Scaling Up Sustainable Solutions

Many of the solutions that have the power to combat our climate crisis are commonly practiced on a small scale in gardens, in smallholdings, on homesteads and small farms. Many of these solutions, involving taking care of the soil and managing water well, for example, will likely already be well known to many with an interest in sustainable solutions.

The problem seems to be scaling up these sustainable solutions to a broader reach – nationally perhaps, or even internationally. Starting small is always a step in the right direction. But to really make a difference and to tackle to immense problem we face, the sustainable solutions already well known to those with an interest in permaculture need to be implemented on a larger scale too.

Would be inventors and entrepreneurs should consider this problem. And we should all be putting more thought into how the solutions commonly implemented on a small scale can go global and penetrate into the industrial food system, and other large scale systems.

While many of the small scale approaches can scale well, some will by necessity need to be updated and refined to meet the demands of the scale of modern humanity and our current systems.

There is a common belief among some (large-scale farmers, for example) that permaculture ideas work well for ‘hobbyists’ but are not practicable on a larger scale. We need to tackle that erroneous belief head-on, and show that permaculture and its ideas really can go global – and work anywhere, and at any scale when designed and implemented correctly.

Permaculture practitioners have a unique outlook, a holistic view, which can help in creating joined up systems in a broader way, as well as just on an individual property. As I was discussing with someone earlier today, biochar is one excellent idea which certainly could have implications and huge benefits on a much larger scale than that at which it is currently implemented.

If you have some new ideas based on permaculture practices and their integration into much larger systems, I would love to hear your thoughts.

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