The Best of the Best : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

In a previous posting in this forum, Tom Osher said:

"I would like to assert that the best, the most comfortable contingency that I can imagine would be self-sustainable, self-reliant, neighborhoods globally and locally before 2000. This is the funky, cheap, simple type of self-sustainability, not the deep ecology or the bioregionalism, or anything that would take years to implement. This is a comprehensive self-sustainability that would be more fitting for contingency for infrastructure rupture such as y2k presents. Something that could be done before 2000."

In that post, Tom also asked the question:

" it not worth mobilizing all those who could help in creating an ever-improving list of ideas that are cheap and simple for sustainability?"

In that same thread, Wayne Schmacher suggested a "Best of the Best" thread for "ideas and low cost suggestions," and went on to say, "The need is great for a boiled down list of tips that reflect the simple, the practical, the affordable, and the timely."

This is the start of that thread. Please add to it. Everybody knows some simple, practical, affordable, something or other that could make life better if things get rough. Or you may find URLs that have that kind of information. The idea is what it says above, and the details behind that are all reflected in the "previous posting" thread linked at the outset.

If you'd like to start related threads, feel free. A category to group this and similar/related threads has been created and called "Best Alternatives." If you create a new thread related to this topic please assign it to that category by selecting it from the pulldown menu in the text entry area...


-- Bill (, December 07, 1998


Here's one we are doing in my back and frontyard and on the sidewalk in front. Vertical gardening. Its easy and cheap. Make a column using chicken wire and tar paper (tar paper may be replaced with something less toxic, altho it is waterproof). Place a 4"diameter pipe in the center, fill with sand and stones, fill the rest of the area with good soil, pull out the pipe. Sandy area is where you water. Cut 3" slits thru wire and paper in a spiral pattern, stuff seedling into slits. Should get about 40 or 50 plants. Sizes are arbitrary, you don't need a yard, can use sidewalks, balconies, roofs. Mine are all doing well.

-- Tom Osher (, December 08, 1998.

One quick and easy way to prepare many grains is to place it in a thermos, fill with boiling water, cover and leave over night. In the morning the grain is ready to eat. Beans can be cooked much more quickly if they are soaked for 24 or 36 hours. Pour off the soak water, rinse well, boil in a pot (with onion and seasonings) for 3 minutes. Cover the pot with a blanket, place in a box, close box. If you do this in the morning you will have a cooked dish by dinnertime. This technique can be used to make potato salad too. Chewing food well can make a little bit go a long way. There was a pilot captured by the Germans during WWII and he and one other crew member chewed their food repeatedly. The other crew members thought they were crazy and didn't try it. The only 2 who were alive at the war's end were the pilot and crew member who chewed. Bon appetit!

-- Lin McGuigan (, December 16, 1998.

The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery

and - simple sustainable living links and pages

-- Mitchell Barnes (, December 19, 1998.

Here's the best of the best links collection I've found on the web.

Alternative survival information links

Year 2000 information links

Over 3000 links to pertinent information about what's coming and what we need to do about it.

-- Nick Laird (, December 19, 1998.

Raise and transport and plant fruit or other trees from seed in paper milk cartons. Detailed instructions at our "raise trees site" part of the Overcoming consumerism web site;

-- christopher verdant (, February 16, 1999.

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