America has undergone massive changes in the name of progress since the days of pioneers. Through it all, some cornerstone values have survived. Among them is a longing to be strong and independent. Many people still treasure the idea of being self-reliant, doing as much as they can for themselves in as many areas of their lives as possible.
A great example is setting up and managing a self-sufficient home. You don't have to go as far as eliminating indoor plumbing, but there are steps you can take to reduce reliance on modern infrastructure and make less of an impact on the environment. Some of the actions you can take will save money, too.
A few key areas where you can help yourself are energy use, water consumption, your food supply and recycling. Regarding energy use, there are numerous alternatives to having your electricity supplied by the local utility company. Solar power is just one. Your water consumption habits can change with the use of rain barrels or a well. In terms of your food supply, gardening, fishing and hunting not only will save you money on groceries, but you'll know where your food came from and that no chemical-based preservatives are ruining your meals or your health. And we all know the benefits of recycling.
The key to having a home that is as self-sufficient as possible is simply wanting to adopt that type of lifestyle. The steps and actions to take don't have to be complicated. Check out the accompanying checklist to learn more.
Rick Eisen is a co-owner and broker for Legacy Lands, LLC. He worked at the Chicago Board of Trade as a commodities broker for nearly 30 years and uses his experience when investing in real estate.