Drinking a plastic bag, and time to get dirty…

Hi, this is Geoff.

We’ve hit a milestone.

With today’s Friday Five, we turn 50 — celebration! (Sorry, I’m a big rugby fan)

The 50th edition of the Friday Five, incredible. Many thanks to all of you for tuning in, for your feedback, and for helping to make this what it is.

With no further ado…

I dare you (and me!): Who among us would dare take a plastic bag, cut it up, dissolve it in water and….drink it? Apparently, Kevin Kumala of Avani Eco would, and does. Avani makes a cassava-based eco-bag that is compostable, biodegradable, claims zero toxicity, and, apparently, is drinkable. From a permaculture perspective, we obviously hope this doesn’t lead to massive monoculture production just to create a plastic bag; nevertheless, the idea is innovative, and represents a giant leap forward from current petroleum-based packaging.

People care: Permaculture is about far more than great farms, food forests, and being eco-friendly. Bill always emphasized “care of people” (people care) as one of its 3 foundational ethics. In light of the refugee crisis gripping the world, this story really made my day: “Staffed entirely by refugees, the shop’s aim is to offer jobs and barista training to refugees and spread awareness about the plight of refugees in this country. Located in Berkeley, California, 1951 opened its doors earlier this year.” Absolutely beautiful profile of a great company aiming to do great things.

Going off-grid: There seems to be increasing interest in crafting your own path, living your own lifestyle, and not getting caught up in the endless treadmill of debt-pay-debt-pay: “Many people dream of living off the grid, rent-free — and a select few have turned that dream into a reality. It takes more than just a stack of solar panels and a tiny house though – you need a plan that provides for all of the necessities of daily life. If you’ve ever wanted to make the leap to off-grid living but weren’t sure where to start, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to transitioning to a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle.” A decent overview with some gorgeous pics of folks dreaming it, planning it, then living it.

Get dirty: If you need one more reason to learn permaculture, head outside, and get dirty — whether on a farm, rooftop garden, urban backyard food forest, or even your windowsill — here you go: “a lack of early childhood exposure to a diversity of germs can keep the immune system underdeveloped and more likely to overreact to things that are harmless — resulting in allergies and asthma.” Those interested in reading the original peer-reviewed, scientific paper examining the superior health of farm-raised Amish children published in the New England Journal of Medicine can do so here. The immunity of the natural farming world is the ultimate health insurance, my prediction is permaculture farm children will even go past the Amish. For those skeptical, an older feature (2009) from the New York Times makes a similar point, specifically with respect to babies and toddlers. So for those of us with young families, perhaps it’s time to re-think our relationship to dirt?

In case you missed it: A few interesting pieces this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute:

If you enjoy these posts, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.  

That’s it for the Friday Five.

Again, if you have something to share with respect to the Friday Five, share your comments and thoughts below. This way, our entire community can benefit from your insights, and join the discussion.

Cheers, and have a great weekend

Your friend,


2017-03-17T22:10:20+00:00 Blog|9 Comments