Permaculture is as much about things like ethical thinking, ethical decision-making and design as it is about small practical steps, experimentations and strategies.
When I started back in late 2011, my first step was to start using cloth napkins. The “challenging phase” lasted only a month: it was more difficult for my two boys, used as they were to paper napkins for all. Now, nobody at home would even think on paper napkins and we are so used that we have our own favourites and I plan to make more with old towels, bed sheets and table cloths (the towel ones are for kitchen, bathroom or general cleaning, while the other ones are for our everyday use)
Since then, I have experimented with many things, from more personal (such as women cloth pads instead of the terribly polluting, expensive and unsustainable disposable ones) to more “household” ones, such as composting all our kitchen scraps, growing a portion of our food at both our community garden plot and our small deck/balcony.
There are many more, some have been winners from day one (recycling and up-cycling), some have been really difficult to implement (local, seasonal, organic food and more vegetarian options, due to my two boys preferences and resistance).
My goal in this section is to add my successes and failures as I post so they can be shared with others and I may get good feedback and more ideas to implement.
You will notice that some of the sections overlap: when we think about food, we are also caring about soil, water, energy and waste. If you save grow enough of the food you consume, we may also be talking about finances and simplicity, and if you do it for a living then we are including careers…
I have tried to separate the areas where I have already worked or are still learning/working, there are areas out of my scope but that also belong to practical Permaculture, such as natural building, community governance or parenting (my children are already old enough for this, but I do apply Permaculture concepts to the relationship I have with them)
You will find practical projects you can start or develop and things I have already done here in the following sections:
- Energy: exploring alternative energy from catching to storing to using. In the cities and for “mainstream” folks like us, we also have energy preservation
- Water: from harvesting to purifying to saving, again, for city folks like us
- Soil: how to feed and care for it so it becomes a source of life and regeneration as it was intended to be
- Food: from production to consumption, passing from preparation, safety, sovereignty, security, and preservation
- Waste: reducing, rejecting, reusing, upcycling, repairing, re-distributing and…recycling of all types of waste, from “stuff” to kitchen scraps to pee and poop
- Simplicity: how to de-clutter your household, your workplace, your relationships, your head/heart/body, your life and free yourself to create and simply live…while allowing others to also live
- Finances: debt management, ethical multiple-income generation, ethical investment…
- Career: career explorations and choices to make a living while making a (positive and beyond sustainability) difference in the world
- Social Justice: how the way we live our lives and how we relate to others, the environment and the “stuff” around us can contribute to social justice and world peace?
- Emergency Preparedness and First Aid: designing for disasters, accepting disasters and emergencies, re-skilling and preparing to respond appropriately
- EDAP: designing your household, business and community Energy Descent Action Plan