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7 Steps toward a more self-sustaining lifestyle

We’ve seen a lot of throwbacks over the last few years (we’re looking at you crop tops and mom jeans), but perhaps none so universal as the retro trend that saw a lot of the world become obsessed with homemade sourdough and its bubbly blend of friendly lactobacilli - the beloved starter. Not much good came out of the global pandemic we’re all still reeling from, but when Covid-19 brought with it the great yeast shortage, tons of people rose to the occasion and did something they’d never done before: they made bread from scratch. For many young people, this was the beginning of a bigger realisation: could I, perhaps, sustain myself? 

A growing number of young people are exploring alternative, self-sustaining lifestyles. This trend among millennials indicates a desire for more meaningful and eco-friendly ways of living. According to the popular sustainability blog “The number of millennials looking into the homesteading lifestyle is on the rise, as more individuals seek alternative ways of living that are more fulfilling and environmentally friendly. While some individuals seek complete self-sufficiency, churning their own butter and raising their own livestock, there are plenty of young homesteaders who live more sustainably while still being a part of the modern world.” 

Okay, so maybe we don’t need to throwback completely to the bygone era. But globally, 77% of people want to learn how to live more sustainably. With the ongoing energy crisis in South Africa, and scheduled blackouts taking up a significant chunk of our day, many South Africans are turning to alternative energy sources to disentangle themselves from the unpredictability and challenges of load shedding. Self-sustainability has never looked more appealing. 

So, how can individuals work toward a more self-sustaining lifestyle? 

The first thing to know is that it’s not going to happen overnight. But, there are many steps you can take to living more sustainably and reducing your dependence on the market. We’ve rounded up seven ways you can begin your journey to self-sustainability. 

  • Grow your own food

In our contemporary world, it may not be feasible to become fully self-reliant when it comes to your food source. We don’t all have the land and time to grow all the food we need. But it also doesn’t need to be all or nothing.  Imagine what you could do if you reduced the amount of grass in your back garden. While growing all the food needed to sustain a family of four would require around 1500m2 of land, growing seven of the most commonly consumed vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, corn, carrots, onions, lettuce and spinach) requires only 40m2.  If you have the outdoor space then growing your favourite veggies is an excellent way to begin living a more self-sustaining lifestyle. 

  • Embrace DIY

‘Make-your-own’ projects can empower you and reduce your reliance on shop-bought goods. Learn to make your own cleaning products, personal care items, and clothes. Not only will this save you money, but it will also reduce your environmental footprint and give you a sense of accomplishment.

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle

Being conscious of your consumption is a key aspect of a self-sustaining lifestyle. 

Start by reducing waste by:

  • Buying fewer single-use items
  • Choosing reusable alternatives whenever possible
  • Educating yourself on local recycling guidelines and make recycling a part of your routine
  • Mending your clothes rather than replacing them
  • Composting your food waste 

  • Go off-grid

If you have the means, invest in alternative energy sources like solar panels to generate your own electricity. While the initial cost may be high, the long-term savings and decreased reliance on the grid are worth it. Alternatively, consider using solar-powered appliances and chargers for smaller-scale energy independence.

You could also look into upgrading your plumbing to incorporate grey water where possible. Implementing a grey water system to reuse wastewater from your home for irrigation will reduce your water consumption and reliance on public utilities. 

  • Preserve and store food

Master the art of canning, freezing and dehydrating to store your homegrown produce for future use. This will help you maintain a self-sustaining pantry and reduce waste by ensuring you always have a stock of preserved food.

  • Raise your own livestock

If you have the space and resources, consider raising animals like chickens, bees, or even goats. These animals can provide you with fresh eggs, honey, and milk, reducing your dependence on grocery stores. Make sure to research the care and commitment required before diving into this endeavour.

  • Build a community

Connect with like-minded individuals in your area or online to share tips, resources, and experiences. Building a network of people who share your self-sustaining goals can offer invaluable support and inspiration. Attend local workshops, join online forums, or create a neighbourhood swap group to exchange goods and services.


Remember, the journey toward self-sustainability is a gradual process. Start small and work your way up, celebrating each step along the way. As you incorporate these practices into your daily life, you'll not only reduce your ecological footprint but also foster a deeper connection with the environment and enjoy a more fulfilling lifestyle.

Stor-Age has modern (and sustainable) self storage facilities across South Africa that offer a secure second home for your belongings. With a wide variety of storage units and flexible leases, you can store all your household, business, or holiday items for as long as you need.  Did you know that we were the first self storage company in South Africa to install solar technology for three-phase power generation? We now have more than 25 of our properties on solar. 

To learn more about our services, give us a call on 0861 18 18 18 or request a quick and easy online quote

Posted by Stor-Age Self Storage - 16 May 2023 | Tips And Hints