Red Shoulder Hawk

Red Shoulder Hawk

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sustainability Sunday - Soap Dispenser

Click the picture to see a larger image.

The Permaculture class is meeting again at the end of the month, so I'll fill in the weekends with things that reference what I'm learning. The class is re-inforcing ideas that I discovered, such as true sustainability comes when you wrap several functions together. It's a case of the parts supporting the whole.

When I have my urban permaculture demonstration project, there will be small interpretive displays scattered about. Here's one for the bathroom. It's of our soap dispenser. How many interconnected functions does this one thing demonstrate?

Ritual/connection to the bigger picture: A family trip to the beach results in a collection of beach glass
Reduce Re-use: A "disposable" dispenser becomes a long-term use item
Restore: Glass is reclaimed for use as a coarse filter to keep soap from clogging the intake tube
Reduce: water is conserved, less soap is used (FAR less soap! I am amazed at how long a bar of soap will last, when mixed with water first!)

And also:
Right livelihood: I'm using my interpretive design skills to promote something I strongly believe in. This project challenged my skills, because the the "starting place" is really the glass collected from the beach, but it's at the bottom of the container. So I had to design a way to talk about it first, without inverting everything.

I really want to develop this demonstration project. I've met several people who are changing their world as renters, which is brilliant. I want to reach a larger population. Everyone I've spoken with who have resources to help, however, has told me they need me to secure a piece of property before they release money and materials for the project.

Buying the house I'm being aimed at is a complete break with the "tradition" of how things are supposed to work, according to both my family and my in-laws. It's an example of being in the flow versus being in the know. Planning is important, but planning when you've only got part of the picture will fail you: and you will never know the whole picture. Being in the flow, and observing how it changes with each new day and each new action, will always result in a rich and rewarding life.

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