Permaculture and meeting the mark with Zero Waste.

person digging on soil using garden shovel
Photo by Lisa Fotios on

It seems new doors have been opening for me or I need to visit the city more. I have been new to such things as ecstatic dance, Ayurveda, and the zero waste market although I have always been concerned about recycling. I have some excellent news. As some of you may know, I have been helping a friend out with her Zero Waste kickstarter.  The goal was to expand from a warehouse location and get a new storefront so that Salt Lake City could have its first zero waste market. I am SO PROUD to say the kickstarter has been a success and it was a grand celebration.

The final hurrah took place on the west side of  Salt Lake City in a modest industrial complex that had the words SQUARE KITCHEN painted across it. The block the building rests on is otherwise known as “Welfare Square” because this is where the mormons have kept their grain stores and concentrate their goodwill. There’s also a peculiar looking copper pyramid down the road that one of my farmer’s market clients told me is a place for mummifying cats. This is true. I’ve confirmed this. This part of town is also home to another historic industrial building that transforms into the The Fear Factory every year for Halloween. Yes, it’s the peculiar side of town. I may have just thrown in a little creepy because I’m getting excited for Halloween.

So, last week the oversize garage doors to Square Kitchen were lifted and the Marmalade coffee truck had arrived. There was an art auction and Shake Your Peace was in the house. There was a wide array of  chia puddings, chocolates, empanadas and sangria punch. Originally there were plans to have a falafel food truck but it broke down on the highway. This is when the empanada makers stepped in to save the day.

Shake Your Peace sang a wondrously irreverent, celebratory epic song about the Monkey Wrench Gang that was a big fat sayonara to Glen Canyon Damn and a hallelujah of an awakening for the desert. The music had a Madagascar feel to it minced with some cowboy poetry. Then Shake Your Peace sang an epic verse about permaculture and agriculture.

Permaculture eh? I had to find out more about this permaculture because it had been on my radar since I had been receiving recent social media requests inviting me to permaculture events and meet ups. Another concept in which I was familiar but felt needed further exploration.

Just as we were all feeling the love, my friend Jamaica announced that they had tallied the numbers and that we were OVER for the kickstarter and that Salt Lake City would have its first official zero waste market. There was whooping and hollering, and whistle blowing. There was an impassioned speech about rethinking plastics, NO MORE, and being on the forefront of helping to reduce plastics. My daughter Kira and her boyfriend Lucas were with me. As a mom, I was glad they came. It was a serendipitous moment.

I thought about the children. A group of young children all under the age of eight who had gathered recyclables into bags that filled an entire car and donated to the cause of reducing plastic. Zero Waste Warriors right here! Of course our children are invested in the future of the planet!

My thoughts on reaching the mark were that it could not have happened for a better cause or for a better person. Sadly, my friend had a son whose homemade skateboard was stolen from the event, but as karma would have it the thief called the next day and said that they could see her son had put a lot of work into his board and they felt guilty for taking it. The skateboard was restored to its rightful owner. This is unheard of for thieves. There was something truly enchanted about the evening my friends.

I had been faltering under the rise of Trumpism. I recognize this now. Getting involved in community events at a grassroots level has restored my faith. I’m on the hook now. This is my coping mechanism. Powerlessness is no longer in my vocabulary. I remember thinking WHAT NOW? WHAT NOW? I’d run across articles about growing food, instigating and concentrating change in your corner of the world,  and sustainability but I never realized that this is the direction I have been pulled all along and perhaps this has been the answer to my conundrum.

What can I do? I am but ONE person. I ran across this David Holmgren video on permaculture that put it into perspective for me. “Starting with yourself is arguably thee most powerful component you have for changing the world.” I am coming to believe this. I’m going with it. This brings me peace. Some of you may have already figured this out, but for me this has truly been an A-HA! moment. One that has been staring me down this entire time. Therefore, I must go with it, so here I am!




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