In order to thrive on one planet, we need to transition toward solutions (to serious problems) that address all of the Big 9 categories below in an integrated way. There are a few folks trying to do just that, including Willie Smits in Borneo and Tamera in Portugal (see this post for more Life Designers).
(1) Shelter/Homes: The Art of Shelter
- Small is beautiful
- We spend 1/3 of our lives in bed. Mattress options? Consider straw.
- Open Building Institute
(2) Water & Food (food is central for civilization)
- Permaculture: designing regenerative, polyculture food forests and integrated animal systems that nurture the soil by increasing organic matter, sequestering carbon, and preventing desertification and erosion
- Keyline Design
- Holistic Management (Allan Savory’s 2013 TED Talk & companion book): grazing animals to reverse and prevent desertification
- Importance of Soil: Role of soil health in sequestering greenhouse gasses (video); importance of microbial activity for organic matter (New Hampshire study). Biochar burn technology.
- Joel Salatin style animal management at Polyface Farm (see his books)
- The importance of fencing: sustainable and inexpensive options include collecting that old brush and forming it into a fence (see this post at permies.com)
- Mushrooms (anything by Paul Stamets at Fungi Perfecti)
- Hunting, Fishing, Tracking, Trapping, Foraging (Wild Edibles)
- Permaculture you-pick orchard by Stefan Sobkowiak (see his great DVD for a packaged system that can be used as a model, a recipe, or an inspiration)
- Forest (and community) Regeneration (Willie Smits)
- Food Preservation & Storage
- Weather stations for your land
(3) Fuel: Heat, Cooking, & Power
- Rocket Stoves & Rocket Mass Heaters (70-90% less wood than wood stoves)
- Wood vs. Natural Gas vs. Rocket Stoves
- Solar: Solar Village at Tamera for sterling engines for water pumping and electricity production and new greenhouse technologies. Paper-thin, printable solar panels ($40 per watt in 1977 to $0.74 per watt in 2013) are now being manufactured.
- Biogas: Biogas is like natural gas but is generated by using kitchen scraps. Here is a kickstarter for a backyard unit that comes with a stove for about $500 total (another example). Here’s an open source version with video instructions for construction. Biogas can be used for cooking in a modfied camp stove or gas stove (primary modification is to allow burner to work with low pressure gas rather than high pressure gas) or for generating electricity using a trifuel generator (good source for videos on biogas; Solar Cities open source organization)
- Alcohol: A renewable fuel that sequesters carbon. Can it power our lives?
- Vegetable Oil
(4) Social Technologies: Solutions require cooperation. Cooperation requires systems (e.g., visions and process) that minimize disagreements, and attract (and train) people who can disagree skillfully
- Top 5 Lessons Learned Living in a Village: A Psychologist’s Perspective
- Who to Invite to the Village
- Skillful Disagreement Through the Use of Intimacy Strategies
- Consensus or not
- A Village in England Decides to Cut Carbon Emissions on their own (NY Times article, 2016)
- Adverse Childhood Events: By correcting problems early in our communities, we can drastically reduce later problems that include: substance abuse, violence, depression, liver and heart disease (NY Times article, 2016).
- A first-hand account of living in co-housing, a type of cooperative community in the United States and elsewhere.
- Human rights
- See Ben Falk’s book for hand tools and more (including a bike)
- See Open Source Ecology for their Global Village Construction Set which includes plans to design and build 50 important machines needed for civilization
- Packboard, Dick Proenneke style (instructions for making your own; article on backpacks)
(6) Medicine (see Ben Falk’s book)
(7) Fiber (see this dialog on permies.com)
(8) Fun & A Little Luxury
- Jean Pain hot tub video from Ben Falk, all while making great soil
(9) Resilience & Security
- Short-term Resilience: Disaster Preparedness
- Food storage
- Water filtering, purification, & storage (making your own Berkey filter); Harvesting rain water.
- Financial Resilience
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