How To Live a More Sustainable Life – That We Can Learn From The Amish

Living “off the grid” may conjure images of counter-culture hippies or the old-fashioned ways of the Amish, but a growing number of people generate their own electricity and live in the lap of luxury without ever paying a utility bill. They’re called “off-gridders” and they look just like you and me.

If you want to observe a near-perfect communal prepping plan already in action, take a look at the Amish. They live sustainably in a community that grows or creates everything needed to survive and they don’t depend on modern technology to do it. Here are just a few skills that we can learn from the Amish.

Utilizing Nature for Power
Many people think that the Amish don’t use electricity but that’s not correct; they don’t use electricity tied to the grid or technology for the sake of indulgence or entertainment. However, that doesn’t exclude wind or solar power to power necessary tools or appliances such as refrigerators and freezers.

Depending upon location, the Amish use wind, solar and water power to add value to their community and their businesses while remaining separate.

Since they sell their dairy, eggs and other produce, they must operate within local and federal health regulations and follow the rules just like everybody else.

That means that the inside of an Amish barn may have many modern contrivances such as milking machines, refrigerators, freezers, etc. They use either gas, solar or wind power to run both that equipment and a few minimal household appliances.

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They also have many tools and hydraulic powered motors that make doing business more efficient. Waste is never a good thing to a person with Amish principles and that extends to time. Thrift and efficiency are valued.

As with most Amish endeavors, once the use of off-grid power was approved there are members who sought to become experts. For example, in many communities with an Amish presence, the Amish are the go-to people for knowledge about solar power, wind turbines and horse training. Depending upon location, they’ll gladly provide valuable insight into the function, uses and seasonal feasibility of solar generators, solar power and the use of wind energy as well.

Knowing and Using Local Resources

Since the Amish live off the land, they have to know what’s available and what can thrive in their immediate environment. They know what kinds of grasses and produce will grow and they know how to grow them. They know what berries are poisonous and which ones can be eaten. The Amish also understand the types of wood available locally and know which ones are best to cook with and build with.

In short, they understand their environment and they use that knowledge to survive and to thrive. Very few people have this level of knowledge but should you find yourself in a post-SHTF situation, you may very well need it.

Growing and Preserving Food

Not only do the Amish know how to grow and preserve their own food, they’ve now incorporated off-grid methods to do so. Use of hydraulic motors allows for more efficient processing and solar-powered refrigerators and freezers assist in preservation. The Amish seriously have this area of survival down pat.

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DIY’ing

Watching YouTube to learn how to do something is great but there’s no substitute for hands-on experience. The Amish educate their children to the 8th grade then teach them a trade. Though an Amish person may be a carpenter or a dairy farmer by profession, he (or she) will also possess other skills necessary to keep the business and the household running smoothly and efficiently.

Though they may trade for labor that requires specialized knowledge, most Amish are extremely self-sufficient and have most of the basic skills necessary to run the household. These skills range from furniture repair to horse training for the men and cooking and making clothing for the women. They may not excel at every one, but they can do it if need be.

Being an Active Member of the Community

Being an active, participating member of the Amish community is an important trait. Amish people trade back and forth for goods and services and they help each other out when needed. They don’t have a church so they take turns opening their private homes for church services. We realize that many people have a “survival of the fittest” mentality when considering a SHTF situation, but communities will reestablish fairly quickly because there truly is safety in numbers.

Because the Amish already live in a manner that makes them able to survive without much outside influence, their way of life isn’t going to suffer much should we suffer an economic collapse or other non-environmental emergency. As survivalists, we really do need to take a page from the Amish book. Learning the skills now will put us in a position to survive and rebuild after SHTF.

We can look at the extreme examples like The Lost Ways, Claude Davis, for inspiration.

His book is an essential guide into the techniques, as well as the lifestyle that has enabled him to live completely and happily off the grid, without money, for more than 2 years.

His radical path is not one that many people would choose, however he proves that you can survive with very little money if that is your goal.

by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

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