Elevate Difference

Permaculture Magazine (No. 60 Summer 2009)

Edited by Maddy Harland

Permaculture Magazine seemed like an interesting concept that you don’t hear about in too much detail. I hate the ‘Go Green!’ trend and was interested in learning actual tips on sustainable living. On this front, the magazine was definitely able to deliver.

In this issue, I learned (theoretically) how to build an outdoor wood fire oven, how to care for chickens, tips for inexpensive and green day trips out with the family, and DIY recipes for beauty products, among other things. In addition to teaching, Permaculture Magazine also had stories from real people trying to minimize their carbon footprint by moving to sustainable farms, working on allotment gardens, and renovating old houses into more environmentally friendly ones.

This was all very interesting and inspiring. After reading this issue, I wanted to move out of my city, get a farm, build a wood oven so I can try the delicious looking pizza recipe, and live in a cute, renovated house in the countryside. However, after thinking about this for a minute, I realized that while these are all really neat ideas, they aren’t exactly practical for me, nor, I suspect, are they for a good majority of the population.

Permaculture is printed in the United Kingdom, and maybe they have more countryside and resources available there, but even though I’m from a more rural part of the United States originally, I don’t feel I could implement many of the ideas covered here. Many of the ideas require lots of land, resources, time, hard work, and research. Most of them require a hefty dose of capital to start up, even though they should save you money in the long run.

In the end, the only real things I could do after reading this magazine was to make the beauty products and take some advice from the green day trip outings section. The plus side is that all the beauty recipes are vegan. I did enjoy this issue; however, it seems to only cater to a very small, elite group so unfortunately it’s not for everyone.

Written by: Jen Klee, September 3rd 2009

permaculture is by no means an "ELITE" trend... GOOGLE IT!! this movement is fast growing, and applied across a grand DIVERSITY of countries, peoples, classes, etc. It is, in fact, a recovering of indigenous wisdom - a meeting of old and new. Many countries have centers or institutes, especially aimed to address poverty. Americans might have highways and biways to work around, but we CERTAINLY have the resources to "GO GREEN." The author's apathy - IMHO - mimics the attitude of the "green consumer" who is really too lazy to live in the present and notice the DRASTIC changes we need to begin making... we are creative, intelligent beings. We can work with what we've got, just like the rest of the world. thanks.

Hi Anonymous,

You're absolutely right about my problems with the going green trend. I dislike how its a trend, a fad and that people aren't giving much thought in their original actions other than their 'trendy' ones. I feel like while its good to make some small changes, they're not thinking of the actual changes they can make rather than just following what they're told. I also hate the destructive trends this spreads in the name of "saving" the planet, like the proliferation of plastic water bottle preference. You're purchasing water along with creating more waste with the plastic bottles! Counter productive!

Interesting review! I'm wondering what you mean when you say you hate the "go green" trend. Do you mean the fuss and fad-ness of it, or the goals of the movement itself? Sometimes fad-ness and hype is the best way to inject a good idea into mass culture...