Category Archives: Sustainablity

Greenshoots

The cycle of life and death in nature.

A storm killed the parent tree last year in Colchester, its children live on.

A storm killed the parent tree last year in Colchester, its children live on.

In October last year I wrote about the loss of my soul mate an oak tree called the “Castle Tree” killed by a UK storm.  I rescued thirteen acorns from around the fallen tree, planting them in pots hoping that I could salvage something from the death of the tree. In the last few days three oak saplings have appeared in the pots.  I have witnessed the cycle of death and life via the “Castle Tree” and its children.

Sustainability and climate change

Consumers are sustainable if offered incentives and benefits.

Offering people a benefit or incentive to become sustainable works.

Offering people a benefit or incentive to become sustainable is the only way to achieve positive outcomes on climate change.

Early morning, and chaos.  Builders are putting up scaffolding around my house, it is chaos.  The cat is sick over my laptop bag.  I escape and wait for the local library to open.  A passerby comments that I had not done my homework last night, I blink a few times, do I look that young? In the library, panic as someone cannot find their bag they left a few minutes before; the library staff had taken the bag thinking it is a bomb.  My cellphone rings, a customer wants me to deal with a last-minute project.  Welcome to my chaos.

Amongst all this chaos the media, politician and activist bombard the consumers with messages of fear and doom of global warming.  Everybody is by now jaded, one more item of fear and manipulation in a tsunami of fear and marketing that daily seeks entrance to overstimulated minds.  Important perhaps to academics in their ivory towers, and rulers who see a good thing in marketing fear, the common person on the street has to live their lives, and their attention is upon mundane activities like paying the rent and getting their kids off to school.  Climate change is at the bottom of the list of concerns of everyday people, along with the rest of the fear-monsters of everyday life.

The scaffolding around my home is part of an interesting social experiment in sustainability.  Solar panels will appear upon the roof of my house, part of a scheme that though underwritten by a loan, will start to make money.  The solar panels offer free electricity during the day, my home only pays for the electricity at night.  My home sells the excess electricity it makes to the electricity companies who run the national power grid.  It is a win-win situation, a reduction in electricity bills, a scheme that will pay for itself, and the government-electricity companies paying the consumer for the electricity their solar panels sell to the electricity grid.

It is no point hoping for change in consumer habits by top-down control and fear marketing.  Offer the consumer a benefit, something that satisfies a need, such as the scheme my house is now involved in, the sustainable activities will drive a change in behavior, thus achieve positive outcomes the advocates of climate change desire.

Sustainable decision making

Small changes have major impacts to an ecosystem.

This tiny UFO on the ground is a rare glowworm.  Nobody knew these glowworms existed in Gosbecks in Colchester until I discovered them by chance.  Glowworms will benefit from street lights being switched off in Colchester, they also prefer long grass, so are impacted by people cutting grass.

This tiny UFO on the ground is a rare glowworm. Nobody knew these glowworms existed in Gosbecks in Colchester until I discovered them by chance. Glowworms will benefit from street lights being switched off in Colchester; they also prefer long grass, so people impact glowworms when they cut the grass.

A report revealed that noise can impact both plants and animals, changing the entire ecosystem they inhabit as a consequence.  My town of Colchester can no longer afford the electricity for street lights, so they turn most of them off at night, which is a boon for wildlife, because artificial lighting impacts their natural cycles; the local rare glowworm population in Colchester will benefit.

Introduce a new cat into a garden and there will be an impact upon the local rodent and bird population, and a knock-on impact upon plants and animals related to the rodent and bird activities.  Even the local cats change due to the new felid addition, changing the behavior as a result, which impacts everything else they interact with.

When much of the agricultural land in the UK is a desolate wasteland thanks to European rules many animals and plants suffer, bees starve.  Ironically the love of the British for their gardens offer a refuge for bees and birds who might otherwise starve in the countryside.  Grave yards, railway and motorway embankments undisturbed by humanity become the new homes of every refugee plant and animal.

I hope that one day my definition for sustainability: “action in harmony with nature,” is universally adopted and then implemented in all decision-making.

Using nature as your friend

You can turn nature to your advantage.

Bees have hidden advantages of providing a natural biological barrier to large animals such as elephants.

Bees have hidden advantages of providing a natural biological barrier to large animals such as elephants.

I now define sustainability as “action in harmony with nature.”  This definition of sustainability I use in forming policy and procedure in running my business.  I attempt to integrate sustainability into the core of my business, and to a certain extent into my life.

I consider that for every challenge a solution is found in nature.  All action can incorporate nature in the solution.  I offer an example of a challenge that farmers face with wild elephants who destroy home, crop and life.  The usual solution against an elephant that is destroying life, employment and home is to shoot it dead.

The sustainable solution is find an answer in nature that allows an elephant its life but protects the farmer from a rampaging elephant.  An article here provides an amazing solution – bees.  A series of fences with bee hives attached protects the farmer from elephants, who not only dislike going near bees but warn their fellows to keep away too.  In addition the hives increase insect-pollinated crops by 30% yield and provide honey for the farmers to sell.  The sustainable solution fits the definition “action in harmony with nature”; it is a win-win solution for everyone.

Acorns to Oak trees

Everything works to its own timing.

Acorns work at their own pace emerging as an oak sapling many months after falling to the ground.

Acorns work at their own pace emerging as an oak sapling many months after falling to the ground.

After a storm brought down a great oak tree last October in Colchester I salvaged thirteen acorns and planted them.  I won’t see anything emerge from these acorns until spring, since they are waiting out the winter before emerging.  Acorns like everything in nature work according to their own clock, they will emerge as oak saplings at their own moment and pace.

Humanity live in a fast paced world, a delusion that the individual can achieve instant gratification of any desire: lose weight, swallow a magic pill; instant fortune, buy a lottery ticket; new expensive gadget, buy it on credit.  Humanity has a foolish opinion contrary to nature that everything desirable can like magic instantly appear, though many corporates promote this delusion with destructive consequences to self, society and the environment.

The individual can learn from the acorn, that everything in reality moves slowly at its own pace:  better to lose weight over time; spend a couple of years achieving prosperity; saving up for a desired gadget.

I patiently wait for the oak saplings to emerge many months from now from the acorns I planted.  My major business investment in a project staggered over many months rather than seeking a loan, a proverbial acorn becoming an oak tree at its own pace.  Human civilisation and this planet would benefit from learning from the cycles of nature, that all has its moment, its own pace, its own cycle.

Enhance your life

Improve the processes of your life to enhance your life.

Like the spider you can weave a web of enhancements to a prosperous life.

Like the spider you can weave a web of enhancements to a prosperous life.

I am in the closing stages of my anti-clutter project that has reduced my belongings by a third. When the individual faces a task like decluttering their life it is like facing a monster the size of the local mountain, better to hit a monster-project in stages, an enhancement each day. My declutter project lasted two months and two weeks, a series of small improvements each day.  I enhanced my life by my daily improvements of eliminating clutter.

The theory

When the individual wakes up each day they do a series of actions such as wash and have breakfast before they begin the day.  These morning actions are often routine, carried out with no thought.  In the mind of the individual each action has a goal, and a desired result.  The morning routine is a process of actions, and the processes of the whole day might be thought of as a system.

The processes and their results converge becoming a sense of the individual’s daily life experience.  In theory most individuals desire a life of prosperity, which is health, happiness and abundance such as abundant friends, food and money.  In addition I consider that prosperity is relative to living a sustainable life, which I define as doing action in harmony with nature, thus living in a house built on a flood plain might undermine prosperity as it conflicts with nature that will cause floods that damage the home.  An action such as exercise is in harmony with nature for the body loves motion.

The practice

If the individual considers their life experience is relative to the system of processes and the results of their processes, and that prosperity is the desirable outcome of daily activity, then the individual can map out every process of their life, the goals and the results of their daily actions.  If for example the individual is overweight, then the individual can map out the processes that contribute to the weight problem, and the individual can modify, add to, or delete to the processes to change the result to a healthier weight.

Consider that each new major change in life is like climbing a mountain, thus approach the project with a series of small enhancements each day, a mountain journey broken down into steps.  The human mind and body dislikes major change, preferring small changes.  The Japanese concept of Kaizen, which in its modern context means continuous improvement, is a good approach to all the processes of life.

Everything in nature are in a state of becoming, now, in the present.  For individual prosperity, approaching each moment of becoming in daily life with a series of continuous improvements is better than a life of unchanging stagnation.

The curse of inertia

Inertia, is a paralysis like a car with a flat battery.

Rainbows exist because of the dynamic of rain and sunlight in motion.

Rainbows exist because of the dynamic of rain and sunlight in motion.

I run through the crowded street in the rain.  I experience natures motion in the street, people in motion, the motion in the changing unpredictable British weather, as clouds race by releasing their life-giving waters upon the earth.  Life is motion, stagnation is death.

I juggle two words to describe the energy states of people, groups and situations I encounter in my daily life.  I say of the street I pass through that it has dynamic, there is life in the people who trade and socialise in this street.  An internet forum I occasionally visit with 6,000 members is like a graveyard of non-activity, I say the forum suffers the curse of inertia.

Like a car with a flat battery, the curse of inertia is the state of being where no energy is available in a system for anything to move, work or change.  A stagnating paralysis falls upon everything cursed with inertia like a black suffocating fog, in which nothing grows, moves, changes or lives.  The curse of inertia shrouds too many groups, individuals or communities I encounter, it troubles me, it frustrates me.  A group in Colchester founded to promote the town as a visitor destination, a talking shop, ideas die like a lit match in a bucket of water.  A scout group as a kid which could not attract members, let alone leaders.  The internet forum of thousands of registered members, where nobody participate.  The inertia of politicians causing an US government to shut down.

Nature loves motion, death loves inertia.

Reconnect to nature

All solutions begin with reconnection with nature.

The solution to human problems is reconnection to nature.  Nature is all around us waiting to be discovered.

The solution to human problems is reconnection to nature. Nature is all around us waiting discovery.

Pick up any newspaper, you will read depressing news of human-created problems from petty crime to nations at war.  These human problems are symptoms of a disease, which is disconnection from nature.  I often clear litter from my local nature park, but all I am doing is addressing a symptom of the sickness, as by next morning people have thrown more litter upon the ground in the park.

The common cold offers a range of symptoms, you know a blocked nose is a symptom, you may treat the symptom for relief, but the culprit behind the symptom is the virus, which continues to challenge the sufferer.  Until you kill the virus, the symptoms will remain.

I recognise that until humanity reconnects to nature, there will be no relief to the symptoms of human suffering.  Each day people write tens of thousands of blog posts on WordPress protesting about one or other symptom, but few seem aware of the disease behind all these symptoms, which is disconnection from nature.  No ruler, charity or movement can address the problems of humanity and this planet until people reconnect with nature.  Unless I see efforts that include reconnection to nature in the solution, I dismiss any offered solutions as doomed to failure.

A new blog focus

At the second anniversary for Liberated Way, a focus on prosperity through sustainability.

Only by being sustainable will humanity enjoy prosperity.

Only by being sustainable will humanity enjoy prosperity.

This blog recently marked its second anniversary.  Over the two years of writing on this blog I feel thrilled with my association with over 1000 WordPress bloggers who have helped make this blog what it is.  I have benefited from reading fellow blogger posts, and I strive to continue to evolve this Liberated Way to stay relevant to my personal outlooks and that of my readers.

Quality over Quantity

Formerly I have attempted one post a day, but in doing so I struggle to maintain my quality.  Creativity flows of its own accord, never forced, thus it is better for me to let creativity dictate when I write, since if I force my writing the quality and impact of my writing suffers.  I have been increasingly dependent upon nature to inspire me, and so I write at the pace that nature dictates.  My posts will most likely be every few days, unless I have a creative rush and you will see one-post-a-day cycles.

My Three Influences

For this blog I have three main influences.  The first is nature, which through my active day-to-day interactions provides me with the bulk of inspiration.  The second are the natural philosophers of the past: the individuals such as Heraclitus, Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci; or the animistic people, such as the Celts, Basque and Australian Aborigines.  The natural philosophers, like I, build their philosophy on what they observe, experience and demonstrate in nature.  Finally, human psychology is my third influence, the human mind has developed under natures influence, and provides insights in why we act the way we do.

My Focus

I am going to sharpen the focus of this blog upon prosperity through sustainability, using as my inspiration nature, natural philosophy and human psychology.  Prosperity is happiness, health and abundance.  My new definition for sustainability is action in harmony with nature; if we act against nature I consider the opposite of prosperity will result: ruin; despair; poverty.  Regardless of anything else if we fail to connect with nature our doom is self-destruction.

Foraging free food

Try and forage for free natural food.

I found this large puffball fungus in Colchester which are often only found by chance.

I found this large puffball fungus in Colchester, which are often only found by chance.

Free, healthy and natural, Autumn presents food in abundance for those who forage.  This morning I ate blackberries off the bush, apples straight from the tree, field mushrooms fresh from the ground and grapes from the vine.  Autumn in the UK provides a feast of fruit, nuts, fungi, berries and vegetables which with a little knowledge anyone can enjoy.

The world moves slowly towards a global food crisis, a global winter of famine is advancing just as winter starts to embrace the land of Britain in its cold hungry clutches.  I see in gardens in Colchester fruit left to waste, to fall off tree or bush ignored by humanity.  It appears humanity is blind to what is in front of their nose, free healthy food if only they could see it.

How crazy that people prefer over-priced blackberries in retail stores, treated with chemicals, stored in ways that encourage growth of toxic fungi or bacteria: £2.00 for a plastic box in Tesco but free and waiting for picking off the bush in Hilly Fields.

This morning I discovered a fungus called a giant puffball (see photo), finding a puffball is down to chance, so I struck lucky today.  Tonight and tomorrow I will be in nature learning to cook in the wild using a puffball as one of my ingredients.

At Colchester library I am learning more about fungi, working out the edible from the poisonous fungi.  I may get adventurous and try a Parasol mushroom that I saw growing abundantly in a local nature park.  I am also looking at grasses from which I will make bread from.

Foraging free food is fun, and with knowledge a safe, healthy alternative to the processed food sold in retail stores.