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Unplug Yourself From The Industrial Food System With Permaculture Gardening

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“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”

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Bill Mollison

Observe and Interact

Over forty years ago, Bill Mollison, with the help of David Holmgren, helped develop a blueprint for sustainable living. Mollison — an author, scientist, teacher, and biologist — spent many years working in and with nature. He came to the understanding that everything is connected and that the way we are living is killing us and the planet. He developed a system which integrated agriculture, horticulture, architecture, and ecology in a conscious effort to design landscapes which replicate the natural patterns found in nature. Mollison and Holmgren understood the value of observing nature. By observing nature we can design solutions which suit our particular circumstances while producing human settlements which are abundant in productivity (food) and pleasing to inhabit.

Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share

Apart from the design principles, permaculture promotes three main ethics which many native cultures once practiced: Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. The key differentiator of Permaculture from conventional farming is that it is not just about the utilisation of resources in an efficient and effective way. It embraces ethics in design and teaches one to think more critically. These three underlying principles are in stark contrast to the modern food system which focuses on profit at all costs.

Permaculture Works with Nature and is Regenerative

Most of us are all-too-familiar with the ill effect the industrial food system has had on our planet. Species extinction, ecosystem destruction, salinity issues, the removal of top soils, deforestation, overfishing, soil toxicity, and climate change are just a few of the externalities of an overly resource intensive system which leaves many with excess and many more people hungry.

The difference between permaculture and modern industrial agriculture is that permaculture works with nature as opposed to against nature. Permaculture is a design science which observes natural systems in an attempt to learn from what they offer in the way of design, stability, and resilience. Hence, permaculture looks at the whole system and values how it all works in a synergy of balance and abundance. Permaculture focuses on techniques and practices which help re-establish this balance by creating places of diversity and abundance through restoring natural habitats which benefit all — not just humans.

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Permaculture Captures and Stores Energy

Our long distance agriculture uses vast amounts of energy. It takes approximately 2,000 litres of oil equivalents per year to feed and supply the average American. This accounts for about 19 percent of the total energy used in the United States. In industrialised countries today, one food calorie requires expending an average of between seven to ten calories of fossil energy. (1)

Permaculture captures and stores energy. How does it do this? There are a number of ways. The act of simply growing your own food is effectively storing the energy or sunlight that we receive each day. Any excess food can be preserved, dried, bottled, or canned. Hence we are storing this energy for another time. Today we truck in and ship goods from all over the planet. The simple act of storing excess foods you have grown in the summer saves significant amounts of energy.

Our reliance on long distance supply chains not only makes us vulnerable to external influences to the system but also leaves us blind to how, what, and where our food is coming from. We have no control over how and what is done to the food we eat. We have chosen to be dependent consumers as opposed to responsible producers. While not everyone has the luxury of a backyard or land there are many things which can be done to get started. Pot plants, planter boxes, community gardens, urban gardens, and land share schemes right through to local CSAs help reduce our reliance on long distance supply chains. The key to this is focusing on local solutions.

Permaculture Produces No Waste

As a young boy my father drummed into me the mantra of “waste not want not,” and he was absolutely right. Another permaculture principle, “produce no waste,” is highly relevant to our throw-away, planned obsolescent model of production and consumption. Nothing is wasted on a permaculture property or site. Understanding the value of resources and the natural world allows us to see the connection and interconnectedness of all systems. Under the permaculture model everything is composted, mulched, or recycled. Everything from food scraps and green waste to your own waste is integrated and used as valuable resources. That’s right, while many would find it hard to fathom that human waste can be recycled, there is a growing movement of people who understand the importance of collecting and composting “humanure.”

It has been estimated that every time we flush the toilet we launch 5 or 6 gallons of polluted water out into the world; that’s 4.8 billion gallons of fresh water polluted by waste and then treated with harmful chemicals every day in America alone. (2) Each year over 450 million tonnes of nitrogen fertilizer is produced and sprayed, poured, and scattered across the planet. Most of this is in the form of anhydrous ammonia, ammonia nitrate, and urea. This equates to the consumption of between 3–5% of the world’s natural gas production for this process alone. (3)

When you think about it, it is a no brainer that we should be making use of this valuable and easily accessible resource. The environmental benefits should also be considered. The environmental impact of treating your own sewage helps out on the eco-friendly front as there is less energy used and greater overall efficiency and less wastage along the way.

Check Out the Latest Video from Living Big in a Tiny House Featuring a Story on Permaculture:

Article by Andrew Martin, author of  Rethink…Your world, Your future. and One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future… 

RethinkcoverCE2Excerpts from Rethink…Your world, Your future.

(1) UNEP, The end to cheap oil: a threat to food security and an incentive to reduce fossil fuels in agriculture, April 2012. http://na.unep.net/geas/getUNEPPageWithArticleIDScript.php?article_id=81

(2) http://brie-hoffman.hubpages.com/hub/Off-Grid-Toilets

(3)   http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.CON.FERT.ZS

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Environmental

Would You Go Vegan To Save The World? New Study Suggests It’s The Best Option

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Congratulations! If you made it here to read this article it likely means you are a vegan, vegetarian, follow a plant-based diet or are at least legitimately interested in what you can do to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Thank you!

Veganism has been on the rise over the past decade or so, and for good reason! Many people are starting to learn the truth about where meat and animal products actually come from, the health risks associated with a diet dense in animal protein and the profoundly devastating effects that modern agriculture and factory farming is taking on our environment. I always say, if you can’t do it for the animals, and you can’t do it for yourself — do it for the planet!

So How Does A Vegan Lifestyle Protect Our Environment?

Researchers at the University of Oxford published a study that showed how cutting out meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individuals carbon footprint by as much as 73 percent — times that by 7.6 billion.

On top of that, the researchers also found that if everyone in the world simply stopped consuming these foods altogether, the global farmland that is currently in use could be reduced by 75% — an area equivalent to the size of the United States, China and the entire European Union combined. And here we are worrying about overpopulation. This shift in diet and lifestyle would not only result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions but also free up huge amounts of land lost to animal agriculture — one of the main causes for an alarming rate of wildlife extinction facing our planet today.

The Study

Published in the journal Science, it’s one of the most comprehensive analyses available thus far on the damaging effects that modern farming and agriculture have on our environment. Data from nearly 40,000 farms in 119 countries was included.

Findings revealed that production of meat and dairy is responsible for nearly 60% of agricultures portion of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Researchers examined 40 agricultural products during the study, which covered 90% of all food that is eaten worldwide. They observed the impact each of these foods had on the environment by analyzing emissions, water pollution and air pollution.

Lead author Joseph Poore said,

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use.

“It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he explained, which would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy,” he added.

A portion of the research was aimed at looking at various techniques that are used to produce the same foods and found vast distinctions in terms of their environmental impact.

For example, cattle raised on natural grass pastures used 50 times less land than those that were being raised on deforested land — which can produce up to 12 times more greenhouse gas emissions in comparison. Compare this to the emissions released for plant-based protein sources such as tofu and peas, and you’re looking at a drastic difference.

Poore told The Guardian, “Converting grass into [meat] is like converting coal to energy. It comes with an immense cost in emissions.”

This study is the result of a five-year-long project which ironically enough started off as an investigation into sustainable meat and dairy production. After just one year into the study, Poore stopped eating animals altogether.

According to Poore, the next step is to find ways to test his proposed approach in practice. He told the independent,

“The problem is, you can’t just put environmental labels on a handful of foods and look to see if there is some effect on purchasing,” he said.

“Consumers take time to become aware of things, and then even more to act on them. Furthermore, the labels probably need to be in combination with taxes and subsidies. My view is that communicating information to consumers could tip the entire food system towards sustainability and accountability.”

Some Final Thoughts

It’s important to know that we have a lot of options here, it’s not simply vegan or nothing. We can use this information to take action in our own lives and do what we can to reduce our own impact. You don’t have to go vegan overnight, however if this information resonates with you, you can start cutting out meat and dairy products to start with. This will give you time to explore a new palate of flavors and alternatives to your favorite foods. Also, even if you could never imagine yourself giving up meat, that’s fine — you don’t have to. You can follow a plant-based diet and still eat meat once in a while if you feel called to do so.

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Alternative News

What Most People Call “Chemtrails” Could Kill Tens of Thousands of People, Says Harvard Professor

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Remember, don’t panic! These are issues we have to approach from a place of peace. Responding with fear and worry is completely useless. Yes, it’s a major issue, but issues are transformed in a number of ways. It’s not all “doom and gloom,” it’s not all dark, there are wonderful things happening on this planet, and positive forces at work to help activists all around the world.

We are no doubt living in exciting times, so don’t let something like this get you down! Rise up, overcome the fear and sadness you feel and transform that energy into a positive force. When you do that, you help change the world.

What is geoengineering? It’s the large scale intervention and manipulation of the global climate system through various means, the most popular seems to be spraying reflective substances into the air via aircraft or balloons in order to reflect the sunlight back into space.

Within the past few years, multiple academic institutions have initiated geo-engineering research departments. Harvard University, for example, recently created one. There is also the SPICE project (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering). SPICE is a United Kingdom government funded geoengineering research project that collaborates with the university of Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Bristol to further examine the idea of Solar Radiation Management (SRM).

I recently published an article about a conference held at Harvard on the topic,  where they issued this report that elaborates on what these programs will take, their potential implications, feasibility and more. You can watch some of the speakers at the conference here.

The discrepancy when it comes to geo-engineering comes from the idea that they’re grouped into the word chemtrails. Chemtrails is a term used to describe what several people have been seeing in the skies for years; a path of chemicals being sprayed by airplanes all over North America. Some argue that they are simply contrails from the engines of the plane, but multiple sources say otherwise, and for them to completely cover the sky over the period of the day and never disappear, has also raised suspicion among those who are paying attention.

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Nevertheless, a paper from Dr. Rose Cairns, PhD., who belongs to the University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment, published in the peer-reviewed Geophysical Journal titled “Climates of suspicion: ‘chemtrail’ conspiracy narratives and the international politics of geoengineering” describes developments in mainstream academic and political discourse regarding geoengineering, and how climate modification, also being discussed by the citizens of the world (who use the term “chemtrails”), is having devastating ecological and health effects worldwide. According to her paper:

“Understanding the emerging politics of geoengineering, and taking seriously claims regarding the importance of public participation, requires an understanding of the whole discursive landscape around ideas of global climate control – including marginal ideas such as those held by chemtrail activists. Ignoring or dismissing these discourses out of hand as pathological or paranoid is to ignore potentially revealing insights about the emerging politics of geoengineering.” (source)

Cairns also mentions that:

“This analysis suggests a number of ways in which the chemtrail narrative may contain important insights and implications for the emerging politics of geoengineering that cannot be dismissed out of hand as ‘paranoid’ or ‘pathological’.” (source)

This may be why so many people over the years, even many celebrities like Prince, are speaking about chemtrails is because there is ample evidence to suggest that these programs are already operational.

“In recent years there has been a decline in the support for weather modification research, and a tendency to move directly into operational projects.” –  World Meteorological Association

Collective Evolution has published several articles on this phenomena, and many of them provide the evidence I’m speaking of. If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out the articles below:

Saudi Princess & Member of the Royal Family Says Geoengineering “Is A Weapon of Mass Destruction.”

The Sky Is Going To Be Sprayed With Toxic Particles In A Geoengineering Experiment – Blocking The Sunlight

Scientist Dr. Michio Kaku Admits Government Weather Control On CBS News

CIA Director States, On Camera, His Support For Geoengineering (Spraying Particles Into The Atmosphere)

If You Think These Are Just “Contrails” Think Again – Here’s What They Really Are

David W. Keith is one of the scientists involved in this initiative, and has been for a long time. He’s a professor of Applied Physics for the Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). He’s also a professor at Harvard university, and chairman of Carbon Engineering.

His research, which is also cited in the Harvard report above, includes a lot of work on climate-related technology assessment and policy. When asked about the spraying of these heavy metals into the atmosphere, of which millions of tonnes would have to be used, he said this:

“You may end up killing many ten’s of thousands of people a year as a direct results of that decision.” 

 

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Alternative News

Cups, Re-Usable Pads, & Everything You Should Know About What You Can Use On Your Period!

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A few years ago now, I wrote an article about alternatives to tampons and pads and highlighted some more sustainable options and outlined some of the risks associated with the use of tampons made of synthetic fibers specifically.

Now there are even more alternatives, that some people may find more accessible so it’s time for an updated version of this article with all of the new advancements in this realm to suit your needs. I get it, not everyone wants to use a menstrual cup, although some absolutely love them.

A period is something that many people have on a regular, monthly basis. Throughout our lifetime, we will have on average of 450 periods and use between 10,000-12,000 menstrual products, most of which will end up in the trash and eventually landfills. Since the majority of these products are made from plastic, rayon and chemical laden cotton, they do not biodegrade and they take thousands of years to break down.

On top of that, many of these products contain toxic chemicals that aren’t exactly good for our bodies. So, why not do what we can to limit the amount of plastic and chemical waste that ends up in our landfills, oceans, AND bodies? There are enough alternatives available now that the only excuse is essentially ignorance, laziness or straight up carelessness, if you are unaware of the alternatives, after reading this you will be fully informed.

The Cup

This is the one that most people are very wary of until they try it. Personally, I’ve been using the cup for 6 years now, and I have to say – I love it. Although, it did take me quite a few months to get used to, in my opinion it is the most sustainable option and although the reusable pads are great too, I’m just not really a pads type of person, I don’t like having that extra bulk down there. So, the cups are made of surgical grade silicon, which means they do not leach any toxins or chemicals into the body, they last a long time, although they will likely get stained over time; you can simply sanitize them by boiling them in water for 10 minutes, easy peasy.

Most cups that I have seen even come with a convenient little cotton or hemp bag to carry it in. They can hold quite a lot of fluid, depending on your flow they only need to be changed twice a day, once in the evening once in the morning, which in theory, means that you won’t even have to change it while you are out and about or at work.

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Also, this method is super cost effective, assuming we spend anywhere from $3,000 – $6,000 over the course of a lifetime, even just 4 cups might cost $200 total. However, if this method just seems totally absurd to you and something that you could never see yourself actually using, have no fear, there is also the reusable pad option, which is catching on quickly…

The Reusable Pad

If again, you’re thinking something along the lines of ew…gross – then just hear me out. While the idea of having a pad that you have to wash yourself is somewhat off-putting, just think of all of the waste you’ll be saving from the landfills. There are tons of options for reusable pads and even period proof underwear, which act in the same way except they have a built-in liner. These come in many different varieties from super light to extra super flow, and even reusable liners that can be used for the day or two before or after your expected visit from Aunt Flo.

They are leak proof, generally made from organic and sustainable materials and there are so many options for you to choose to find out what works best for you and your cycle. When it’s time to wash, you simply rinse them out under hot running water and wash as you would normally with your underwear. Really, it’s not as bad as you think and the amount of waste it saves makes this option pretty much a no-brainer, well, at least one of these options.

However, if you still just can’t get around the idea of having to see or touch blood from your own cycle/body, then there is yet another option to consider…

Reusable Tampon Applicators

These are great options for times where you won’t have access to a private stall bathroom or you are out and about hiking or camping and don’t have a way to wash your pads or rinse out your cup hygienically. Reusable applicators use organic tampon inserts, similar to the smaller ones you may have seen with no applicator, and every time you have to change your tampon, you just insert a new tampon, and use the reusable applicator to insert it.

This method saves tons of plastic applicators from our landfills and oceans. Some models that are available come with a handy little carrying case and a cap. This method couldn’t be simpler, because if you are already a tampon user, it is literally the exact same method. Aside from having to simply wipe or rinse it off and sterilize it once in a while, it’s a very simple method.

Final Thoughts?

As you can clearly see there are so many easy and viable options that are not only better for your body, but better for our environment as a whole. Really, menstrual products are just one example out of millions that can be looked at in a more sustainable light and modified to reduce the amount of waste they are producing. We can all do our part to be the change, and take responsibility for our own lives and the impact we are making.

Much Love

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Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.

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