Jan 312011
 
 

Click here to download the episode.

Rather than do the introduction to the show at the beginning, which is how I suspect most other shows would, I decided to wait for 20+ episodes to get around to it. This episodes details the 4 basic goals I use when putting together a show:

  1. Make Permaculture Accessible
  2. Get you thinking like a Permaculturist
  3. Share a different voice, both my own and that of others
  4. To become better at sharing this information

I also mentioned an article by Rob Hopkins and the way we learn. You can find that article here:

http://transitionculture.org/wp-content/uploads/WAYOFSEE.PDF

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 Posted by at 12:00
Jan 292011
 
 

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Covering each of Holmgren’s principles continues to march forward as the discussion turns to making no waste. You are on a good track by downloading this Podcast rather than using a tape or compact disc to listen to it, but there is more that we can do and this show covers that in depth by applying the 5 Rs:

  • Refuse
  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Repair
  • Recycle

to the many aspects of life including our lifestyle and material goods, landscape, and energy use. In that way we can better care for the Earth and continue to fulfill the ethics of Permaculture.

In the show I mention the idea of Upcycling. Here are a pair of sites with some interesting projects to try your hand at. Even if you don’t use them, I hope they inspire imagination and creativity on your part when you go to apply the Rs in your life.

Art of Upcycling: 20 DIY Wood Pallet Reuse Project Ideas
100 Amazing Upcycling Ideas Anyone Can Do

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 Posted by at 03:58
Jan 282011
 

As I beginning gearing up for the episode on Principle 6: Produce No Waste, some of my time was spent browsing the web for a bit of inspiration. In the process I ran across the blog of Sustainable Dave. For the entire year of 2008, from January 1 to December 31, he collected and kept all of his personal trash and recycling in his basement so that he could face it and be forced to deal with it. In the end he was left with 30.5 lbs of waste that he considered trash. From browsing the rest of the list most of it, in one way or another, could be repaired, reused or recycled.

You can see his final numbers here:

http://365daysoftrash.blogspot.com/2009/01/final-numbers.html

Take some time to look around his site. The options he presents, from having continuing his site over the years, are numerous. You can also watch some videos of him on YouTube if you want.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sustainable+dave

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 Posted by at 23:50
Jan 272011
 

My wife is always on the lookout for material that I can share with others to raise awareness about the wide ranging impact that our choices can make in our lives and on the environment. Recently she pointed me to a show from the Sundance Channel called Eco Trip. I think is a light simple way to introduce people to examining some familiar products in their lives.

If you practice Permaculture, you can use it as a way to bridge the conversation to get them to begin thinking about, indirectly, the ethics and principles. I’ve found that sharing these, without ever naming them, can be a very effective way to spread the knowledge and get minds turning.

In each show David de Rothschild examines a single type of object through it’s life cycle and the effects it has on people and the surrounding areas. From there we are offered alternative solutions. In the handful of episodes I saw, this was mainly about recycling in one form or another. The episode on the light bulb looked at compact florescent and LED lighting, including the new risks opened up by the former containing mercury.

So far the episodes have been: chocolate, cotton t-shirt, gold ring, paper napkin, light bulb, bottled water, cell phone, and salmon.

I said in the beginning that this is a “light” show because the material doesn’t go into a great deal of depth as it moves quickly through various phases and we see the host talking with activists, scientists, and then performing some kind of task to help the cause. I cannot vouch for the validity of all the material either though some cursory research didn’t show anything glaring.

If you are already involved with some kind of environmental cause or have put Permaculture into action in your life, there isn’t much new here and you would be better served by more in-depth material. If, like me, you have some family members who don’t see a need to change their lifestyle and want to keep on living to consume, it could be a way to at least put a crack in their thinking and start to show them the wide world. Pick an episode about something they eat or use all the time and see what happens.

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 Posted by at 23:03
Jan 272011
 
 

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The conversation about Holmgren’s Principles of Permaculture continue in this episode covering Principle 5: Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services. Rather than go through a list of renewable resources, instead the episode is geared towards what defines something as renewable for our needs, what resources we should use, and how to decide what how to best use a resource when we decide to use it, based on it’s usefulness and durability.

Because much of my thinking on Permaculture is steeped in the idea of energy descent and an end to cheap fuels, particularly fossil, there is also an emphasis on maintaining what we have and developing alternative resources now while we are able to do so in a quick and affordable manner. Once these are developed, to make the most use of them, and borrow from Principle 6: Produce No Waste, there is a need to insure we get the most out of each product which leads to another brainstorm on the yields of a tree. Using sawdust in a composting toilet for Humanure.

The episode wraps by talking about information and the importance of community as resources. Rebuilding community is one of our most important things we can do moving into the future. From it is a wealth of knowledge and resiliency we cannot possibly build on our own.

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 Posted by at 02:03
Jan 212011
 
 

Click here to download the episode.

This episode begins with a quick overview of the principle, an example of self-regulating system that grows and shrinks due to positive and negative feedback loops, and then moves to thorough review of Holmgren’s self-audit, including examples from my own experiences with this assignment. It wraps up with how you can use the concepts presented in the audit to look and and identify those within the elements of your design.

During the show I mention mind maps and using them to show connections while you brainstorm. You can find more information here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_map
http://www.mindmapping.com/
http://litemind.com/what-is-mind-mapping/

If you like to use technology, there are mind mapping software packages available. I’ve used several over the years but at this time like Xmind the best. It is cross platform and available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Best of all, there is a personal version available for free.

http://www.xmind.net/

Another free option is FreeMind, available on the Sourceforge website:

http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

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 Posted by at 04:40
Jan 182011
 

I found this article in my weekly newsletter from Dave’s Garden. As I’ve talked quite a bit about my family’s project of feeding the birds and supporting them through the winter, I wanted to share it with you. There is information here I didn’t know before and adds a few more projects to my list so that the birds can continue to add yields to, and enrich, my design.

Winter Survival for Northern birds

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 Posted by at 19:28