The Transition from Swales to On Contour Hedges

One of permaculture´s most famed and acknowledged contributions to sustainable land management and ecologically sound agricultural practices are swales. From Australia to Finland to South Africa, thousands of permaculture practitioners from around the world have taken their laser levels, A-frame levels, and Bunyip water levels to map out the contour lines across the landscape that holds them. Once stakes have been placed across the contour lines across the land, either […]

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Permaculture and Art Part 1: Using Art in Ecosystem Restoration

This week we saw the tipping-point of darkness and light start to shift; after 3 days of the sun seeming to ‘stand still’ in the sky, we now begin to move inexorably towards more or less darkness in the day, depending on which Hemisphere we live in. As humans, we have been noting and celebrating this ‘sun-stillness’, or ‘solstice’, for thousands of years (1), though in much of modern society […]

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Ground Cherries

Small, husk wearing, fuzzy leaved little gems, these golden cherry tomato looking fruits may be one of the lesser known members of the nightshade family. However, once discovered you won’t forget their sweet, tart pineapple-mango-strawberry-tomato cross taste. This charming little member of the Physalis genus, which includes other husk covered fruits such as tomatillos and Chinese lanterns, are a delight to grow in the garden and enjoy in the kitchen. […]

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Green Homes: Towards Energy Efficient Housing

Globally, energy efficiency possesses about 40% of the GHG emission reduction potential at a cost of less than €60 per metric ton of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e). The significance of energy efficiency for a sustainable future is rooted in three issues 1) fossil fuel depletion, 2) Emission of GHG (CO2) causing climate change, and 3) the soaring costs of energy and water. Green Homes / Buildings are a promising pathway towards […]

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Zero Waste Lifestyle, No Longer a “Hippie Thing”

If you haven’t heard of the intense concept of a zero waste lifestyle, then you better start paying attention to the world around you. Unless you are one of those who have taken on the challenge, you contribute to the world’s landfill headache each and every day, possibly without even knowing it. Waste adds up quicker than you think and society is beginning to recognize the situation and possible solutions. […]

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Easy Gray Water Harvesting Techniques

One of the defining aspects of permaculture which contrasts so radically from our industrial ways of dealing with the land is in how we deal with water. Our modern-day society most often simply looks at water as a resource that magically appears from faucets. Very few people have any understanding of where their household water comes from, and the amount of energy that is needed in order to pump that […]

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Why Homesteading is an Ideal Lifestyle

There are many, many reasons why homesteading is truly the ideal, simplistic lifestyle. It may not be for everyone, but it’s no lie that this kind of lifestyle creates an intimate relationship between you and your life and the work you do. For those still on the fence about it, here are just a small few reasons why you should consider stripping off those conveniences and getting back to nature, […]

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The Future of Zero Waste Packaging

Waste-conscious consumers are signs of the times. Nowadays, it’s extremely common to see shoppers at a grocery market carrying around canvas totes rather than the thin plastic bags that cannot be recycled. Sustainability practices have grown in popularity and suppliers and retailers are beginning to respond to the trend. Some companies are making the effort to include recycled materials in their actual products, some are creating packaging with minimal or […]

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Are Chemicals Disrupting Our Hormones?

With health concerns like obesity, cancer, and diabetes on the rise and declining sperm counts and fertility rates, scientists are starting to take a hard look at the environmental factors that may be contributing to these issues. One theory is that otherwise “safe” chemicals are disrupting our endocrine systems – impacting normal functions regulated by hormones, including reproduction, metabolism, puberty, and more. While humans are exposed to hundreds of chemicals […]

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Plant-Based Sources of Protein

Any time I mention veganism, I feel the need to precursor the discussion with the fact that in no way am I suggesting that anyone is wrong for not practicing a plant-based diet or that it is necessarily healthier than an omnivorous one. Without a doubt, circumstances of food availability are different around the world, and regardless of our whereabouts, we all have personal versions of what we will and […]

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Composting – A Solution to the Burning Problem of Solid Waste Management

There exists a humongous problem of solid waste management being faced by the entire world. Garbage generated and gathered in our houses, offices, businesses and industrial establishments is essentially what is called as solid waste. And with growing population, urbanisation and industrialisation, more trash is being produced which is a constant threat to environment and health safety. Every day waste is a mix of organic and inorganic stuff and if […]

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A Question of Chemistry part 2

In part 1 of this article (1), I looked a little bit at which chemicals are generally present in soils around the world as well as what is being done to mitigate the harmful effects of such chemicals. Knowing what chemicals are where, how they affect the human body and the wider environment, and how we can lessen these effects if they seem detrimental or out of balance, are all […]

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