What is WaldenLabs.com?
- Growing and Preserving Food
- Capturing, Storing and Purifying Water
- Generating Your Own Energy
- Building Your Mortgage-Free Home (On or Off-Grid)
- Appropriate Technology & Tools for Self-Reliance
- Getting Resilient and Prepared for the Unexpected
NOTE: If you’re new to WL, you can click one of the links above for free, instant access to our most recent and popular articles and case studies on the subject that interests you most: Food, Water, Energy, Shelter, or something else.
Walden Labs is also the home of The Self-Reliance Catalog, a carefully curated collection of the best in self-reliance and resilience. It’s 100% free, and to date thousands of self-reliant individuals and families from all around the globe have joined us.
The goal of The Self-Reliance Catalog is to help you know better what is worth getting and where and how to do the getting, whether that “thing” is a plant, a tool, a book, or even a design for a shelter.
You can subscribe to our Walden Labs Newsletter and get new case studies and reports in your inbox every week.
Why Pursue Self-Reliance?
The necessaries of life for man…may, accurately enough, be distributed under the several heads of Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Fuel; for not till we have secured these are we prepared to entertain the true problems of life with freedom and a prospect of success.
Henry David Thoreau is right. Life should be about more than working 9-5 just to have food on the table and a roof over your head. Not until we’ve secured these primal needs are we prepared to entertain the true problems and pleasures of life.
Yet today, we work harder and longer hours than a farmer in the middle ages! We’re surrounded by this immense material wealth and these amazing technologies, yet for 99.99% of humanity freedom from “wage slavery” still seems far off.
That’s the first reason. Self-reliance is a way out of the rat race.
The second reason is that never before has man been so dependent upon systems and people out of our control.
This makes us vulnerable to disruptions, wouldn’t you agree?
Never mind the occasional black out. We can all survive a one-hour blackout.
But what happens when the power is out for a week? Two weeks? A month? The supermarkets would be emptied within two days. Then what?
Or what about the next economic crash? (which will come, and it will be bigger than the last)
Can you handle it if your life savings are cut in half, or worse, if you lose your job? How will you pay the bills? How will you put food on the table?
I’m not trying to scare you. This is the reality many people have faced in recent years.
The end of the world is not upon us yet, but for some, it can sure feel like it.
But I’m telling you this because I’m convinced there’s a better way.
We are vulnerable because of our dependence.
So the way to reverse that, to be resilient and strong, is to build your independence.
Instead of giving up all of your power to these systems and institutions out of your control, you take it back.
- Instead of paying expensive utility bills every month to a power company that is doing everything it can to fleece you, and escape responsibility when you’re standing there in the dark during a three-week blackout, you set up systems to generate your own power. Clean and renewable power.
- Instead of relying on Big Ag companies such as Monsanto to grow and produce highly processed “food” for you, you have a garden in your backyard and grow your own fresh food. You learn how to grow it, preserve it, and save seeds for next season.
- Instead of being weighted down by a big mortgage for the rest of your life, you look into alternative housing that will enable you to live debt-free happily ever after.
- Instead of relying solely on one income, you build multiple income streams. I’m not talking about “make zillions of dollars online”-scams here, I’m talking about creating real value in your local community and beyond.
- Instead of working your whole life at a meaningless job (I’ve had a lot of those) just to buy stuff you don’t really need (I’ve done that too), you live a simpler life. You focus on the essentials of life, what really makes you happy, and skip the rest. This means more time with the people you love, doing the things you love doing.
- And so on…
Walden Labs is about spreading the knowledge and tools that help you produce, or in other ways secure, your food, water, shelter, energy and income.
Every week we explore a new aspect of self-reliance, whether we jump into gardening and look at the best plants to grow, test out exciting old and new tools, share a great book, or a favorite video that has crossed our paths.
In the end, if Henry David Thoreau taught us anything, it is that life is too valuable to spend most of it working to buy material stuff “which moth and rust will corrupt and thieves break through and steal.”
But the right knowledge and tools can also free up your time and make your life easier.
Just look at the average 18th century woman who spent most of her time on her knees scrubbing the floors or washing clothes in the river.
I’m not going to the river to wash my clothes any time soon. And neither should you. That’s not what “off-the-grid” is about.
It’s All About Systems
Take a washing machine for example. That’s a system, and just as the washing machine has freed up immense amounts of time for women around the world – there are other kinds of systems that can do the same thing for us.
With the washing machine you have an input in the form of electricity. You get an output in the form of moving water and a spinning barrel that does a good job of cleaning clothes.
Nature is also a system. In fact it’s the most amazing and perfect system that exists on planet Earth. And it’s a system that is being massively under-utilised by the average human being.
Frankly, I think we’re being scammed. We’re being scammed by large corporations that want us to work for them so that we can pay for things that Nature has provided for free for billions of years.
Things like food and shelter.
These corporations have hi-jacked Nature. They take the fruits of Nature’s labor, slap on a branded label, and we happily shell out our money for it without thinking about where it came from and how it came into being.
Imagine an alternative Now where you, me and everyone else reaped the full benefits of these passive, automated, amazing natural systems of abundance.
Don’t get me wrong, for most of human history it’s been hard work to be a farmer and till the soil.
But for most of human history it’s also been a pain in the ass to wash your clothes, and look where we are now.
It’s all about designing better systems where you get more output in relation to your input.
Now more than ever we possess the knowledge to create those abundant natural systems that can provide us with all the food, energy and shelter we need without having to work 9-5 until we lie there on our deathbed wishing we hadn’t worked so much!
This is what Walden Labs is about, and I’d like to invite you to join me as we explore this more abundant way of living.