Homesteading is broadly defined as a lifestyle of simple, agrarian self-sufficiency. The sustainable, back-to-the-land movement is gaining popularity in urban areas, where applicable rural homesteading elements are being applied to city living.
In theory, most people are into the idea of producing everything needed for survival on one's own land. While this isn't realistic for most of us, incorporating one or two elements from the sustainable DIY philosophy can prove extremely rewarding.
Producing food on your homestead is an easy place to start. Even if you live on the 30th floor of an urban high rise, you can still grow carrots or tomatoes in a pot on your window sill or balcony. Or resort to guerilla gardening in public places to grow some food. Backyard chickens don't require very much space and are legal in many urban areas. Consider raising rabbits for meat. Maybe you could discard your lawn mower for a goat that also provides milk and meat. Or get a beehive and produce your own honey and pollinate your garden.
Energy is another component of homesteading, and using renewable energy to live off the grid is very much part of the philosophy. Alas, for most of us, that is too expensive and impractical. Start by switching to florescent lightbulbs instead of the old incandescent ones. Try a solar water heater or more energy efficient insulation before moving to photovoltaic panels and wind turbines.
In an age of environmental uncertainty, doing it yourself and living more self-sufficiently can provide serious fulfillment and an opportunity for a healthier existence. While a farmer's life may not be possible or even desirable for some, we at SHFT encourage you to take small steps towards environmental sustainability and do what works for you in your homes, gardens, and lives.
Photo via Treehugger