This is a favourite permaculture principle of ours, as it encourages resourcefulness and creativity whilst minimising waste that goes to landfill. The purpose is to engage a shift of thinking from active consumer to thoughtful producer. It involves us actively taking responsibility for the amount of waste that we generate, by making changes to how we view unnecessary purchasing and packaging habits.
Can we engage children in developing agency in waste reduction?Children grasp the concept and are active participants in promoting waste minimisation. They can achieve this through composting, worm farming, rethinking, reducing, reusing and recycling. Role models that support children’s learning and participation, will foster these skills to evolve as a way of life.
Starting early is the keySorting waste is an easy skill for children to manage! Early mathematical skills of sorting and classifying are fostered when children are involved. Combining signage to represent these concepts will enhance pre-reading and writing development.
What makes this even more interesting for children is the addition of animals, such as worms and chickens. Both these animals contribute to waste minimisation as they munch their way through our food scraps and garden waste. Their work provides us with nutrient rich organic matter called humus, for our garden soil to promote healthy plant growth. When these plants are eaten the nutrients are absorbed to promote the health of all living things – including us. Food scraps that go to landfill produce harmful methane gas and leachate that are pollutants to our environment, creating negative energy and intolerable smells.
Starting small and embedding achievable practices, such as recycling waste by composting or worm farming will make a difference, leading to further awareness and implementation of other waste reduction strategies. If we take the lead we will inspire others to do the same.
Positive energy is infectious particularly when children are involved!