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How Do We Best Promote Sustainability?

I have been kicking around the number of opportunities in promoting sustainable practices, the use of renewable resources, and the adoption of self-reliant natural systems through which we can nurture our selves with minimal investment. We all agree it matters; but, how do we get people to Care!??

I have recently registered with the, and was trying to sort out how could I fit and contribute most effectively to the Permaculture Study Center in Corozal, P.R.  My interest is in building community learning systems. So, I put together this model as a baseline to discuss opportunities in developing new curriculum for differing ages and learning levels.  If you have strong opinions about how to get people to embrace Sustainability, I want to hear about it.  Send M.E. an email {me[at]bohemio[dot]com}.

Como se puede ensenar acerca de la sostenibilidad?

Let me know if you have further ideas on how to expand this model, particularly the highlighted area (at right) of aprendizaje/sistemas–I owe the public at large an english version of this mental map.

I anticipate opportunities to:

  1. structure camps for students, while they build solutions, maintain research and knowledge sharing information systems
  2. conduct community seminars, in partnership with equipment providers, so that methods and kits are more easily adopted
  3. publish a toolkit for the community, to increase knowledge, simplify adoption, raise funds for the Permaculture Study Center, and establish the Center as one of the premiere sustainability research centers in the Caribbean
  4. build learning hands-on learning programs for the Department of Education

All these opportunities present an opening to collaborate with educators, the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy, among others, along with the regional universities.

Someone is going to have to write up the lesson plans, organize events and publish best practices guides. I think the Think Green Tank ought to be the first to take an organized stab at the gap in public knowledge.

By connecting well established institutions, particularly those that would not see it their mission to advocate sustainability, we can create wider awareness and penetration with the public at large.

Given my involvement with, perhaps its worth checking in with the policy makers to find out how they handle communitiy outreach.

Finds for 2011-03-02

Eyes Wide Open: Permacultura

I’ve been trying to build a strategy for some time now on how to go about rehabilitating my property in Puerto Rico. Three acres is just large enough to build a self-reliant extra-urban farm house. But, for a guy that spent half his life moving opposite of a farming life, its a bit of a struggle to find oneself squarely back in the drivers seat. The rest of the family has been holding its breath to get direction from me on how to execute the re-development strategy. Everyone admittedly agrees on the objectives: depend solely on solar, solar-thermal and wind for energy, re-use water wisely, make room for plant rotations; and even allowing for the pursuit of my personal passion of keeping track of it all using information tools.

Not only are we having to change our approach from what we had learned from our grandparents. Now we had a responsibility to share in our knowledge with the community, to build a wider network to support community sustainability and self-reliance.

This wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about egos, pride or recognition; but, about a promise to my Abuelo to preserve his deed to the world… Moreso, personally, about what is right to return to a state of balance with the world. For as much as I love digital gadgets and appreciate the value of virtual existences (my bread and butter), we must learn to put down the distractions and take care of our planet so it can carry out its role in nurturing us.

Until this past weekend, when I chanced upon a brilliant puertorrican soul in the guise of one Glorimar Santiago, and her thesis on sustainability in the Caribbean, I was not sure exactly how to make that change happen in my native Trujillo. Glorimar’s thesis ( provides a blueprint upon which to soundly base a growth strategy. Yet, it goes beyond that. It provides us a means by which we can structure learning opportunities for others, to work with local educators and technologists to put our youth to work on building our future by engaging in small plot agriculture as a basis for their application of math, biology, chemistry, agronomy, renewable energy resources and information sciences methods.

The future just got brighter as there is a clear path towards local partnerships that will help me realize the CHaPA project–a draft mental model for which I append below.

Centro de Habilitacion Personal Alamo

Centro de Habilitacion Personal Alamo

I recommend to anyone else that is interested in growing  a sustainable living movement to read up on permaculture through, and register to contribute to the conversation.  Glorimar’s thesis presentation slides can be downloaded here: