The PiY Revolution. A World of Abundance.

greek garden

Here’s some advice you don’t hear often:

Use all the energy, water, and food you desire.

No really.  Do it.

However, there is one catch.  In order to follow this advice, you will need to Produce it Yourself (PiY).

greek garden

Produce it where you live.  Grow the food.  Generate the electricity.  Harvest the water.

You’ll find this changes everything.

Very simply, I’ve found that the people who produce most (or at least some) of what they consume are very careful and considerate about using it.  Translation: they are much less likely to squander, waste, and overindulge what they produce.   

In contrast, most people in the industrial world get their food, energy, water, and products from a perceptual black box — they don’t know how things are produced and they don’t care.  As a result, they are much more likely to squander and waste with abandon.


This black box also makes them vulnerable.  They don’t have the skills or the resources to respond to a failure of the “black box” industrial process that supplies them.

How so?  They haven’t invested in themselves, their homes, or their communities in a way that makes them productive.  So when conditions change or disruptions inevitably occur, they fail.

Of course, I’ve found that you don’t have to produce everything yourself in order to benefit from this.  Just some.

Once you do start producing for yourself and others, you’ll find out these important facts about life on this planet:

  • it doesn’t take much space or much daily work to produce more than you need – which is much less than you think.
  • it really doesn’t matter where you live as long as you have a bit of land and sun to work with.
  • new techniques and technologies are making it easier, cheaper, and more accessible to produce locally by the day.

So, just start.  You’ll be happy you did.

Sincerely Yours,



colorado john

PS:  I was in New York City for the earlier portion of this week at a conference about urban resilience put on by my friends at PopTech.  It was a lot of fun and I got a chance to meet some amazing people.   I also got a chance to chat with three whip smart Resilient Strategies subscribers (two were at the conference and one works at Google in NYC).  Very cool.

PPS:  Producing everything yourself is a lifestyle choice and not a resilient strategy.  Extreme self-reliance makes you more vulnerable than resilient.

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  • Peter

    I reckon if we produce our own computers we’ll use them far less! Just think, we’ll go to Africa to mine the minerals, we’ll get some oil to make some plastic, get a microscope, a few pieces of wire and a soldering iron and make some chips. Or maybe we’ll just communicate locally instead. We’ll use that really old technological idea – bodies and vocal chords and really start to communicate.

    • John Robb


      Get the point, and it was funny, but the point of the essay above is about the crux of sustainability — the regular use of natural resources on an ongoing basis — than the use of any single item.


  • Charles,,,,

    All’s well and good with your post PIY, nice and easy concept, until one begins to wonder where is this water coming from and how does on keep it circulating once the power fail’s? Whats sup wit dat as the young people squeeze it out? Guess I’m off to research the how’s and why’s of off grid power production eh…. a very good post, to grow one’s own basic food’s is not only healthy and cost effective, it’s also fundamental to ones psych, never thought one was to stay indoors under climate control being seditary when there’s a whole world of discovery right outside ones door, remembering as a kid, mom had the darndest time getting us to come inside, now the opposite is true, mom can hardly get a kid outside, lol. TY for the education .Respectfully, Charles

    • John Robb


      How do you keep water pressure up? Put the water in a tank that is higher than the plumbing in your home. That method uses gravity to provide pressure. If you can’t capture it naturally at an elevation, pump it there when you have power (there are also human powered pumps you can use in an emergency to extend this for weeks).