Updated: Jul 2, 2022
There is no doubt that if the ethics and principles behind more regenerative cultures such as agro-ecology and Permaculture can be adopted more often, it will achieve great results for the planet and humans as a species. However, we have one large obstacle to fix - Our relationship with nature.
Following criticism of myself and observations of my own, I have been seeking clearer answers as to how modern society became so disconnected from nature, how it will continue to be, and what we can do to improve our relationship with nature through encouraging regenerative cultures.
Since the 1950's research suggests a rapid cultural shift in the direction of technology and away from nature. References to nature and the environment have been steadily decreasing in literature, songs and film storylines. Whereas, references to human-made environments have increased. When a dictionary for children replaces words like clover, elf and violet. With words like chatroom, endangered and vandalism; you can see what direction the world is heading. We are disconnected, and becoming more so.
Pelin Kesebir from Center for Healthy Minds says, "These findings are cause for concern, not only because they imply foregone physical and psychological benefits from engagement with nature, but also because cultural products are agents of socialisation that can evoke curiosity, respect, and concern for the natural world. In addition to health and well-being, contact with nature has also been linked to pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours."
A confronting question which I came across, which may have been the inspiration for this article was raised by conservationist Robert Pyle:
"What happens to a species that loses touch with its habitat?"
We may be the only species known that is capable of this type of destruction, polluting ourselves to death with only a minority of the population who are capable of creating change, actually doing so.
This disconnection from nature, allows us to have total disconnection to our actions. One example, Water - the cleanest most precious resource. We suck water up out of an eco system using tonnes of energy and infrastructure, pollute it by whatever means we wish, flush it down the toilet or drain through even larger infrastructure to an energy inefficient "treatment plant". This "treated" water is introduced into sensitive environments with added pollutants such as chloride and pharmaceuticals. We have taken a precious resource and turned it into multiple forms of pollution. This method of sanitation was once the answer to controlling certain diseases, however, now we must learn from our technological advancements and choose sustainably. There are many better options now, and we must utilise them.
However, with regenerative movements like permaculture and agro-ecology the harmony we must achieve may still be within reach. With more and more communities using regenerative practices in every sense of the word. Also with the re-integration of useful landscapes into our living spaces providing food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs. These "alternatives", and these movements are a response to the realisation that the current agricultural, educational and economic systems will not provide the planet with the ecological diversity, food and water security and other vital resources we need long term.
Ways to move forward?
Eat locally and/or grow your own!
Avoid Single use plastics!
Learn to Compost!
Recycle your water! (there are many innovative ways)
Make a Dry toilet! (learn how they work first)
Learn how circular economies work!
Connect with others, spread the word and support each other!
Please comment below to share your thoughts, feelings and solutions!