Being “green”, that is, working to better the world rather than to literally trash it, is becoming more and more commonplace these days. After all, curbside recycling seems to be popular in most major cities, businesses gladly advertise their energy star applicances, people willfully choose more eco-friendly products, and “save our planet” advertisements are abound on the television… ok, maybe they’re not abound, but they are out there!
Prepping is becoming more popular too. With television shows like Doomsday Preppers, Doomsday Bunkers, The Walking Dead, and more on the way, it’s almost mainstream… again, I’m overstating that fact a bit, but prepping is considered less of modern taboo than it once was.
The question for you is: Can you be “green” and be a prepper too? Specifically, are they mutually exclusive or is there opportunity for the two movements to coexist?
Let’s look at the basic tenets of being “green”, first. Being green can include a lot of areas, including:
- recycling consumer products (e.g., cans, newspapers, glass, plastics, etc)
- choosing eco-friendly products (for personal care and cleaning)
- utilizing fewer energy resources (from electricity, natural gas, water)
- respecting the local environment and wildlife
- reducing pollution sources (from energy production, transportation, chemical use, fertilizers, etc)
- using natural and sustainable products (rather than human-modified sources or farm-raised foods)
Perhaps there are more areas of concern to you, but these are the mains ones I see. Now, how does this compare to being a prepper? Let’s compare each consideration one by one…
- Recycling/reusing consumer products – A significant aspect of homesteading is to always reuse anything and everything you can, including items such as cans, mason jars, newspaper, old clothes… even old phone books. The old saying “use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without” comes with the understanding that what you have (including what the earth can give) is a finite resource so you should always recycle and reuse what you have before buying anything new.
- Choosing eco-friendly products – The deeper you get into prepping, the more likely you are to want to make an assortment of cleaners that are better for the environment, including your own laundry soap, bar soap, and natural cleaning supplies from simple stuff like vinegar and baking soda.
- Utilizing fewer resources – While the aim for preppers is to be more self-sufficient, using alternative energy sources such as solar/wind power and solar cooking certainly goes along with reducing your carbon footprint. Equally important, preppers understand that their most important natural resource–water–should not be wasted or misused as it currently is in our modern society.
- Respecting the local environment and wildlife – Any gardener or hunter will tell you it’s better to work with the environment rather than against it. Prepping is also about working with your local environment to build a sustainable ecosystem through practices such as rainwater harvesting and permaculture.
- Reducing pollution sources – Preppers also fully understand that our dependence on fossil fuels (for everything from creating gasoline to making plastics) is a recipe for disaster and will only lead to significant pain in the future. Likewise, our dependence on fertilizers and chemicals is causing countless untold and unknown damage to the very ecosystems we rely upon for our very existence.
- Using natural/sustainable products – Last, prepping is also about using more natural, healthier, and sustainable alternatives such as non-hybrid seeds, sprouting, aquaponics, and so on.
Now, does this mean that if you’re “green” then you’re a prepper or vice-versa? Not at all.
I would suggest that prepping is far more than the aforementioned list. For starters, it’s about proactively planning for emergencies. It’s also about storing equipment, supplies, food, and water to deal with such scenarios. Additionally, prepping is about always ensuring your family is safe and ready for the worst. Last, it’s about working to be a positive part of the disaster’s recovery rather than a part of the problem.
While the reasons for being “green” and prepping are significantly different, the end results are dramatically similar. As such, if you’re a prepper, you might be “green” without know it and if you’re “green” you could become a prepper without much effort… think about it!