Becoming sovereign is the ultimate goal for those who wish to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. Becoming sovereign will give you the opportunity to drastically reduce your carbon footprint, make a difference in your local community, and live your preferred version of a sustainable lifestyle.
You won’t become sovereign overnight, so here’s a helpful strategy guide for taking it one step at a time.
1. Decide what level of sustainability you want to achieve
There are multiple levels of sustainability, and it’s important to start your journey to sovereignty by identifying how far you’d like to take your efforts. For instance, living completely off-grid is a dream for many. However, you might feel more comfortable adopting a hybrid electrical setup where you mostly use solar, but the grid is there when you need more power.
Ask yourself how far you want to take your sovereignty in the following categories:
- Waste (including trash, recycling, and human waste)
- Any other area of life you can think of
For each category, you could aim to be 100% sovereign or less, depending on your needs. For example, to become 100% sovereign with food, you’d need to grow your own vegetables, harvest rainwater to water your garden, and raise and slaughter your own meat.
If complete sovereignty in any area seems like too much, identify what you’re willing to do. For instance, you might find it easiest to grow most of your own vegetables and obtain the rest of your produce from local farmers. In obtaining food locally, you’re still living a sustainable lifestyle.
2. Create a plan for sustainable waste management
To be fully sovereign means not relying on trash and recycling services from the city. Are you ready or willing to go all-in? If not, you can still take small steps to reduce your trash and recycle output.
Start by reducing the amount of packaged items you buy at the store, including food and other goods. When you do buy items that come in packages, see if you can reuse that packaging. For instance, there are plenty of ways to reuse rigid, plastic containers. You can also shred your plastic waste and use it as stuffing for throw pillows.
To become sovereign when it comes to human waste, you need to get off the city’s sewer system. This can be done by installing a septic system that naturally composts or by using a composting toilet. The composting toilet is a cheaper option, but requires more maintenance than a septic tank.
3. Source your own food as much as possible
There are only a handful of ways to be completely sovereign with the food you eat. You can:
- Grow a vegetable garden and preserve the excess food
- Hunt small and large game during the appropriate season (if you eat meat)
- Raise and slaughter your own meat on your property
Growing a vegetable garden is the easiest method for becoming sovereign with food. All you need are basic gardening skills, a little knowledge, and the right mix of soil and additives like lime, azomite, and the right fertilizer.
If you’re a meat-eater, hunting for food offers several benefits. For instance, it’s sustainable because you process your own meat, and you’ll be helping to control the population of animals you’re hunting.
If you’ve never hunted, but you’re interested in starting, you’ll need to learn from an experienced hunter. Start by reading this beginner’s guide to hunting and familiarize yourself with the various aspects of hunting. For example, you’ll need to learn how to butcher in the field, and how to maintain your own safety and the safety of other hunters.
If you’re not familiar with crossbows and firearms, you’ll also need to first obtain a weapon to hunt with and then learn how to use it safely. In most U.S. states, you only need to be 18 years old to buy a shotgun or rifle, which is perfect because those are the preferred firearms for hunting. Provided you pass a background check, you can get firearms for hunting and ammunition online.
If you’re more interested in using a crossbow, be prepared for a little more education and experience before hunting. While it doesn’t take too long to learn how to hunt with a rifle, it can take a while to get the hang of using a bow.
4. Go off-grid to the extent of your comfort zone
How much off-grid living can you handle? Are you content without running water? Can you manage without having electric lights in the house?
To be sovereign without having to rely on the grid for power isn’t as hard as you think. For instance, there are battery-powered floor lamps that look and feel just like regular lamps. You can also get battery-powered LED lights for your ceiling that turn on and off with a remote control.
If you don’t mind waiting for hot water, get a solar generator from an industry leader like Inergy that’s powerful enough to run most of your small and medium-sized appliances. Use a bucket heater submerged in a 5-gallon bucket of water to heat the water for all of your needs like bathing, doing dishes, and even showering.
Another cool gadget that makes off-grid living more convenient is the Joolca HOTTAP shower system. This system is powered by batteries and uses standard propane cylinders to heat water on demand. The pump can be put into a water container or a river for an endless supply of hot water.
5. Make the necessary sacrifices
By now, you’ve probably at least reduced your consumption of plastic packaging and un-recyclable waste. For instance, if you’re like most people who value sustainability, you’re selective with the brands you buy, making sure to support companies with sustainable production methods, sustainable packaging, and fair treatment of animals raised for food.
Being selective with the companies you support often means giving up your favorite snacks and prepared meals, and even changing the pet food you buy. However, it’s always worth the sacrifice.
If you’re going to live a sovereign life, you’ll need to make a few more sacrifices. The good part is you get to choose which sacrifices you make. For example, you might choose to stop consuming cream in your coffee. If you don’t have dairy cows, this would be a big move toward total sovereignty. Or, you might decide to give up coffee completely and start drinking herbal tea made from flowers you grow in your garden.
The path to complete sovereignty is long – take it one step at a time
Your path to sovereignty won’t look the same as anyone else’s. You’ll get there when you get there. Take your journey one step at a time and don’t try to force yourself to go all-in before you’re ready. Take baby steps and you’ll get there in good time.