Mike Barkley wrote:The point being ... no one is an island. A little cooperation with friends & neighbors make the task easier for everyone involved.
Douglas Alpenstock wrote:I would only add the small observation that Earth herself, this ball of rock with a skin of seething life, is not a closed system either. We depend on our co-planet moon as a pendulum that regulates our rotation, and a fickle ball of thermonuclear gas that keeps us warm and may fry our clever inventions when, you know, the star(s) align. So, to my mind, any subsystem of this big system is fated to be un-closed by definition.
I think these are really, really important points! Twelve years ago, my husband and I started out all starry eyed, thinking that it was simply a matter of replacing all aspects of our modern lifestyle with more natural ways and means. Self-sufficiency (then) meant we were going to do it all ourselves. It didn't take long to realize that there simply isn't enough time and energy to do it all ourselves. Now, I would say that any measure of success requires learning how to simplify our lifestyle and be content with whatever basics we can manage. That being said, we humans are social beings. Folk who prefer isolation is the exception rather than the norm. My idea now is that we are better off being co-dependent on a small community, rather than dependent on a large industrialized system.
Douglas Alpenstock wrote:But that doesn't stop us from trying. :-)
I agree with this too. By being a goal, we have something to work toward, and I say some progress is better than none.
One thing I realized early on, was that the only things we took to the landfill were from items we had purchased: plastic packaging, disposable use, damaged, broken, etc. Some things can definitely be re-used, glass peanut butter jars, for example. But most of it has to be discarded. But! Everything we produce on the homestead, stays on the homestead because it has a use. So, for us, working toward closing our systems means buying less and making do more.