Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
The natural world creates ongoing regenerative processes essential for the survival of the earth and its inhabitants.
Worms aerate the soil, clovers & legumes provide nitrogen through their roots, and the leaves, seeds & fruits falling from trees (when left to decompose) provide nutrients for new life (including those worms and clovers).
Early humans existed for hundreds of thousands of years, mimicking these naturally cyclical tendencies and living in-kind.
We Are Part of the Problem
Today, the logic of this Principle is disregarded. At some point, humans started using less-evolved methods for short-term gain.
The information age is finally showing us, en masse, the devastation wrought by the shortsighted ambitions of the industrial age.
In a short time, humans have managed to exhaust a stunning percentage of the planet’s resources and diversity of inhabitants, of which it had taken hundreds of millions of years to cultivate.
Rainforests are turning into dryland and species of every sort are becoming extinct.
What Will the Next Generation Inherit from Us?
Our grandchildren’s children may never know the degree of natural majesty that we’ve had the blessing to call home.
In several parts of the world, this is already the case.
Humans everywhere suffer the effects of living in societies based on taking advantage of natural resources, imposed resource scarcity, and producing short-lived “disposable” products.
This Principle recognizes the need for a general shift from our dependence on non-renewable energy sources, such as petroleum fuels and fossil fuel-dependent production methods.
Instead, it encourages us to put an increased focus on cultivating and developing naturally renewable resources.
It emphasizes a shift toward in- vestments into self-renewing systems and the development of technologies based on mimicking natural processes
“Reduce, reuse, recycle” is a well-known mantra that fits this Principle, well.
Other items to consider might be:
- Know the power of your purchase, folks! The unchecked practices of the Industrial Revolution, these last few centuries, have taken humanity & our fellow Earthlings, on a ride toward extinction. We’re at a moment when an ever-growing number of entrepreneurs & small business owners are making an effort, and taking the chances, to create a new standard for ethical business models. By shifting our buying habits and supporting regenerative businesses, we extend our influence beyond our in-home impact.
- Maximize the usefulness of biological and human-made materials.
- Attempt to upcycle and donate before discarding.
- Consider the full expected lifespan of the products that you are buying.
- Search for biodegradable alternatives that can be used as mulch or compost at the end of their usefulness.
- Purchase used goods when reasonable. This not only keeps things from being disposed of and reduces the need to produce more stuff, but the practice generally helps to keep money circulating within your local community.
- We can also broaden the concept of renewable resources to include things like goodwill and trust. Relationships built on trust might be viewed as a renewable resource because that relationship can be revisited over and over again. This especially applies in the form of repeat customers and sustained business partners. Trust is at the heart of success in business, and it is very much a renewable resource.
This is Part 7 of a 15 part series, pulled from the Permaculture Lifestyles Explained eBook, which contains over 100 tips for how someone might apply the permaculture principles to their life for greater efficiency, impact, and happiness.
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