Restoring Sustainable Culture

2017 is likely to go down as a year of great change and great loss for many people. Our hearts grieve for the victims of the hurricanes, fires, floods, and other disasters striking throughout the world.

The startling, cruel ferocity that these disasters can hit with, places everyone at risk. Though nature tends to rebound on its own, the aftermath of these situations are often extremely traumatic for the people affected. To begin the healing process, it is critically important that we come together.

As difficult as these situations are on mental, spiritual, physical, and financial levels, they give us the opportunity to demonstrate our personal and community resilience. These events additionally serve to remind us that we, indeed, live amongst nature as an integral part, not at all separate from it.

This topic often comes up in our circles – conversations about how to design and implement better in order to avoid or minimize these situations. Certainly, we can design better, but a big part of this is also in understanding that to some extent, these catastrophic events will always happen. This emphasizes the need to work with these understandings in order to prepare, recover, rebuild, and regenerate.

With permaculture, we have the ways and means to do this; to rebound faster, to enable our communities to deal with massive destruction, to rise from the ashes, and to be stronger and more resilient in the future.

Restoring the health and protection of coastlines by planting mangroves, using responsible practices to manage the forests, and having locally grown food available when

outside sources are cut off are just a few of the ways we can improve the health of the environment and prepare our communities in advance. These strategies leave us more protected when disaster does strike. The importance of a strong community and simply knowing your neighbors is another key to resilience. Having people to share life with, practically and emotionally, truly goes a long way in recovery.

Caring for each other during times of great loss and tremendous need is very important. It is when a particularly special part of the human spirit shines brightest. With this holiday season and the coming new year, may we focus on our love of nature and our love for each other to gain the determination and support needed to carry safely and productively on. Recognizing the interconnectedness of all of life, which permaculture is so good at reminding us of, allows for deeper connections and calls us to celebrate our own lives and those who bless it.

To help bring more cheer and sustainability to this holiday season, we offer a DIY holiday gift guide in this issue and some of our ideas for conscious consumer gifts. We also get down to the nitty gritty of how to access clean water after a disaster as part of Citizen’s Proactive Response. If there is one lesson 2017 taught us, it is that life can change so rapidly, for better or worse, but that the human heart is amazingly resilient.

May 2018 be a year of recovery, a year of strengthening personal and community resilience, and to consciously spend time with those we love in the special places that touch our hearts.