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Back to Basics Sustainable Practices

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Are you ready to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle and reconnect with time-honored skills? Check out the resources below to get back to basics. You will find practical, eco-friendly solutions to help you live more sustainably and self-sufficiently. Sustainable practices like growing your own food and composting improve soil health and biodiversity, while making your own products reduces reliance on harmful chemicals and packaging waste. Additionally, sustainable living promotes long-term economic savings and enhances personal well-being through a closer connection with nature and healthier lifestyle choices.

How to Make Vinegar
Making your own vinegar can be a simple way to add flavor to your dishes, preserve food, and even save money.

bottle of vinegar and apples in basket

DIY Laundry Detergent
The real benefit of making your own laundry detergent goes beyond the cost savings. Commercial detergents often contain toxic ingredients associated with a host of health and environmental concerns. So the real benefit of using homemade laundry detergent is ridding your home of toxins.

Grow Your Own Food on Less Than an Acre
Growing a portion of your food supply is a deeply satisfying endeavor. Growing your own food will dramatically increase your level of activity, increase your consumption of produce, help your family save money, and fortify your family’s food security. Just 30 minutes of garden activity per day, 5 days a week will save you $2500 per year in medical costs!

Growing Tomatoes for Home Use
Much success in growing tomatoes can be attributed to use of a few proven techniques. Choosing a variety that has proven to be a true performer should be at the top of every gardener’s list.

tomatoes ripening on vine

Planting Calendar
Western North Carolina is a wonderful place to garden. Almost any type of vegetable or fruit can be grown successfully provided you choose appropriate varieties and plant at the right time of year. The climate, the season, and potential pests all affect the selection of what and when to plant.

Composting Resources
Organic materials (food scraps, leaves, grass clippings, and other yard trimmings) are 25% of the municipal solid waste produced in the U.S. Of this amount, 97.8% of food scraps and 38% of yard trimmings end up in landfills and incinerators. If they were composted instead, it would reduce greenhouse gases by preventing methane generation in landfills, extend landfill life, and produce products with nutrient-rich humus and organic matter that can restore depleted soils.

compost bins

Simple DIY Toothpaste
Make your own toothpaste with only three common ingredients.