There's a lot of information out there about surviving the Walking Dead's zombie apocalypse, but the majority focuses on killing zombies rather than surviving without our basic needs comfortably met. A zombie apocalypse would change the way we have to live. It would essentially force us into sustainability and resourcefulness. AMC's The Walking Dead teaches us more than just how to kill zombies, it teaches us how to keep yourself alive on a basic level when there's no resources at our fingertips. Looking at the more recent part of the series through this lens highlights some basic rules of surviving in our world without the comforts of civilization. Check out how The Walking Dead can teach sustainability and eco-consciousness through its gory story.
- If something can be used, don't let it go to waste. Throughout the entire series, you can note various ways characters become resourceful. A general rule of thumb is, if it works and it can help you survive and you have the room to carry it, take it with you. This applies to chemical-free, zombie-based zombie repellant, as well (if you catch my gist).
- Upcycle anything you can. After she was banished in Season 5's "Consumed," Carol displays her resourcefulness when she seeks shelter at the law firm and proceeds to make rain catchers from upcycling coat hangers and plastic bags. And don't forget all of the crafty booby-traps Morgan makes. In the world of The Walking Dead, upcycling could mean the difference between life and death. Time to get crafty.
- Create a sustainable environment. "Electricity, showers, haircuts. I never thought I'd see those again," Rick stated when his family first got to Alexandria. Protection recklessness aside, Alexandria is actually a great example of what completely sustainable living looks like. In fact, according to the backstory in Season 5's "Remember," it was a planned community for that very purpose. From cisterns to solar panels to eco-based sewage and repurposed mall construction materials for walls, Alexandria has all of the comforts of modern civilization with self-sustainability.
- Anything can be a weapon. While guns certainly account for part of the defense, characters such as Morgan can turn virtually anything into a weapon. If you caught Season 6's "First Time Again," you probably noticed how he managed to massacre and survive, all with a pointed stick. And he's not the only one – Rick's go-to defense is a hatchet or machete. Upcycling today shouldn't apply to weapons unless absolutely necessary but it's good to know that if we ended up fighting off zombies, we could upcycle just about anything into defense.
- Ration your food. Throughout the entire series we see the ups and downs of the food supply. While there is some hunting and farming involved, it's a true testament to how much we rely on food manufacturers to make things convenient. Think of Season 5's "Strangers" and how Father Gabriel survived on canned goods while hiding out in his church. He survived because he rationed and if he hadn't he probably wouldn't have made it. But things can get ugly if things aren't rationed properly – think Terminus. Food may be more valuable when you're living in the world of The Walking Dead but even though it's plentiful in the developed world, it's still a remarkably valuable resource.
- Gasoline is gold. While there may be an abundance of vehicles left behind when people turn, gasoline is precious. Seemingly, the only way to obtain it is to siphon. Which seems to explain why everyone has become walking nomads versus taking road trips. Conserving gasoline is mandatory because, with a world full of walkers, there's no drilling for oil and when the leftover supply runs out – it's officially out.