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Closing the loops 
Posted on October 7, 2013 at 11:04 AM.
Becoming self sustainable by closing the loops

I was reading through the OS Community What are your career/life goals thread and I got to writing. My full reply might be a bit to large scope for the thread so here's a more fleshed out version.

In a nutshell I want to become as self-sustainable as possible.

I want to have to rely on the monetary system as little as possible and while I know that become absolutely self sustainable is next to impossible, close is good enough for me.

Here's the basics of the plan: Own my own piece of land, nothing outrages but big enough to implement the systems needed for being self sustainable. Ideally this land would be in a somewhat rural area but not totally out in the middle of nowhere. On this land I'd like to generate my own power (be it solar, wind, whatever), water (well, rain water) and food (crops, chickens for eggs and goats for milk).

There's a lot of technology out now that makes this feasible and the old adage applies, where there's a will there's a way.

I was talking to a friend not to long ago who's involved in international business; we were talking about his long term business strategy. He was talking to me about closing all his loops; meaning eliminating his dependence on outside sources of supplies. He was telling me that right now he's still at the mercy of the market for some important supplies so his cost can fluctuate drastically. As he was telling me this about his strategy, I thought "this loop thing is the same as my desire of becoming self sustainable."

Let me give an example to illustrate the closing of a loop.

Lets take vertical farming with fish as an example, for those that don't know what this is a picture is worth a thousand words.



Here we have a vertical farming system, it uses solar panels and a wind turbine to generate the required power, the nutrients from the runoff get filtered by the plants and routed into the fish tank, in return the fish help fertilize the plants.

Here's a video for those that want to hear a little more detail.
Spoiler


The loop is closed, the system is in place and now operating costs dwindle to next to nothing.

As more loops are closed becoming self sustainable starts to look like a reality. The water collection system is used for personal consumption and supply of the vertical farming systems. Crops are used for personal consumption and animal feed. Animals are used to generate food (eggs and milk).

Scalability

The goal is too keep things manageable by not getting too big but big enough to provide for personal use and a bit extra for the neighbors. The beauty is that once the systems are in place they largely take care of themselves. It's important to minimize man power requirements by relying on ever more efficient technology. The design needs to be efficient enough to largely be powered through the renewable power system.



The water bottle light bulb along with skylights help reduce power consumption during the day

Conclusion

I'm not going to get into the monetary system too much but the end game is to live life outside the monetary system as much as possible. The way our socioeconomic structure is set up, it's difficult to live completely outside of the monetary system but technology and innovation are continually making this more feasible.
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