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8 forms of capital active hope agroecology agroforestry alder buckthorn Amazon anxiety apples arthritis back yard beans Bec Hellouin beech tree bees beneficial berries biochar biodigester biodiversity blackberries blackthorn book review brain brassica cage budget build building campesino capital card deck Celtic festivals change changes chemical-free chickens christmas circular clay pot cleansers cleansing milks climate change climate emergency climate grief climate solutions climbers climbing cob comfrey community compost compost teas connection consciousness conservation container cooking coppice coppicing cordial cosmology courgettes crafts crisis crop protection Cross Quarter Festival cultural emergence culture cut flowers cycles degraded design diary diversity DIY do it yourself dryland earth care Earth's energy ecoculture economics ecopoetry ecosystem ecosystem restoration camps ecosystems edges edible edible flowers education efficiency elder elderflowers elements elixir energy equinox ethics face mask fair shares Fairtrade farming feedback feminine ferns figs film firewood floristry flower essence flower garden flowers food food forest food garden footbath forage foraging forest garden forest gardening forests fruit fruit leather fruit trees fungi future future care gardening garlic gift economy gin Give Nature a voice Glennie Kindred global poverty glut grapes greenhouse grief groundcover grow grow food grow your own growing guilds habitat habits handcream harvest harvests hawthorn hazel hazelnut healing shrubs healing trees health healthy soil heart health hedgerow hedging herbal herbal remedies herbal teas herbalist herbs holistic holistic planned grazing home homeless homemade wine homestead hope Hugelkultur humanure hummus hungry gap IBC tanks Imbolc incense increase yields Indigenous inexpensive influence inspiration International Womens Day jam keyline kitchen garden lacto-fermentation Lammas land landscape landscapes life lifestyle limeflowers livelihood livestock living labs logs Looby Macnamara lotion low cost low-impact Lush Spring Prize macerations Manda Scott Mangwende Orphan Care Trust market garden market gardening marmalade marshmallow mass heater meadowsweet medicinal microbes microfarm Midwest Permaculture mimic mindset mitigation money Morag Gamble moringa Mother Earth mulch multifunctional mushrooms native plants natural natural building natural fertiliser natural skincare natural swimming pool nature nature connection nitrogen no dig no waste no-dig novel November nutrition nuts observe oca October off-grid oil cleansing orchard orchards organic organic flowers organic gardening outdoor shower oven oxymel oyster pallets pasture-fed patterns people people care peoplecare perennials permaculture permaculture design permaculture magazine award permaculutre permayouth pesto pests philippines pine tree pips pizza oven plant profile plants pollinators pollution polyculture polycultures preserving principles propagating protection pruning prunings psycho-spiritual awareness psychospiritual transformation rainforest rainwater raspberries recipe recipes reduce reed beds regeneration regenerative regenerative agriculture relative location relative matter remedy renewable renewable energy resources restoration reuse revolution rhythms rootstock rootstocks roundhouse roundwood runner beans sage salad salads salve Samhain schools Scotland scotts pine seasonal seasons seeds selfcare Sepp Holzer september septic tanks sewage treatment shade shamanism sheet mulching shrubs skincare sloes slugs small solutions small-scale smallholding social justice soil health solar solutions sowing spiritual spring squash stacking functions stock-free straw straw bale summer sustainable Sweet Bay syntropic systems temperate terraces thistles thrutopia timber timber framing tincture tonic toolkit tools transformation trees upcycle urban urban gardening veg garden vegan veganic vermicomposting vinegar walnuts waste water water cleansing watering weeds wellbeing wetland wild edges wild food wild garlic wildflower wildlife wine recipes wings winter winter greens winter salads wood stove woodburner woodland woodland management woodlands worms yarrow year round year-round food yield young people youth zai pits zone 00 zoning

Topics

8 forms of capital active hope agroecology agroforestry alder buckthorn Amazon anxiety apples arthritis back yard beans Bec Hellouin beech tree bees beneficial berries biochar biodigester biodiversity blackberries blackthorn book review brain brassica cage budget build building campesino capital card deck Celtic festivals change changes chemical-free chickens christmas circular clay pot cleansers cleansing milks climate change climate emergency climate grief climate solutions climbers climbing cob comfrey community compost compost teas connection consciousness conservation container cooking coppice coppicing cordial cosmology courgettes crafts crisis crop protection Cross Quarter Festival cultural emergence culture cut flowers cycles degraded design diary diversity DIY do it yourself dryland earth care Earth's energy ecoculture economics ecopoetry ecosystem ecosystem restoration camps ecosystems edges edible edible flowers education efficiency elder elderflowers elements elixir energy equinox ethics face mask fair shares Fairtrade farming feedback feminine ferns figs film firewood floristry flower essence flower garden flowers food food forest food garden footbath forage foraging forest garden forest gardening forests fruit fruit leather fruit trees fungi future future care gardening garlic gift economy gin Give Nature a voice Glennie Kindred global poverty glut grapes greenhouse grief groundcover grow grow food grow your own growing guilds habitat habits handcream harvest harvests hawthorn hazel hazelnut healing shrubs healing trees health healthy soil heart health hedgerow hedging herbal herbal remedies herbal teas herbalist herbs holistic holistic planned grazing home homeless homemade wine homestead hope Hugelkultur humanure hummus hungry gap IBC tanks Imbolc incense increase yields Indigenous inexpensive influence inspiration International Womens Day jam keyline kitchen garden lacto-fermentation Lammas land landscape landscapes life lifestyle limeflowers livelihood livestock living labs logs Looby Macnamara lotion low cost low-impact Lush Spring Prize macerations Manda Scott Mangwende Orphan Care Trust market garden market gardening marmalade marshmallow mass heater meadowsweet medicinal microbes microfarm Midwest Permaculture mimic mindset mitigation money Morag Gamble moringa Mother Earth mulch multifunctional mushrooms native plants natural natural building natural fertiliser natural skincare natural swimming pool nature nature connection nitrogen no dig no waste no-dig novel November nutrition nuts observe oca October off-grid oil cleansing orchard orchards organic organic flowers organic gardening outdoor shower oven oxymel oyster pallets pasture-fed patterns people people care peoplecare perennials permaculture permaculture design permaculture magazine award permaculutre permayouth pesto pests philippines pine tree pips pizza oven plant profile plants pollinators pollution polyculture polycultures preserving principles propagating protection pruning prunings psycho-spiritual awareness psychospiritual transformation rainforest rainwater raspberries recipe recipes reduce reed beds regeneration regenerative regenerative agriculture relative location relative matter remedy renewable renewable energy resources restoration reuse revolution rhythms rootstock rootstocks roundhouse roundwood runner beans sage salad salads salve Samhain schools Scotland scotts pine seasonal seasons seeds selfcare Sepp Holzer september septic tanks sewage treatment shade shamanism sheet mulching shrubs skincare sloes slugs small solutions small-scale smallholding social justice soil health solar solutions sowing spiritual spring squash stacking functions stock-free straw straw bale summer sustainable Sweet Bay syntropic systems temperate terraces thistles thrutopia timber timber framing tincture tonic toolkit tools transformation trees upcycle urban urban gardening veg garden vegan veganic vermicomposting vinegar walnuts waste water water cleansing watering weeds wellbeing wetland wild edges wild food wild garlic wildflower wildlife wine recipes wings winter winter greens winter salads wood stove woodburner woodland woodland management woodlands worms yarrow year round year-round food yield young people youth zai pits zone 00 zoning

Designing Your Life with Permaculture: 2. Catch and Store Energy

Part 2 of our series about using permaculture design exploring the principle of 'Catch and Store Energy' to create the life you want to lead so you can be the change you want to see in the world.

Everything in the natural world is an expert at storing energy… except us.

Animals are constantly conserving energy and ensuring they are fit and healthy for when they need to use that energy. While we have developed some amazing technologies that help save and reduce energy, we have, at the same time, created technologies that waste enormous amount too. Having a system whereby we are more efficient and less wasteful can create endless benefits to our health, wealth and therefore our quality of lives. The more we are able to reuse and sustain energy the healthier our ecosystem will be and the healthier we will be.

We can learn a lot about energy from the natural world and bring it into many aspects of our lives.

  • Health – If we have health, we have wealth. This is the most important area of our lives that we should focus on. So many of us put our health to one side due to self-imposed time constraints. “I don’t have time to exercise”, “I don’t have time to eat a proper meal” these are excuses we have all used. The better our health the more we are able to do and the more benefit we are to those around us and to the larger system.
  • Fitness – Similar to the health but building upon this even further. If we are able to stay fit and strong then we have an abundance of natural, renewable energy at our fingertips. If you can run 10 miles in one go then you have the ability to travel for free, if you can lift a heavy weight then you have free labour. We should train and maintain our bodies to be able to use them in a number of ways not just for aesthetics. Movement is a key part to every animal’s life. Humans have evolved to be the planet’s greatest movers, we can run, jump, climb, swim, and we are incredibly flexible. The majority of us do not utilise this ability and it is a wasted resource and energy.
  • Finance – While money isn’t necessarily a form of energy it is a way to transfer and trade resources and has become a part of our society we unfortunately cannot ignore. If we look at money as a nutrient we start to treat it slightly differently. A forest or human would not survive long with a nutrient deficiency, yet we happily live for years in debt. How can we create a more sustainable approach to our finances to be prepared for harder times? This doesn’t mean we need to hoard hundreds of thousands in the bank but we should make plans to live within our means rather than in debt.
  • Time – Time is something that no-one can get more of. It might sound a bit somber but the minute we are born our time has started to run out. Wasting our time on things that do not add value to our lives or has a negative impact is a waste of a non-renewable and precious energy. While it is good to say ‘YES’ to opportunities it is also good to remember principle one and ‘Observe’ when we are not making good use of time and learn to say ‘NO’ too.
  • Energy – This a more obvious area to catch and store energy. Looking at our usage of electricity, water, oil and gas and look to reduce this consumption. By doing this it feeds back into helping us conserve our finances by saving money on bills, improve our health by opting to cycle or walk rather than drive and finally living a little more mindfully and simply can be very beneficial for our state of mind. By reducing our use of energy we are also less of a drain on the larger ecosystem of which we are all so reliant. If we work towards giving back to the system more than we take the planet’s ecosystem can thrive.

Lead photo caption: Running and exercise are great ways to store energy for the future.

Further Resources

Watch

What is Permaculture Design?

Books

People and Permaculture
by Looby Macnamara

Permaculture Design
by Aranya

Permaculture Design Companion
by Jasmine Dale

Articles

Designing Your Life with Permaculture: 1. Observe and Interact

Designing Your Life with Permaculture: 3. Obtain a Yield

About the Author

Josh Davis is an outdoor educator and facilitator exploring ways we can learn from the natural world. He offers one on one coaching and consulting to help design your life from permaculture.