The problem is the solution, and regenerative design.

There’s this concept in permaculture that the problem is the solution.  There are a lot of problems now days, but it’s ok, because this means there are also a lot of solutions!  😀  Part of what inspired me to write this post today was watching a video on Monsanto last night.   Monsanto is a company that many people are starting to ‘fondly’ refer to as MonSatan.  Watch the video for yourself to find out why.

I’m not interested in explaining why Monsanto and companies like it are bad, there’s a wealth of information to do it for me, like the video above.  I’m more interested in finding solutions to the problems created by these companies.  As I watched the video last night I was thinking about that.  How do we get ourselves out of this mess?

Since I’ve started studying permaculture, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about webs, connections and relationships.  I’ve been thinking about the positive and negative webs and relationships I’ve been seeing lately.  Let’s explore the relationship between the media, our educational system, agriculture, and big pharma(just to name a few), to identify what it is that unites all of these things.

Let’s take an average person, we’ll call him Bob.  Bob lives on a diet of processed food, he frequents fast food places, he eats and drinks a lot of processed food and beverages.   Bob spends his leisure time sitting at home watching TV shows, and the commercials that come along with them, this tends to enforce his poor eating habits, as he’s constantly bombarded with commercials that tell him to consume! Consume! Consume!

Bob starts to get physically and mentally sick, so he goes to the doctor.  The doctor, having been educated in a system that is controlled by big pharma prescribes (sells) bob some medication to make him all better.   The medication causes more problems, that require more pills to fix the side effects.  Bob gets sicker and sicker, to the point where he can no longer work, or afford to pay his premiums.  Bob goes bankrupt, while the industries that effected him profit from his illness.   Profit and money is what unites these industries.   Profit and money is the problem.   It can be the solution too.

I think one thing that stands out to me is that while these corrupt companies and politicians have been busy forming business relationships that are beneficial to them, connections and webs that help them increase and share profits; the rest of us have been isolating ourselves, and ignoring the world with the media they feed us.

I think once we start to re-create our webs and communities, we’ll also increase our strength, there’s strength in community.  The thing is, there are WAY more of us, and if we form our own webs and communities and such, we can really take our power back.  We can share the information that’s out there, not just the negatives but more importantly the positives, the solutions.

Take money for example.  Sure they might have a ton of it, but they are so controlled by their lust for it that it rules them, totally and completely.  They might not listen to our voices but you can be damn well sure they’re going to be paying attention to their profits.  Hit them where it hurts, their bank accounts.  There’s an easy way to do that, we opt out of this system they have created, and we start to create our own webs and communities.

We don’t have to isolate ourselves and  tune into the TV and let ourselves be brainwashed by advertising and propaganda.  We don’t have to buy and eat the processed pseudo-food that makes us ill.  We can choose to grow our own organic food, and prepare our own meals.  In doing this we empower ourselves and we improve our health, we also build communities and relationships.  We share what we are doing with other people so they can see it’s really pretty easy and it feels amazing.  We also support the people and companies who are working to do good things for the world.

At that point there is no longer a need for prescription drugs and medications, people will heal themselves through eating real food, having real relationships with people instead of fictional characters on TV.   We starve out the industries and companies who are destroying us and the planet, and more importantly in doing these things we empower ourselves. .  

Empower a person and that person can start to look at the world from a regenerative point of view.  We can start looking at other problems, and see the solutions that exist within them.  Regenerative design does just that, I’m super excited about it.  With regenerative design, you can look at all manner of problems, and turn them into solutions!

For instance, instead of designing cars with low to no carbon emissions, why not design cars that filter the air as you drive them?   Or, why not design buildings that not only use water and plumbing, but also clean our water?  Why not set all homes up to not only harvest renewable energy, but store it.  Another one is why not adapt agricultural practices that not only increase yields, but also repair the earth in the process, instead of polluting it?  These are just a few examples, there are many more out there, and many more that haven’t been thought of yet.  Empower people and they can tap into their creativity and do a whole world of good.

I know I tend to go on and on about permaculture ideas, but the reason why is because I find it so damn empowering!   It lets me see solutions to things I thought were to big for me to do anything about, it also makes me realize that I’m a part of the solution.  That’s why I dig it. 😉

Cool stuff! Replace harsh chemicals with these tried and true alternatives.

When you go to the grocery store, you can be overwhelmed by all the brightly packaged products, vying for your dollars.  They all claim to be the best and can cost a fortune, what’s worse, is that many of the products contain harmful chemicals that can really wreck your world.  Let’s keep it simple.  Here are 4 tried and true products you can use cheaply and safely, that you might have at home already, saving you a trip to the store.

#1 Castile Soap.  I love this stuff.  With one soap, you can eliminate virtually all of your common household cleaning products.  I’ve been using Dr. Bronner’s hemp/rose scented soap lately. I use it for cleaning my house and cleaning me.  I love that I can clean my counters with it and not feel like I have to wear a gas mask.  One note to keep in mind when using Castile soap, sometimes it can leave a bit of a film.  The two main places I’ve noticed this were washing my dishes, and washing my hair.   If the film bugs you, (as it does me) you can use a rinse made with water and apple cider vinegar(ACV).   (I use about 1/2 cup ACV to a quart water)

Just don’t mix castile soap with ACV, the ACV dissolves the binding agent in the soap leaving you with a weird curdled concoction with no cleaning power.  1st soap, then ACV.    Below is a link to 12 great uses for castile soap.

#2 Apple Cider Vinegar

I’ve used it as a hair rinse and it works great.  ACV has wonderful clarifying properties and I can attest to them.  I had a problem with dandruff and dry skin, and the ACV/Dr. Bronner’s combination leaves my scalp feeling WONDERFUL.  It also makes your hair shiny and smooth.  (You wouldn’t know it from my picture on the left.  I had just taken out my dreads and thought it was funny that I looked like a DBZ character.  Kamayamaya!)  ACV is another great multi-purpose natural product.  Like castile soap, you can use it on you, and your home.

Here’s a link to a website with 131 uses for vinegar.
#3 Baking Soda

Baking Soda is another product I’ve used to clarify my hair and it works really well.  I make a paste out of it put it in my hair and let it soak for a few minutes and then rinse with ACV.  It can be used for cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene.  Baking soda works great as a deodorizer, I put a box in the fridge and it helps absorb funky odors.  It’s also handy to sprinkle in the cat box.

#4 Lemon Juice.

I’m most familiar with using lemon juice to beat colds.  I add a little honey and lemon to my tea, the honey helps sooth sore throats, the lemon helps cut the gunk and mucus that can come with a cold.  Lemon also has antibacterial properties, which might be part of why it works so well.  I’ve also found lemon to be an effective mask for your face, take a fresh lemon peel, put about a teaspoon of honey on it and rub it on your face.  Leave it there for 5 minutes and your face feels soft and awesome.