Waste Not, Want Not

hands holding presentChristmas is a time of year for inward reflection and outward generosity,  merging as it does with the ancient celebration of oncoming winter and marking the darkest days of the year.

We have the opportunity to think back on the year that has been, to learn lessons, to appreciate our successes and joys and to put the year, metaphorically and physically to bed. 

It is also the time in which we often reunite dispersed and busy family and friends and enjoy — usually — each others company over good food and good times. And of course, it’s a time for giving.

The pleasure that comes from giving and receiving a well conceived or created gift is a crucial element of festivities at this time of year and yet our Western-industrial culture has managed to load this simple act with an immense pressure and expectation, and consequently with an enormous amount of unwanted or unneeded gifts and stress. 

Triodos Bank, one of our affinity organisations (by banking with them you help the Permaculture Association financially as a result), states that 32% of the UK population receive unwanted or unneeded gifts. That equates to a staggering 2.6 billion pounds each year being spent on unwanted items. This amplification of what is an already year-round frenzy of consumerism acts to highlight the disparity between what is truly needed in our lives and our society, and what we are all in thrall to in one way or another; the power of consumer capitalism.

Investment in all our future.

If we start to ponder what good could be done with 2.6 billion pounds, the mind and our imaginations boggle. Organisations such as the Permaculture Association work tirelessly to towards a better world for all: to repairing ecosystems; creating social and economic models that are fair and egalitarian and inclusive; to designing truly regenerative food systems that increasingly improve soil health and decrease the threat of climate breakdown; to deepening our love, connection and respect with all our natural companions. 

christmas tree

With just a tiny fraction of that 2.6 billion pounds, we could make enormous strides in our vital work, training and empowering many thousands of people to think and act holistically. We could support the creation of stunning exemplar land projects in every watershed in the UK that would grow food and ideas to nourish body, mind and soul.

Our work at the Permaculture Association is at the very cutting edge (as we know in permaculture, the most fertile place to be) of all of the world’s current crises of climate, food, social inequality and habitat destruction, and permaculture has the power, through sound methodical design allied with creative ingenuity, to offer a truly positive vision and pathway out of many of these current disasters. 

So this Christmas we ask you, in the spirit of reflection and generosity, to consider donating money to the Permaculture Association. There are lots of ways to do this easily. You can simply donate via Paypal, bank transfer or cheque. 

Or, if you end up being one of those 33% or people that receive something they really don’t need in their lives this year, then you can easily nominate the Permaculture Association as your charity of choice and sell them on eBay to raise funds for us. You can donate between 10%-100% of sales to a charity and eBay will waive their seller listing fees proportional to the percentage donated.

To find out all the ways in which you can help fund our ongoing work changing your world for the better, please visit:


From all of us here at the Permaculture Association, we thank you for all your support and we wish you a very happy Christmas.