Essay, and Photos by William Padilla-Brown
What’s So Unethical about our Society?
The United States of America, Loved, and Hated, for its Unethical Capitalist Culture. A land stuck in industrial era systems, polluted with extractive multinational corporations, hidden behind a facade of tantalizing logos and mind numbing advertisement. A place of illusory freedom, and value, where mass consciousness is guided by law, and energy exchanged under liability of private banks, and obligations to government corrupted by those very banks. The problem is the solution, money is the root of all evil. Money is an illusory value system, utilized to centralize real Value (Resource) to a select few to be distributed through their unethical systems. Engaging in activities involving federal reserve notes is inevitably fueling the destruction of our Global Ecosystem. From one end of the scale we could be working for, and purchasing from Walmart a multinational corporation supplying products produced, and sourced in developing countries, providing unfair wages, and disregarding the ecosystems, and community in which they operate. On the other end of the scale we have the developing answer of individuals turning their money into resource, and supporting local business.
It Takes Money to Break Money
Decentralized communities are paving the way for Ethical Living Systems. When a community can provide its own needs there is no need for money. A great model for transition is Local Currency. The Ithaca Hours are the oldest, and largest local currency system in the U.S.A. implemented by Paul Glover in 1991. Local currency is backed by value found in the community, and can be utilized to support individuals in the community to start local businesses. In order to implement a local currency there has to be value(Resource) in the community. Federal Reserve notes can be used to bolster existing local businesses to a point of sustainability, reinforcing the local economy, and providing jobs. With established local economies, local currency, trade, and gifting becomes more applicable.
Designing an Ethical Life
Why not start with a Design Science? Permaculture is an ecological based design science focused on applying natural models into human systems to recreate a natural energy flow and increase the systems resiliency. When the permaculture design system is applied correctly it will inevitably lead to ecological regeneration. Permaculture workshops, skillshares, and certification courses are becoming available around the world! To Design an Ethical Life we First we must assess what is necessary for Life, and how can we ethically address these necessities with little, or no money. I would like to show you some processes I have applied to my life to address these necessities!
Malnourishment is the source of most human ailment, and dis-ease. In the U.S.A. we
see obesity with diets high in calories, and low in nutrients, due to lack of diversity of food, and depleted soils in our farm lands. Gardening at home is like printing your own money! With simple composting systems we all can be converting our kitchen and paper scraps into rich soils for growing our own foods. With microgreens, microalgae, and microherding, protien rich foods have never been more accesible, even in an apartment! The Wild Lands of North America host a cornucopia of Nutritious Foods, and Medicines. ReWilding schools and Classes are popping up everywhere offering people expert knowledge on understanding how to work with the Wild. Urban farms are popping up aswell, making fresh food accessible to more people. Fermentation, is a wonderful way to, increase biologically available nutrients, and preserve foods, in temperate environments! Dumpster diving is a year round viable option with day old packaged, and clean food being thrown out every day!
Spring water is available on every continent, in various ecosystems. Spring water is the cleanest source of Natural drinking water on the planet, next to rain water. Rain water can be collected in specialized units for drinking, and watering crops. Solar Stills can be made at home, and make even saltwater potable. Dehumidification technology is making atmospheric water more available to all!
Tiny Homes are the New American Dream! With organizations like the Cal-Earth institute educating folks on Earthen Architecture we’re remembering we can live in the Earth we walk on. Developing countries are leading the world in building homes from waste streams such as bottles, cans, paper, and plastics. Shipping Container homes, as well as mobile conversions are becoming very popular due to their affordability. Living as a Nomad is also rising again, utilization of primitive natural shelters has shown to be very effective.
Green Jobs to Lead the Way
Ecollogically Regenerative Sustainable Micro Industries (a term coined by Scott Kellog of the Radix Center in Albany, NY) will implement the systems necessary for decentralization. Recognizing that money is still essential to utilize our current systems, it is necessary that communities develop and encourage business that will replace those systems. Waiting for agencies to remediate our environments is not feasible, we must take care of this ourselves. The most efficient way to begin regenerating our ecology is by developing Green Jobs to employ locals to make the change in a way that is resourceful, and produces a yield. I would like to look at some topics I have studied, and addressed.
Looking to Nature for the answers is Key! How does Nature deal with Organic “Waste”? Fungi are the prime decomposers on our planet, some fungi produce edible, and medicinal
mushrooms. We can use mushrooms to turn organic wastes (Coffee, Sawdust, Brewers Grain, Paper, and various Agricultural wastes) into protein, and medicinal compounds! After fungi grows on waste products they can be composted into rich soil by introducing them to a vermicomposting (worm) system. Vermicomposting, along with Microherding (herding insects, and small animals) is proving itself to be a very fruitful industry. Insects like Crickets & Mealworms are high in protein, contain an array of vitamins and minerals, plus they can live on kitchen, and restaurant scraps! Mealworms and Waxworms have been studied for their ability to break down Polystyrene (Styrofoam). Animals like Chickens, Ducks, Pheasants, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, and Pygmy Goats are like garbage disposals and can live off kitchen, and restaurant scraps, producing meat, milk, and eggs. Liquid effluent from breweries can be utilized to grow edible algae like Spirulina (60-70% protein) Effluent from waste water treatment facilities can be utilized to grow microalgae for burnable biofuels, that we can use to power our transportation!!
Green House Gasses
Algae can sequester co2 from power plant Flue gas. We can cultivate micro algae on top of power plants to reduce co2 emissions in our local area, producing oxygen, and organic carbon. The algae produced from flue gas can be processed into biofuels, and organic soil amendments to return some of the carbon to the soil. Closed loop algae cars can be real now, Algae growing from the co2 produced by burning algae biofuels!! Composting, and
growing mushrooms in every city will reduce methane emissions by diverting organic waste streams, appropriately returning them to the soil.
Our Industrial Infrastructure shows little or no respect to natural systems. We have cut through forests making roadkill a common site in many places, dammed up streams, rivers, and springs creating hazards as the dams become outdated. Much of the Infrastructure in the “Rust Belt” of the United States is falling apart. Many of our homes aren’t designed well and are in need of constant repair after only 70-90 years. We have examples around the world of Earthen Architecture that is still standing strong after hundreds of years. With a need to detoxify soils of heavy metals from our infrastructure, there is opportunity for businesses to begin remediating with plants like sunflowers or hemp that can be dried and inoculated with fungus to be used as insulation. There is also opportunity to revamp neighborhoods with condemned buildings like the UFG team. We won’t need as many roads with decentralized economies. Depaving projects are “paving” the way for re-greening Urban Areas. The Amish set a great example of eco friendly travel with horses. ReWilding Urban areas is necessary, our planet requires more wild lands to recreate natural energy cycles. This can be done by creating food forests in and around our Urban Areas!
My name is William Padilla-Brown, I am a 21 year old active Permaculture designer, Mycologist, Small Business Owner, Citizen Scientist, Educator, and most importantly a Father, living with my Partner, and our young Son in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. New Cumberland is almost 100% Urbanized, but not Modernized. I have lived in and out of the area since 2005. Growing up like most in my generation with a split family,and my face in a screen. With my mother working for the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, and Father recruiting for the U.S. Army in various States I had the opportunity to participate in various communities, cultures, and societies. I was also able to experience the vast difference in curriculum in private and public education. At the age of 16 I was attending the Taipei European School, when I decided the educational systems I had participated in we’re interfering with my personal development, so I dropped out. At the age of 16 I took my education into my own hands studying what interested me to better understand the reality I was experiencing. I moved back to the U.S. by myself, at 17, and started living on my own up in the mountains between Harrisburg, and York, Pennsylvania. I worked as a server in restaurants to make a living, during this time I worked with individuals twice my age with degrees, debt, and families, they we’re making the same amount of money as myself a high school drop out, this didn’t seem right to me. I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend college without a loan which felt unethical to me. I began studying and working with HydroPonic Systems with hopes of cashing in on the new gold rush out West. I continued to feel a lack of ethic or principle in my life, stemming from a complete disconnect from nature. I spent the next year of my life exploring Natural, Cultural, and MultiDimensional systems with plant teachers. My journey brought me to Seppi’s Place in Camp Hill in 2014 as the Summer Permaculture apprenticeship was opening for registration. I became an apprentice of Benjamin Weiss co-founder of Susquehanna Permaculture. This apprenticeship catapulted me into a world of Ethical Systems, leading me to begin Wild Crafting, Researching, Educating, Starting a Mushroom Business, Organizing Community events, Festivals, Skill Shares, and eventually taking a PDC, receiving my Certification in Permaculture Design.
What’s Next for Me
This year I have brought all my work within biking distance I will be riding around town managing 6 diverse local gardens sharing food with everyone helping, managing my mushroom grows, foraging, and helping folks around town. I am working my business into a permaculture design. I will be growing lots of Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms, and MicroAlgae for local markets! With the help of friends we are set up to put at least 3 tons of carbon back into the soil this year! I have applied for grants and would love to further my research and continue to apply biological technologies to address dysfunctional systems, and teach others! Thanks Everyone Lets get to Designing Ethical Lives!
If you would like to help me take a class on Algae this year click Here
If you would like to help further my work in general click Here