Urban sustainability is a huge challenge considering that one person joins the planet’s expanding urban population every two seconds. As expansion continues apace, urban planning, waste management, collective infrastructure, and transport problems are creating enormous strains on ecosystems and the environment.
The global crisis faced by humanity reflects 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 degrading 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 real needs, produce their food and energy, and put much more waste to use.
The solution has been simple – wherever there is sunshine, plants will grow on a window box, balcony, or rooftop. Remembering, a garden is a garden, whatever size. Sixty years ago, homegrown organic food was not an issue. It was simply the way most foods was produced. But the post-war demand for high volumes of cheap food and the development of pesticides set food production on a destructive course. So take it personally – grow your 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 buy organic locally, put your money where your mouth is and buy organic – locally! Until now, the 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 your “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 your community’s economy by supporting local rural farmers. By taking it personally, we gain more control of our lives.
Permaculture is a design system for creating productive, sustainable and ecological environments so that we can inhabit the Earth without destroying life. This holistic planning system works with nature by imitating natural processes, using the wisdom of traditional production systems and modern scientific knowledge.