In my last post, I talked about the importance of looking at the positive. On that note, I sat down and tried to scribble in my notebook as many solutions for implementing a sustainable human society as I could. These are solutions that have already been invented, are being practised or researched, and which I feel have some place in a positive future. Notice the sheer diversity in solutions to single problems – for example at the beginning of the list there are many solutions for sustainable and ethical food production. I think it is incredibly important that we employ a diverse array of solutions for every one issue – just as in wild nature biodiversity makes an ecosystem more resilient, the same is true of our own socio-eco systems. No one tool is sufficient, we must go at things from all angles. With international and national legislation, community projects, green business endeavours, family habits and personal values ALL shifting together.
So here’s the list I came up with. Naturally, it’s not exhaustive.
Permaculture, Transition Towns, community gardens and orchards, community supported agriculture schemes, allotments, productive gardens, small holdings, organic farming, pollytunnels, free-range, localisation, urban trees and green spaces, gorilla gardening, green roofs and roof farms, window-box gardening, hydroponics, vertical farms, veg box schemes, farmer’s markets, town markets, independent shops, forest gardens, edible landscapes, plant-based diets, WOOFing, home preserving, seed-saving, seed swaps, hedge-laying, nature reserves, conservation, habitat-restoration, protected sites and species, biodiversity indicators, ecologists, nature-stewards, re-forestation, coppicing, sustainable woodland management, FSC, natural materials, natural paints, dyes and inks, green chemistry, industrial ecology, recycling, re-using, upcycling, cradle-to-cradle design, replaceable parts, modular design, extended producer responsibility, made-to-last, high energy efficiency, smart metres and grids, localised energy production, off-shore wind farms, wind farms, domestic solar panels, sun farms, hydro-electric power, tidal power, wave power, geothermal heating, efficient wood stoves, passive-houses, strawbale building, cob building, low impact dwellings, eco-houses, eco-villages, eco-cities, composting toilets, community composting, rainwater harvesting and use, reed-bed water purification systems, carbon sequestration, landfill methane collection, hydrogen cars, electric cars, car-share clubs, rentable cars, high-speed rail networks, waste-oil fuels, cheaper buses, internet-conferencing, boat and ship travel, staycations, community volunteering, apprenticeships, internships, place-based learning, holistic education, home education, free education, alternative schools, sustainability literacy, The Great Reskilling, sustainability education, life-long learning, Permaculture design courses, community teaching, Centre of Alternative Technology, ecological research, ethics-based science, natural law, international summits and conferences, international legislation, The Earth Charter, the Green Party, NGOs, true democracy, transparency in government, transparency in business, green businesses, community enterprise, social enterprise, pollution taxes, shorter work-weeks, carbon rationing, litter-picking, local currencies, time-share groups, LETS, Freeconomy, resource-based economy, happiness-based economy, gifting, pass-it-on, ethical banking and investment, credit unions, co-operatives, Fair Trade, international aid for sustainable development, positive media, truthful media, peaceful protests, activism, animal rights, human rights, eco-fashion, swishing, make-do-and-mend, hand-made clothes, slow-fashion, upcycled fashion, organic fibres, ethical production, natural beauty, herbalism, ayurveda, meditation, tai chi, yoga, nature-spirituality, self-awareness, World Cafes, Open Space technology, political art, petitions, campaigning, celebrating.
And that’s just stuff we’ve already come up with! There’s so much scope for innovation in the near future that these solutions are probably just the tip of the iceberg.
Let’s be inspired.