filtration helps even if only daytimesolar p/v powered. Air forced thru biologically active soilwill have many contaminants removed or neutralized. See"earthlung" in SOLVIVA by Anna Edey. Plants can purifyair, see “Growing Clean Air” by Dr. Bill Wolverton, andenough plants can balance the daily CO2 exhalations of a person, and grow enough calories for sustenance.
Water-to survive beyond 3 days
: Water may be cut off or contaminated. Ensure you have access to water from allavailable resources, including rainwater catchment, with thelargest personal storage capacity you can arrange. Be prepared to purify all of your water. Filtering water thru sandor even dirt can remove larger particles and some pathogens.Water in contact with silver tends to kill microorganisms. Asmall DC current (from a cheap solar battery charger)through two silver electrodes (i.e. 1964 and earlier U.S.quarters) submerged in the water will distribute silver ionsand kill bacteria. You can fabricate a still to use the heat of the sun to evaporate water, then condense the vapor intowater for human consumption. It can be as simple as a sealed bottle sitting in the sun, with a hose leading out of it toanother bottle, that is buried in cool, shaded soil. Expect todrastically restrict your water use, and reuse wash water on plants. To avoid toilet flushing use a composting, or solar dehydrating toilet.
Food-to survive beyond 3 weeks
: Industrialized farmingdepends on fertilizers, chemicals and special crops. EcologyAction & books by John Jeavons, growbiointensive.orgshow you can grow a healthy diet of crops in an area as smallas 1,000 sq.ft. per person. The techniques take effort and timeto implement, especially if you're not starting with soil that ishealthy and productive. Look beyond farm crops, to findrobust plants suited for your location, see the online database by the English folks at Plants for a Future. Absent good soil,even shallow beds of biological scraps and rock dust canwork, see the Amaranth to Zai Holes, Meitzner & Price, fulltext online from the folks at echonet.org. Aquaponics,aeroponics, etc. offer higher yields if you can maintain thetechnology. Store food for a year as insurance against lostcrops, see basic guidelines at Mormon church sites. Sproutsare greater in bulk and nutrition than seeds. Many leaves areedible, or protein can be extracted, see leafforlife.com.Spirulina algae grows double it's mass every day, hey, it'ssold in health food stores.How many people do you need tofeed?
Medical-to cope with disease and injury
: Take the CPR and "First Aid" training. Commercial first aid kits are a start, but look beyond them. Books such as "Ditch Medicine" byHugh L. Coffee provide insight into unusual techniques thatwork.
Shelter-to survive harmful environments
: Almostanywhere earth bermed, equator facing glass, and insulatedconstruction can provide a livable contained environmentwith minimal to no non-solar input. Earthships, with walls of stacked tires, full of dirt, incorporate recycling and energy-saving ideas of Michael Reynolds offered in his books and athis earthship.org site. Earth sheltering and why to insulateand waterproof the soil for 20' out from your home areexplained in the book "Passive Annual Heat Storage", byJohn Hait. Stacked concrete block is advocated by architectBruce Beerup in his website thenaturalhome.com. MikeOehler, in "The $50 & Up Underground House Book" presents his PSP system post/shoring/Polyethylene, basicallyan underground pole building.
Power-beyond your own muscles
: Animal or slave labor can expand the power of a few, but is inefficient. For technology today electricity is the key energy, but many usescan be replaced by wind, water, or focused sunlight tooperate "steam" engines, or absorption refrigeration.Electronics, and to an extent lighting have no alternative,otherwise "downsize" your electrical use. Add non-fuel homegenerating. P/v panels continue to improve in efficiency, andfor the moment, reduce in price. In all these some type of power storage system is usually required. Micro-Hydro,using a suitcase sized turbine, driven by a pipe of high pressure water, can provide on demand modest power, evenif just using large water containers at significant differencesin height. Batteries can (now) be purchased to meet specific