Designing out Drudgery

As I considered what lies ahead for our daily routines during what may turn out to be an extended period of ‘social distancing,’ I was struck by the ideas in the following video on permaculture design by Verge Permaculture.

Rules or Guidelines?

The topic links / summary below the video shared the following guidelines. Italics indicate my editorial comments:

  • If you break any of the following four design rules, drudgery results, and drudgery is punishment for ‘stupidity’ (i.e. bad design) — and it’s your fault (so you need to accept responsibility for your choices, and no blaming others).
  • Rule 1: Any need of an element (thing) in your system that the element can’t get itself results in work (i.e. you need food. Growing some fresh food in a garden over several weeks likely saves you time, health, money and effort over going to the store during a pandemic).
  • Rule 2: Any yield of an element in your system that cannot be used by the system, results in pollution (a.k.a waste).
  • Rule 3: Every element should serve multiple functions.
  • Rule 4: Every function is served by multiple elements.
  • In permaculture, an element is a person, plant, animal, or structure. They all have needs and yields.

Permaculture is a great way to practice and understand complex systems, which can be much more resilient concepts for our future. Those principles are at the core of our Regenerative Lifestyles concept and what a Nature Towns community would look like.

How will you adapt?

I got to thinking about how to adapt our lifestyles over the coming weeks and how to reduce the drudgery. How do we keep our kids from becoming bored, frustrated and irritable, when their routines are disrupted and they can’t visit friends? How do we keep ourselves from becoming bored, frustrated and irritable? What choices should we be making now to keep ourselves from drudgery if we are required to continue ‘social distancing’ for several weeks – or even months?

Join the discussion in an upcoming webinar.

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