Why sustainable living? To sustain means to endure. It’s no secret that the systems that support modern human lifestyles are generally not sustainable, relying on the overuse of limited resources without sufficient consideration to their renewal. In a sustainable system, such as a natural ecosystem, each element within that system supports other elements, so that the system as a whole, whilst constantly changing, also replenishes itself in perpetuity.
The challenge for modern humans is to design OUR support systems to emulate these principles to ensure that we protect the future viability of those elements that are essential for our collective survival, such as clean water & air, healthy soils and natural genetic diversity.
Why the need for change? Although it is desirable that every one & every being be unique, when any element becomes disproportionate or out of balance, the integrity of the whole is threatened and it would seem human activities have created just such a situation today. Survival is part of our natural programming (perhaps because our individual survival is primary programming, the individual ego has developed). However, when separate egos (& the collective anthropocentric ego) take precedence, greed & disregard for other elements may result, threatening the harmony (& ultimate survival) of the whole. There is much to do to repair the imbalances we have create. It may be however, that our individual differences are necessary & each has a part to play, each according to their interests, talents & inclinations. What is needed is for us to understand the interconnectedness of all things on earth, combine our individual talents & work together to create a harmonious whole. Diversity within Unity Consciousness.
Elements of Integrated Sustainable Living Systems
Self-Reliance- resources & materials obtained locally from naturally occurring, non-polluting & renewable resources. Management & processing by locals. (relative independence from outside sources)
Self-sustaining- all elements retained/returned to system (recycled or used to support/feed other elements/ aspects of system
Preservation & improvement of the quality of fundamental resources
Maximize diversity within the system to ensure overall viability remains strong in face of changing circumstances.
These ideas & more detailed aspects of design are explored on this site & in Permaculture books & courses. (See more Tips for sustainable choices. )
The future is no more than the consequences of today. With the wisdom of the past and the technology of tomorrow, each one of us has the opportunity of being the innovative architects of our future, and the effects of our choices create not only our personal wellbeing, but that of our children and all other life forms with which we share this precious planet. (See conscious creating)
The concept of ‘sustainability’ means different things to different people, & with most of us enculturated to a modern western lifestyle, solar hot water, more efficient light bulbs & so on are the sort of things many people think of as ‘sustainable’. The fundamentals of life, (food, water, basic shelter & the wider enviroment) are rarely given much consideration, when the reality is that everything on this round planet is connected & ALL our activites impact on everything else! The focus of zone one & this site is on the basics, those things that we must get right if we are to create an enduring abundant future. Even access to electricity & transport is unimportant if we fail to secure clean water, nutritious food & a healthy natural enviroment.