Below is a list of the best at-home options for those who are looking to live more self-sufficiently or sustainably. These solutions cover everything from growing food and medicine, saving money, consuming organically, creating reliable power and helping protect the earth.
At Wildline, our goal is to help households achieve all their self-sufficiency and sustainability goals. First and foremost, however, we seek to make such a lifestyle simpler and more accessible than ever.
Greenhouses: Greenhouses are a fantastic way to garden year round, and work by protecting your plants from extreme heat or cold. The beauty in a greenhouse is they can be as simple or grand as you'd like. While the average cost of a greenhouse ranges from $5,000 - $25,000, simpler but still effective versions can be built for as little as $800.
Gardens: A 600sq/ft garden can produce up to 300lbs of fresh food annually. Additionally, an effective garden doesn't just grow food; herbal/natural remedies are also a wonderful addition.
Hydroponics/Tower Gardens: These vertical gardens can be an excellent space-saving option, or as a less-costly alternative to a greenhouse. They use 20x less water than a typical garden and don't require pesticides.
Renewable Power: Solar, Wind and Hydro power can all be excellent options in residential households. With renewable energy becoming more and more prominent, smarter and cheaper solutions are constantly becoming more abundant. Did you know you can get up to a 26% tax credit for installing solar panels?
Gray-water System: A gray-water system reuses water from your household and re-purposes it in a variety of ways, such as in watering your lawn or garden.
Rainwater Harvesting & Storage: From emergency water storage, to automatic watering systems for gardens or livestock, to full connection to your home, rainwater harvesting can be a natural and effective way to cut down on water costs. However, it is worth noting that states have different laws regarding rainwater harvesting, so be sure to do your research.
Small livestock: On average, a flock of five chickens costs less than $30 a month to feed, and produce up to five eggs every day. [Excerpt from www.thecapecoop.com "In the study, a flock of chickens was allowed to free range in a tick infested cattle field for 30-60 minutes. It was found that each chicken ingested anywhere from 3-331 ticks, with the average chicken eating over 80 ticks!"]
Other great options for small livestock include ducks, quail, geese and goats.
Food Plots: A food plot is an area planted to be a supplementary food source for wildlife. They are inexpensive, charming and not just for hunters.
Honeybee Hives: Honey is full of antioxidants, antibacterial and expensive at the store. Bonus: Save the bees!
Wildlife Feeders: An inexpensive and appealing way to bring more wildlife to your yard.
Composting: Essentially free and very beneficial to your garden by enriching the soil and negating the need for potentially harmful chemical fertilizers.
Tree-Tapping: For the best homemade maple syrup. Another low cost option which can also be a great way to both save money and make a profit every season.
Soil/Water Analysis: Learning more about the soil and water quality on your property can go a long way to helping you choose the best solutions for your home. Analysis can also provide information on the nutrients and minerals available to best help your plants thrive.
Well System: With no monthly bill, fees, or rising costs a well is an excellent way to have continuous savings on your property. They are also dependable and typically accessible without power. With average costs between $1,500 - $12,000, wells are an investment which you will quickly make back in savings.
Wood Stove: Wood-burning stoves are incredibly energy efficient and come in a wide variety of designs and models. Logs are an inexpensive and low-carbon source of fuel. Save both money and worry with a wood stove, especially if you live in an area prone to long, cold months or power outages.
Root Cellar: A root cellar is a small room which uses its natural (underground) location to keep stored food fresh regardless of the season. A root cellar can also be used to store alcoholic beverages or as general storage. While the average root cellar costs about $1,000, alternatives can be built for as little as $50. Some are calling root cellars, "the new wine cellar."
Disaster Preparedness Setup: Less ‘doomsday preppers’ and more ‘strategic planning’. Completely customizable and easy to plan accordingly to your region and family’s needs.
Landscape Modification: Your property can be modified for anything from increased wildlife habitation to natural irrigation channels to improving fortifications.
Visit www.wildlinesolutions.com to find aid and advice on obtaining any of the above solutions. At Wildline, we consider all aspects and factors that contribute to your journey toward self-sufficient and sustainable living, and create a plan perfectly personalized to you.