Permaculture and the Story of Stuff

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A Mission Statement…

I’m in the throes of learning about Urban Gardening and closed-loop systems. My quest for next year’s edible bounty brought me to a short video you need to see, called “The Story of Stuff.”

It reminds me of my journey in life and the Mission Statement posted at the bottom of every email I send: HopeGraceAncient Wisdom.  There are very deep, personal reasons I create products and teach the topics I do:

  • I recycle as often as possible because I hope the planet can heal and am saddened by the amount of waste we create.
  • I keep my products affordable for the public without devaluing what I create, because I was Graced with an ability to help heal.
  • I believe that following the older laws of nature is a better path than the current system of healing.

I am Hope, Grace & Ancient Wisdom; I am all that what was left in Pandora’s Box all those years ago.


In 20-minutes, “The Story of Stuff” shared key points that fuel my passion for healing:

  • You cannot run a linear system in a finite planet indefinitely (2nd law of thermodynamics)
  • 50% of our tax $$$ funds the military
  • 51 of the largest economies in the world are corporations
  • Extraction of materials to make our goods = chopping down trees, using precious water, wiping out animals to the point of extinction, mining of mountains for metals, and much more
  • 1/3 of our planet’s resources have disappeared in the last 30 years
  • Less than 4% of the U.S.’s original forests still exist and 40% of our water is undrinkable
  • The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population, uses 30% of the world’s resources, and creates 30% of global waste
  • 75% of global fisheries are at or above their fishing limit
  • We’ve destroyed 80% of global forests
  • The Amazon loses 2,000 trees (or 7 football fields) PER MINUTE
  • Our products contain over 100,000 synthetic chemicals; NONE of which are tested for dangerous synergistic effects
  • The #1 food for humans is contaminated with deadly toxins (such as glyphosate in RoundUp)… that food? Breastmilk.
  • Our consumer-based system relies on people with that have no other option but to work in dangerous factories and dead-end jobs (read/listen to “Fast Food Nation”)
  • Manufacturers release 4,000,000,000 pounds of industrial pollution per year in the U.S.—we ship some overseas but guess what? No matter where you put it, it all comes back to us. Every life form on Earth drinks the same water and breathes the same air at some point!
  • After the attacks of 9/11, President Bush told us to shop. Some argue this reduced panic and emphasized carrying on with life rather than living in fear. In reality? We’re a nation of consumers. Our government is built on a system of private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system and competitive markets. (Watch the movie “They Live.”)
  • 1% of goods sold are in use 6 months later. Why? It’s either broken or discarded.
  • We consume 2x as much as we did in the 50s and our houses are 2x as large
  • Planned obsolescence = products are MADE to be disposable (plastic bags, straws). How fast can it break and we still have faith in it to buy another one? Consider how fast iPhones are updated and obsolete.
  • Perceived obsolescence = products change quickly so others know if we haven’t kept up with the Joneses. Update cars and fashion annually, make us feel we’re not good enough if we don’t have the latest model, and keep us buying. (Who hasn’t suffered as the kid who didn’t have the latest brand of shoes!?!)
  • We see more ads in one day than people in the 50s saw in a year!
  • National happiness peaked in the 50s and has decreased since the boom of consumerism in the same decade. We have less time than ever… when can we enjoy what we’re buying?
  • Each of us makes 4.5 pounds of garbage each day!
  • Every 1 can of garbage we throw away = 70 garbage cans used to CREATE those products.

Recycling isn’t enough. We need alternatives to over-consumption. “A species set on endless growth is unsustainable.”

So how can YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE? Consume less and thoroughly enjoy what you purchase. Learn about green chemistry, zero waste, renewable energy, local living economy, closed-loop systems, and regenerative processes. Reduce, reuse, regenerate.

There’s still hope…

With HopeGraceAncient Wisdom,

 

Alicia 

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