A couple years ago, there was an article and a TED Talk about the top .01% called “The Pitchforks Are Coming…For Us Plutocrats”. It was from one Plutocrat, Nick Hanauer, to other Plutocrats about increasing the minimum wage to support the middle class. This idea stuck with me, as well as, other remedies. At that time, I was already a hobbyist beekeeper, gardener and new to Permaculture Design.
Permaculture is the process of greening a space using sustainable components. This could be a water catch system, edible plants either in the ground or in containers or maybe composting. The scale can go from the smallest studio apartment to the largest piece of rural land. Permaculture may sound like a “hippy dippy back-to-nature” concept but it has much to offer to everyone, including the Plutocrats. Make no mistake, I am finding that I like a slower paced lifestyle and get some sideways glances…as if I am “Hippyish”. No matter, I can live with that.
I just reread the article after coming to the conclusion that Permaculture can, and will, help the Plutocrats…and everyone else. How? By “Greening Our World”. Many of us are waking up to the realization that we cannot sustain our current level of consumerism. The Earth has a finite amount of resources which will run out at our current rate of consumption. Our bodies can no longer handle the constant bombardment of toxins from every direction: Food; Air; Water; Soil. We are dying slow, painful deaths. But, we don’t have to.
Plutocrats can help us all (including themselves…on so many levels) by beginning the massive process of “Greening Our World”. How? By getting the process started on a grand scale. As many of us know, the Law of Motion states that an object in motion will stay in motion. Plutocrats can monumentally contribute by greening their businesses, greening our airports and greening their properties.
An increasing number of people are looking for ways to live a more Earth-Friendly life. What better way than to work at a company who does everything it can to be green? Solar panels, windmills, rainwater catchment are all easily recognizable and commendable. But, what about swales and berms to catch rainwater in the soil for edible landscaping such as fruit tree guilds (a fruit tree surrounded by groupings of edible berries, vegetables and flowers) on the premises? What about a roof garden utilizing the rainwater and pumping the rainwater back up to the roof by using Max Meyer’s Speed Bump Pump? How about solar water heaters or passive solar windows facing the sun side of the buildings?
Travelling is a necessary task for many of us. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pick an apple from a tree at the airport? Talk about fresh food! There are microbes in soil that make us happy…that is certainly needed at the airport. There could be, in addition to all the already mentioned improvements, a gardeneing area where we could each grab a trowel and put a small plant into the soil…say something started in a pot? It could be a small piece of heaven in a hectic travel atmosphere.
Apartment buildings, rental houses and other commercial properties could be fitted with green tech adding another competitive edge. Many of us are moving towards the greenest methods possible in our urban, suburban and rural living spaces. Being surrounded by nature, having living organic food available everywhere for everyone, knowing we are contributing to a better world by working for a “Green Company”, living in a “Green Neighborhood” or flying out of a "Green Airport"…in fact living in a “Green City” would give all residents and visitors cause for celebration. The air would be cleaner, the atmospehere would be friendlier (it has to be with so many people with their “hands in the soil”), and we would all be contributing to a better future for us and our progeny.
Now, many of us are not yet accustomed to a green lifestyle so these improvements to our everyday locations will help many of us “ease into greening”. Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle need not cause us pain. In fact, it could bring us pleasure on many levels. How? The mere presence of more trees is welcoming. Eating fruit right off a tree is insanely utopian. Imagine getting used to that! How could we not improve our outlook if we lived in a space where we were not only used to eating fruit off the tree but also came to expect it in our environment. If there were spaces all over our cities, suburbs and towns, there would be enough for everyone.
As more and more green tech comes along it could be added. Green jobs are already on the rise and this endeavor would only stimulate that trend. Our health could improve which would help us all work better, with fewer sick days. New technology could be used to clean up all types of pollution. You get the picture, right? We already have so many methods of greening so many places that once we gather momentum…it can snowball and benefit us all now and in the future.
Written by Tina L. Wolf, Licensed Irrigator (LI23877), Avid Beekeeper & Permaculture Design Consultant, webpermaculture.com