Permaculture Principle Challenge 5 – Use & Value Renewable Resources

Month 5 of the permaculture principle challenge! This one was extra fun and aligned perfectly with me returning back at Kashi. Over the months of summer traveling, car rides, airplanes, and staying at others homes, I was feeling guilty for how many non-renewable resources I was using. In our day-to-day lives the conversation of renewable resources isn’t typically brought up because it seems like something a bit out of our reach. We see it as an investment that we’re maybe not quite ready for or just accept that our current lifestyle “is the way it is.” I found that by arriving back at Kashi, these alternative technologies aren’t as far out of our reach as we think!

First off, I just want to say that I am incredibly grateful to be in a space where I’m using renewable resources including an outdoor kitchen made from a renovated chicken coop powered by solar energy, rainwater catchment system for washing dishes, solar dehydrator, and new systems that we are implementing including a home biogas digester to turn our food scraps into fuel to cook, as well as our two GoSun solar cookers donated by Rob Greenfield. The limits are endless! In this season to come, we plan on implementing more water-catchment systems in our bathroom and outdoor shower, rocket stoves, hydropower from the river, and a solar-powered freezer to ensure our food security.

solar dehydrator making a tea blend!

“Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.”

One of my favorite parts of the eco-village is the compost toilet. Not only has it eliminated my “waste” from the waste-stream by traditionally flushing my poop with clean water into a septic tank… It’s also completely shifted my perspective of poop from being wasteful to being a valuable resource in our systems. Our compost toilet system also has a urine diverter that sends our urine into a biochar trench, where we activate the biochar, which is then added to our compost as a soil amendment. Stacking functions and efficiency is so creative and fun!

Many of us think these alternative technologies are out of our reach, but they are easier to implement than we think! It just takes us changing our mindset around what we believe we can and can’t do. Just because you may not live in an eco-village doesn’t mean you can’t bring these alternative technologies to your home. I believe we can bring in anything our imagination is capable of creating.

In the internal landscape, when dealing with things arising and facing challenges, I thought of what renewable resources within myself could I utilize in moving forward? What coping mechanisms would I use? Would I mindlessly scroll on social media? Over-eat / consume unhealthy food to feel comfort? Or spend time reflecting, journaling, reading, and creatively expressing? I found myself in a battle of old behaviors and patterns that weren’t sustainable for my growth. I chose this month, as well as honoring Samhain, to implement some healthier behaviors such as spending less time on my phone, stopping myself from procrastinating and doing things more in the moment, releasing negative thought patterns riddled in “lack-of” & fear, as well as allowing my mind to wander away from the present moment. It all starts with awareness and from within. If these aspects of myself are overlooked, then I’m perpetrating the very system that I’m trying to change.

With so much love & support! grateful to be part of this journey with you, fellow earthling!

Mandalynn


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