Produce no waste.
Lawns in America consume more land area, water, pesticides, and fertilizers than any commercial crop. After investing all these resources in making the grass grow, the average American then spends 25 hours a year cutting it – in effect, harvesting. And what do we do with all this harvested material? We put it in the garbage.
This process is 100% waste. Permaculture practitioners do it differently.
They use free energy sources, like sunlight. They capture and store free forms of water, like rain and snow. They recycle yard waste and food scraps into compost. Everything is kept on site, and nothing is wasted.
This is how nature does it: every “waste product” becomes a resource for some other process. Because nothing sits around unused, we don’t find ourselves drowning in animal droppings or dead plants. Instead, we struggle to figure out what to do with fossil fuel emissions and disposable plastic: unnatural forms of waste that can’t get reabsorbed into the system.
By relying on natural materials and natural processes, and by bringing together processes whose wastes become each other’s inputs, we can consume less and waste almost nothing.