On Saturday October 26, David attended the 2019 Zero Waste Festival at the St Kilda Town Hall in Melbourne. He sat on a panel with these zero wasters:

From L-R: Kirsty Bishop-Fox (event facilitator), Veronica Shannon, Bianca Cottle, Lauren and Oberon Carter, Nina Taylor, David Holmgren


Here is a short version of what David said on the panel:

I would like to return to the focus of the home that Lauren and Oberon started with. Rather than the details I want to zoom out to show how permaculture gives us the big picture to guide us toward effective and empowering actions.


When we make lunch at home we can easily reuse packaging. When we grow and process food from garden farming we radically reduce food waste, packaging and fuels by compacting food supply logistics (and cut the corporations out of the game). When we deal with a tyre puncture at home we are more likely to patch than trash. When we retrofit our homes to be more resilient for tougher futures, we can take the time to use recycled materials that the building and development industry is dumping in landfill in a mad rush to complete projects before the building bubble bursts. Without the burdens of OH&S red tape and budget deadlines we can save and repurpose rather than discard and refinance for the next round of spend and trash


Once the bubble bursts, retrofitting will be the main game in town. There will be limitless waste, discounted materials and gear to adopt and adapt but making use of this abundance will depend on a slow and steady work pace, skills that rely on the head, hands and heart working together that gives the household and community non-monetary economies an advantage over the debt and fossil fuelled corporate economies that are currently trashing the planet and our children’s futures.  


The most logical and powerful way for any nation, city, neighbourhood or household to reduce waste is for us to spend less time working and consuming in the monetary economy and skill up for spending more time in the household and community non-monetary economies.


My book RetroSuburbia is the biggest publishing and social change project we have ever attempted in the monetary economy and Melliodora Publishing is of course informed and powered by permaculture design principles. However the purpose of this project is to help repower the household and community non-monetary economies, which is how we salvage some value from consumer civilisation that is heading for the dustbin of history. In the process we might just find our own salvation.

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