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.