Don’t mince your words. But don’t waste them either.

The twelve permaculture principles  offer a sensible, environmentally-friendly blueprint for life but are more often applied to growing food. I can recommend them for both; especially to those seeking to lessen their impact on our planet.

  • Observe and interact (watching is as powerful as doing)
  • Catch and store energy (stand in the sun, it’s cosy)
  • Obtain a yield (enjoy reward from your efforts)
  • Apply self-regulation and feedback (do it better next time)
  • Use and value renewables (make new stuff out of old stuff)
  • Produce no waste (use everything at least twice then turn it into compost)
  • Design from patterns to details (look at the big picture first)
  • Use small, slow solutions (take the first step before the second one)
  • Use and value diversity (messy is great)
  • Use edges and value the marginal (overhanging fruit can also be picked)
  • Creatively use and respond to change (stay dynamic)

Perhaps 12 is too many

However, 12 principles, no matter how simple or sensible can be a few too many when life gets busy. There are some great examples out there of how, in the world of life-instruction, less can be more but my current favourite is Sir David Attenborough‘s recent, ‘Just don’t waste.’

Just don’t waste

I have been applying this to my life in various ways:

  • Knitting old jumpers into hats, socks and dishcloths (effective)
  • Boiling up leftovers to make my own stock (delicious)
  • Composting just about everything (worm-ridden)
  • Making apple cider vinegar with apple peelings (tasty)
  • Washing my hair with urine (possibly for emergency use only)

But I haven’t, unless you count social media, been applying the ‘just don’t waste’ mantra to my writing. More specifically my words.

So I thought I’d have a go at delivering last week’s message about responsibility for the outdoors and protecting our quiet spaces in less than 20 words (last week I used up 750).

Looking for secret places on the internet is as silly as looking for bananas on an apple tree.


Writing walking routes, five top tips

Life as an outdoor influencer


Leave a Reply