Archive for October 1st, 2004

The Next 25 Things you can do to get ready for Peak Oil

Sharon October 1st, 2004

The next 25 out of 100 things you can do to prepare for peak oil.

1. Acquire Countryside Magazine issues that cover late 1997 – 2000. Those issues, JD Belanger’s last, were focused heavily on Y2K and sustainability, and contain tons of useful information. Definitely worth every penny of the money – they covered things like making pectin, making lye, feeding your animals without the feed store, food storage, etc… I got them kind of by accident, and they are wonderful, well worth whatever the cost.

2. Make a pair of socks. Knit them. Crochet them. Felt them. Sew them. I don’t care. But cold feet really suck, and working outside in cold weather means that your socks are the primary barrier between you and frostbite. Make warm ones, ideally out of wool, and make lots of them – they wear out when you really work in them.

3. Build a root cellar, and store some garden produce. If you didn’t grow any, buy it from a local farm. Storing a couple hundred lbs of potatoes, onions, carrots and beets will a. make you more food secure and b. give you practice at the storing, use and care of root vegetables. For anyone in a cold climate, they are going to be your staples.

4. Offer to do a presentation on peak oil at your local synagogue/college/church/community center.

5. Teach a neighbor child to garden.

6. Dehydrate some food, and actually use it. Dehydration is energy efficient, the food stores well, and it retains a decent amount of nutrition, and you can do it after peak oil.

7. Plant garlic – now is the time, and garlic is so good, so tasty, so healthy.

8. Dig up a few biennials (parsnips, parsley, carrots, cabbage, kale) from your garden and put them in either a sunny spot or a cool dark one. Try and winter them over, and grow out seed. You’ll need to find space for them.

9. Look over your food storage, and try to imagine that the grocery stores close tomorrow. What will you eat? For how long? What do you need? Try and fill some gaps.

10. Buy shoes and boots on sale in adult sizes and in larger childrens sizes (if you have kids) and store them.

11. Learn to hunt – there probably won’t be much game out there after peak oil, but it is a useful skill, and an excellent way of making friends with the neighboring men.

12. Get a dog – a good one. Get a dog who can be trained to work your animals (and your children), to protect your property (not aggressively – that’s a recipe for lawsuits) and run critters out of your garden. Plan ways to feed him without the grocery stores.

13. Learn to ride and drive a horse.

14. Develop a repetoir of recipes that use only local produce, herbs and ingredients

15. Make a compost pile. Right now thousands of suburbanites are throwing away leaves – collect them, pile them and use them to fertilize your garden.

16. Build something – a toy train, a shed, a bookcase, whatever, using hand tools.

17. Pick up used down clothing at your local thift shop – you can turn those used vests into blankets and pillows.

18. Read Keeping Food Fresh and try some of the methods of food preservation.

19. Join a local food coop for bulk buying.

20. Consider volunteering to work on “Preparedness” for your county, your town or your state. No one has enough money to hire people, and every kind of general preparation applies to peak oil.

21. Whenever you buy something that will be in short supply after the peak, pick up a second one for your storage – an extra pair of sneakers, another box of nails, an extra pack of pencils, a second pair of sheets. It all adds up.

22. Send a letter to disbelieving relatives informing them of your preparations and giving them your ideas for handling the coming crisis. Ask them to save the letter, even if they think you are nuts. That way, when your Mom and sister are bugging out to your place, they’ll know you want them to pack all of the blankets, canned goods and garden tools.

23. Try and keep up important religious and family rituals even in hard times. Don’t give up the bedtime story by candlelight. Make gifts. Store the ingredients of favorite holiday foods. Your family will remember, and it will make things better.

24. Study herbal medicine, homeopathy and anything else you can think of. It is worth a shot.

25. Learn about breastfeeding, so that you or your children can do so. Consider extended breastfeeding or volunteer feeding the children of friends and relatives, to keep your lactation going after you are done childbearing. The more women who can nurse in a given community, the lower the infant mortality rate