Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs: The Thrivalist's Guide to Life Without Oil
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In the latter half of the twentieth century, the percentage of the total American population living in suburbs grew to nearly fifty percent. Fossil fuels were cheap and plentiful, and car-dependent, energy-intensive lifestyles came hand in hand with this demographic transition. In the age of Peak Oil, environmental catastrophe, and a failing economy, it is imperative that we transform the suburbs into sustainable communities.
Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs envisions a suburban evolution—from isolated cookie cutter houses with manicured lawns and two-car garages to small, closely packed, productive, interdependent homesteads. This guide to simplifying suburbia and adopting a lower energy lifestyle breaks down all our basic needs and describes how they might be met after the loss of the modern conveniences we currently take for granted. From small-space gardening techniques and a guide to small livestock to tips on cooking and heating, sanitation options, and much more, this is a complete guide to becoming more self-sufficient wherever you live.
Required reading for anyone interested in increased self-reliance and a lower carbon footprint, Surviving the Apocalypse in the Suburbs will help you look past the white picket fence to a new world of possibilities.
Wendy Brown is a suburban homesteader growing roots (both literally and figuratively) in southern Maine where she and her family have made the transition from a completely dependent, consumerist lifestyle to one of living debt-free in a comfortable, more efficient home in a desirable location with a bountiful garden.
to force coal mine owners to provide a fair wage, but even the most conscientious owners can not make the mines completely safe. It’s difficult, dirty and dangerous work, even with the machines, but without them, it would be worse. Day 2: Water 27 The problem is that it’s all related. Oil is used in the coal mines to get the coal that gives us electricity. Electricity powers the pumps that feed the water through the pipes that allow me to have this life elixir flow unheeded, on demand from
box stores) decimated the tomato crop and damaged a good portion of the potato crop. In a permaculture/diverse plant culture suburban yard, where there is not a dependence on one food crop, losing one plant does not mean the whole season is lost. If I lose all of my tomatoes, I still have pumpkins and cabbages and apples. We might not have everything we like to eat all of the time, but we would still eat. The last advantage has to do with the labor intensiveness of growing food. Building a raised
still others prospered. Worldwide, some countries were completely destitute while others continued to thrive. Given the current economic climate, the likelihood of a second worldwide depression is considerable. In fact, while some news seems to indicate that we are on a rebound, it seems more likely that this slight upswing is just that — an upswing, and at some point, the pendulum will swing back. In the summer of 2010, reported job losses were down one month, compared to the previous month,
and cons of the various systems. PRO CON Solar • only needs sunlight to generate power • totally renewable energy • completely clean and unpolluting • prohibitively expensive • short lifespan • not the best choice for colder climates with less sun exposure • in an energy-depleted future, replacement parts may be impossible to find • manufacture of systems requires a great deal of cheap energy input Wind • totally renewable energy • completely clean and unpolluting • not a good choice in
other valuable gardening tool is my spade, and we have three or four of them lying around the yard. It’s nice for digging small holes when succession planting or planting seedlings in an established bed. Again — all metal with a rubber grip. Because all of my garden beds are raised, there is no hard row to hoe, as there are no rows, and so I have never really found I needed a hoe. For digging and breaking sod, a shovel works just fine, and for leveling everything, my rake is wonderful. I don’t