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Elizabeth Waddington

Permaculture and Sustainability Consultancy

Permaculture design, sustainability advice and environmental consultancy for individuals, businesses and organisations.

News and Inspiration

Giving Thanks

I know that many in the United States will be celebrating with family and friends, and I hope that celebrations will go well. Of course, not everyone feels that this holiday is an occasion for celebration. It is important not to be blind to the historical realities behind the polite fictions that are a partContinue reading “Giving Thanks”

Barn Conversion Decisions

We’ve pretty much finished laying the reclaimed flooring in the upstairs of our barn conversion. And this weekend was a time for some crucial decisions. For years now, we have slowly been slogging away – largely on things that will not actually be seen once the build is finished. So far, our decisions have largelyContinue reading “Barn Conversion Decisions”

Taking a Bird’s Eye View

Whether literally enjoying a bird’s eye view with the modern technology of a drone, honing in with online mapping, or simply using the imagination, taking a bird’s eye view of a site can help us see the bigger picture. It can help us to filter out some of the detail that might confuse us whenContinue reading “Taking a Bird’s Eye View”

Never Stop Learning in Life

Whether we are talking about learning more about the natural world or sustainability, or gaining the skills we need to live better, we should never stop learning in life. All too often, we think about education as something which ends when we leave school, college or university. But the life-long pursuit of knowledge, and keepingContinue reading “Never Stop Learning in Life”

Sustainable Christmas Gifts

Though it may be too early to think about Christmas or other mid-winter festivals just yet, my mind turns in November to what I might give to friends and family. The reason that I often start to think about this in November is that I usually make gifts. Of course, planning and making gifts takesContinue reading “Sustainable Christmas Gifts”

Good News on Beavers in Scotland

With all the depressing news at the moment, it is good when we do have something positive to cheer about, and I was delighted to hear the news that the Scottish government has granted Scotland’s first edge-of-range beaver translocation licence to Argaty in Perthshire – an environmentally sensitive farm already home to the award winningContinue reading “Good News on Beavers in Scotland”

Who is Showing True Leadership in the Climate Crisis and Who is Not

While not surprised, I have been disappointed by the showing by many ‘world leaders’ at COP26. Voluntary agreements announced thus far may sometimes seem positive on the surface, but massive loopholes and vague language most definitely remain. The draft of the Glasgow decision text has laid out the next steps nations will take to tackleContinue reading “Who is Showing True Leadership in the Climate Crisis and Who is Not”

Philosophy of Sustainability

As a philosophy graduate, I have a strong interest in the philosophical questions surrounding sustainability and the climate crisis. I did not pursue a path in academia, but I am strongly of the opinion that intellectual thought should not be the preserve of ivory towers. We should ask ourselves the big important questions in ourContinue reading “Philosophy of Sustainability”

Can COP Really Deliver on Climate Finance and Climate Justice?

As discourse on climate finance is taking place at the COP26 conference, mobilising public and private finance is key. Financial services firms have agreed to align $130 trillion with climate goals, and a new financial mechanism of green bonds has been announced… But while energy coalesces around this aspect of tackling the crises we face,Continue reading “Can COP Really Deliver on Climate Finance and Climate Justice?”

Pre-COP 26, NDCs Are Not Enough

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) pre-COP 26 have been updated and, as UNEP’s The Emissions Gap Report 2021: The Heat Is On reveals, these are not enough to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement and keep anthropocentric global warming below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. With COP 26 just a couple of days away, evenContinue reading “Pre-COP 26, NDCs Are Not Enough”

The Run Up To COP26

As the pivotal climate change conference draws closer, Scotland is ramping up to host visitors and dignitaries from all over the world. Though I do not plan to go through to Glasgow for events, I will be keeping a close eye on happenings, and will certainly be checking out plenty of fringe events online. ThereContinue reading “The Run Up To COP26”

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a day celebrating the native peoples of America, has been recognised by the federal government in the US, and this is a day to recognise their contribution and, crucially, to listen to what they have to say as we transition to a more sustainable future. But as well as celebrating, we shouldContinue reading “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”

Our Dumfries and Galloway Trip

We’ve just got back from our wonderful few days away in south western Scotland, in Galloway Forest Park and the surrounding area. We were staying here: And here are a few pictures of highlights of the trip, as we walked, relaxed and, on the last night, enjoyed a campfire under the stars.

Walking Dogs Responsibly

While I am away on a trip with my husband and my dog, we will of course be taking steps to make sure that we walk our dog responsibly. So I thought I would share some sustainable tips today for those who also have dogs, to help them make sure they are not causing anyContinue reading “Walking Dogs Responsibly”

Taking a Sustainable Trip

Today, my husband and I are heading off for a trip from our home here in Fife, Scotland to a different part of Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway (where my family come from on my Dad’s side). We will be staying in a Shepherd’s Hut in a tranquil location close to the dark skies area ofContinue reading “Taking a Sustainable Trip”

Farming Subsidies

A recent UN report, which I wrote about recently in Treehugger has found that almost 90% of the subsidies given to farmers around the globe each year are harmful to people and the planet. Thinking about how we can overhaul current farming subsidies around the world is crucial to creating the future we all wishContinue reading “Farming Subsidies”

Sustainable Gift Ideas

I had my birthday recently, and my husband’s birthday is coming up soon. Today, I’ve been thinking about gifts and thought I would take a moment to explain the types of sustainable gift ideas we choose. First of all, on our household, we won’t usually rush out to the shops. But we do, of course,Continue reading “Sustainable Gift Ideas”

Sustainable Houseplants?

Houseplants can be beneficial in a range of ways – improving the air quality in your home, and helping you feel calmer. But they might not always be quite as sustainable or eco-friendly as you might think. Those who are interested in living in a more sustainable way often begin by thinking about re-greening theirContinue reading “Sustainable Houseplants?”

Sustainable Autumn Activities

Autumn is, in many ways, my favourite season. Even though the weather is turning and the nights are drawing in, I find this one of the most beautiful seasons. I love the changing foliage, the soft, golden light, and the warm tones of late season flowers. Of course, I also love the fruit-filled abundance ofContinue reading “Sustainable Autumn Activities”

Practicing What We Preach

In the run up to COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties, it is more important than ever that we move from paying lip service to sustainability and tackling our climate crisis to real and lasting action. It is very easy for politicians and those in the public eye to say the ‘right things’.Continue reading “Practicing What We Preach”

Building Natural Capital

When you think about how wealthy you are, you might think about bricks and mortar property, possessions, and money in the bank. But it is important to understand that wealth comes also from the natural world around us. Whether on your own property, in your community, or in your broader environment, building natural capital isContinue reading “Building Natural Capital”

Online Internship Opportunity

A slightly different post today – because I am exploring options for next year. This is by way of an introduction to an idea I am considering for early 2022. I run this small business alone, and next year, I am thinking about offering a part-time online internship opportunity for a young person (Aged 18-25)Continue reading “Online Internship Opportunity”

Sustainability: Winning Over Those Reluctant to Change

The biggest challenge in sustainability is not finding alternative solutions. Many of those alternative solutions to our biggest environmental and social challenges already exist. The greatest issue is generating real behavioural change. Working out how to win over those who are reluctant to change is one of the most important problems of our age. InContinue reading “Sustainability: Winning Over Those Reluctant to Change”

Access and Equality

Access to land is one of the key issues of equality. All too often, people live lives divorced from the land, and distant from the natural world. A sustainable future for all involves looking closely at access to land, and thinking about how we can improve matters when it comes to this issue. Issues withContinue reading “Access and Equality”

Case Study: Community Garden

This case study (from last month) is a concept for an existing community garden in north eastern Scotland, which wishes to improve the smaller existing space and expand into an adjacent site. The area shown to the west of the site, with the annual beds, currently has a number of raised beds. This design maximisesContinue reading “Case Study: Community Garden”

Long But Rewarding Day

We’ve only just come in after a very long day working on our barn conversion – making the most of the time we have while I am off work to make progress with tiling in the bathroom. It’s a tricky job – especially as in an old building – nothing is straight! There are noContinue reading “Long But Rewarding Day”

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