Urban sustainability is a huge challenge considering that every two seconds, one person joins the planet’s expanding urban population. As expansion continues apace, problems such as urban planning, waste management, collective infrastructure, and transport are creating enormous strains on ecosystems and the environment.
The global crisis faced by humanity is a reflection of collective values and ways of life. Above all a cultural crisis. Many people agree that a new relationship with nature is necessary for the well-being of humans and the earth on which we live. Implementing an environmental ethic in your life may be a way to find a new cultural and economic way to provide your vital needs and increase the quality of life without the degradation of the environment.
Urban permaculture can become one of the solutions to this problem by becoming the source of food for many cities. Havana, Cuba and Bogota, Colombia are living examples of urban agriculture that align their consumption with realistic needs, produce their own food and energy, and put much more of their waste to use.
The solution has been simple – wherever there is sunshine, plants will grow, on a window box, on a balcony or a rooftop. Remembering, a garden is a garden whatever size. Remember that “everything gardens so garden everything”. and get inspired with these quirky containers.
Sixty years ago, organic home grown food was not an issue. It was simply the way most food was produced. But the post-war demand for high volumes of cheap food, coupled with the development of pesticide set food production on a destructive course. Take it personally – grow your own food. Say “no” to eating food that is contaminated. Read more about turning your lawn into your lunch.
If you are not the gardening type you can put your money where your mouth is and buy organic – locally! Until now, urban-rural exchange has been haunted by the efforts to improve urban livelihoods. Development has been focused on urban jobs ignoring that urban and rural lives are intertwined through goods, services, and people.
This has resulted in many mainstream supermarkets selling foods with high “food miles”, at low prices. So next time you fill your shopping bag, consider how far your food has travelled, and calculate the “food miles” accumulated from field to plate.
Take it personally
Consume food that has been grown within a 100 km radius from your dinner table. In addition to reducing your impact on the environment, you can make a valuable contribution to the economy of your community by supporting local rural farmers. By taking it personally, we gain more control of our lives.
Permaculture is a design system for the creation of productive, sustainable and ecological environments so that we can inhabit the Earth without destroying life. This system of holistic planning works with nature through the imitation of natural processes, using the wisdom of traditional production systems and modern scientific knowledge.