The world is going to shit.

I am thankful that we are fine financially speaking, but wondering how long until money is no longer people’s concerns. Like if transportation lines shut down and the grocery stores can no longer supply the demand. Among other things, we are on the brink of World War. Maybe I’ve read too many books, but I’m not confident in where society is headed.

I’m Doing It.

The best I can do right now is make sure I, the kids, and my husband are okay. COVID is going on 3 years so I think that would be a good measure of how long we might need to sustain ourselves. After three years, fuck it (which is exactly where I am with COVID). At least the kids will be old enough to manage more on their own by then.

There are worse things than being associated as a “dooms day prepper”. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am not paranoid of people or the government. I am a woman with a pen, paper, and quite a lot of time on my hands lately. Why wouldn’t I learn some life skills like how to grow a garden or live more sustainably. I do a lot of these things already, like taking my own bags to the grocery store and eating all the black raspberries I can find in the yard before the birds get them. Surely there is other food I can grow without much upkeep.

Today is the day I’ve decided to learn how to live “off grid”. Well, as much as we can living right off the highway. There is no chance I can drop everything at once and live primitively today, especially with school about to start (these kids need to go!). But I can do a little at a time.

Research

I dipped my toe in Pinterest and here is a basic list of things I need to figure out:

  • Long term food storage, rotation, and needs for my family of four.
  • Water contingencies
  • Home protection
  • Growing our own food
  • Replacing comfort items with sustainable items
  • Stretching necessities like soap, tooth paste, toilet paper, and the like
  • What will happen if we lose power and using alternative power.

All that said, I think the best thing I can do immediately, which is super passive, is try to mitigate the waste coming in and out of the house. I’m sure our waste management folks won’t work for free when everything goes to shit. AND it’s better for the environment to keep things from the landfill. Ugh I’m feeling crunchy already.

Some of the long term perks of doing this step now instead of after all those niceties are gone, is I wont have to figure out what to do without Little Debbie or Motts, because we’d already have a waste free alternative to prepackaged items like making it my damn self. As if my kids weren’t skinny enough.

Limits

What I am NOT going to practice now, is mitigating waterborne waste. No ma’am, I am NOT fashioning a port-o-potty. I do wonder, however, how our water well pump would function if we lost power. I am going to save that project for another time, though water is high up there on the “need to know” list. Again, the waste project is super passive and even kind of trendy right now.

Costs?

Since we, as a household, have a safe amount of income, I’m pretty confident I can accomplish this first hurdle without breaking the bank (though it’s probably waaaaaaaay easier to just throw money at). We already have a primitive compose bin-ish thing in the yard that came with the house. I used it a lot when we moved in and there have been no critter break ins.

I also need to observe what we are throwing away in the trash can. There’s definitely an eye-rolling family meeting in my near future where I plead my case with my husband (who only agrees because if not I will precede to convince him until he does) and children who will inform me this is NOT family movie night material.

Fear

This project stems partially as a social experiment to see what kind of impact I can make to preserve the world we have, but its mostly because I am terrified of failing as a mom. I keep thinking about the great depression and how many families went hungry. I NEVER want my children to be hungry. They can be bored. Hell, they could even be hot since we don’t have central air. But the day my babies go without eating because their provider cannot provide will be the day that kills me.

I can do hard things. A complete societal collapse honestly won’t be the hardest thing I’ve been through. Changing my daily habits to something less wasteful is like the least I could do to ensure my two little monsters will thrive.

Actions

So, in true OCD fashion, I am going to make spreadsheets (which I will print for after the grid goes down… as one does, right?) and begin tracking trash. I will also compare a regular shopping trip (talk about transparency) with a lower waste trip and see if there is a monetary impact.

Do I have any predictions? Ummm, I predict my husband and children will be annoyed with my insistence on making their favorite comfort foods from scratch. I think storage of such things will become and issue as well. I never see a lot of food storage items in thrift stores and my OCD loathes mis-matching items. This might be something I have to get over.

So, my adventures in trash-bagging will probably take a month before we’re in a good place to move on to more fun projects like massive food storage or GUNS (big sarcasm)!!!

Until later.

Beth Pedersen

Want to influence the story? Tell me about your best end-of-days minded trash tips or resources? What are your favorite plastic-alternative products? Have products you’d like mentioned in Beth’s journal? Send me samples—or hate mail to PO Box 336 Mars, Pa 16046.

This is a fictional character in a fictional world navigating the collapse of society. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, business, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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