In keeping with the new year, planning and the general time that I spend musing over life at this time of year, I felt the need to document my thoughts with regards to one of the over arching themes that I keep coming back to in my pondering.
Ultimately, and hopefully in the not to distant future, I hope that we could live in such a way that rather than just being ‘eco’ or ‘low waste’ we could instead aim to be regenerative. I’m aware the concept may be either unfamiliar or even overly vague, so let me delve deeper.
I came across the concept when browsing social media, looking for ideas and inspiration for the lifestyle I’d like to create for us over the next few years. In doing so I found the hashtag #regenerativeliving, and with it a myriad of inspiration. Up until now I’d just been looking to reduce my impact to zero, but hadn’t considered, perhaps naively, that it is possible to go one step further and actually regenerate the environment around us. Now I’ve considered it I’m baffled that it hadn’t occurred to me before.
What particularly interested me was this concept as applied to small holdings. I’ve been toying with the idea of a small holding for a while. It is something that needs more thought, and isn’t a fixed goal for us as yet, but definitely one of the things I’m mulling over, slowly and deliberately. I saw a few posts that were directed at an answer to ‘Veganuary’, the challenge to go vegan for a month as your new year resolution. In and of itself I’m sure those who take part (I have not) are doing so with excellent base line motivation. But what I, and I’m sure many others, hadn’t considered was the potential negative impact. The food miles of the ‘millennial favourite’ avocados for instagram worthy dinners, or indeed the negative social impact of the avocado industry. The impact on bees whose hives are uplifted and flown thousands of miles so they can be used to pollinate the almond harvests to only be killed by injudicious use of pesticides, just so we can swap to almond milk. The deforestation in the amazon to make way for mass produced soy for milk and tofu, destroying habitat and biodiversity. And I’m sure these are just the tip of the iceberg.
What if, instead, we chose to be more deliberate? Shop locally. Buy and savour locally produced organic meat, in small quantities. On farms and smallholdings which take their biodiversity, soil health, animal health and food miles into account. Wouldn’t this be a more sustainable, more planet friendly, and healthier way? Both for our physical and emotional wellbeing?
As well as as a consumer, I feel this is something I can apply to my current life and future plans with regards to producing my own. I chose the heading image to represent what I see as a beautiful garden with regerative potential. A potager, teeming with biodiversity (I took the photo this past summer in Easton Gardens and have never seen so many butterflies and bees), fitting into the landscape, allowing for food to be available at our doorstep. What could be better that food freshly dug going straight into our dinners? Good for the heart in more ways than one.
So I’m going to take this concept of regenerative living and roll with it as my theme for 2020, and perhaps also for the decade, we’ll see. Really it should be a permanent frame of mind from now on, because if we are not regenerating, then we are degenerating. I want to look for ways to improve the environment around me, and consider that with every action I take. Clearly I am not perfect, I will not and can not get this right at first pass. But if it is ticking away in the back of my mind I’m hoping it will colour my decisions from here on out, and every little step will hopefully be another step in the right direction.
Here’s to regenerative living! Do you have plans to put back in more than you take out of life? What ideas do you plan to put into place? Lets have a conversation!
Until next time, take care