How You Can Be an Agent of Regeneration
by Jean Pullen of the Jungle Project
“Regeneration is more than a tool to sequester carbon. It’s the path to honoring Indigenous wisdom and practices that will build resiliency and abundance for future generations.”
-Kiss the Ground
As we continually regenerate ourselves and the planet, we actively create the harmony we wish to see. Every live organism is capable of regeneration—from bacteria and soil to floresta, water, biodiversity, and humans.
So, what does regeneration of the body look like?
It means purifying our vessel (the body) with pure waters, organic foods, regular exercise, sleep, and rest. It means taking wellness days when needed. We restore the life force within when we get “high” on healthy activities that make us feel alive.
What does regeneration of the earth look like?
It means to compost our organic materials, to plant seeds with the cycles, to tend to our gardens, to steward our lands, and to vote with our consumption.
“If governments won’t solve the climate, hunger, health and democracy crisis, then the people will. Regenerative agriculture provides answers to the soil crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis, the climate crisis and the crisis of democracy.”
—Dr. Vandana Shiva
The 7 Rs of Regeneration
Implementing the 7 R’s is a great step towards regeneration in every way! The following is my take on the 7 R’s of regeneration.
When I became fed up with plastics and other wasteful patterns of consumption, I began my journey to zero waste. Along the way, I started to rethink what is really possible when it comes to regeneration at the individual level. Based on my ongoing regeneration journey, I’ve created the following guiding questions to help you think about the 7 R’s in your life.
Do you need to go shopping? If so, do you need to buy new clothes, gadgets, and gear? Consider buying second-hand, borrowing from your neighbor, or saving resources and things from the trash pile. Where do you spend your money? Are you bringing benefits directly to a family by shopping locally? Support small entrepreneurs and avoid mass consumerism. Set up exchanges to trade clothing or household items that you are no longer using.
Food, packaging, paper? How much of that could you refuse, reduce, reuse, or recycle? For whom are you doing what you’re doing? And why? What are the consequences of what you eat/drink/buy/do? What impact do those actions have on yourself and your environment?
Where does your food come from? Do you know its source? The source is not the supermarket. It’s the soil and water that determine the quality of the food you buy. Rethink your groceries and your diet. How much waste do you generate each week? What is it? How was your food produced? Our current agricultural model is extractive, while regenerative agriculture works to build topsoil, nourish the environment, draw down and sequester carbon, and bring back health and wealth to communities. Check out Kiss the Ground’s purchasing guide.
An easy action we can take is to refuse single-use plastic and refuse to shop first-hand or in big-box supermarkets. We can purchase from local farmers markets, make our own all-purpose cleaning product with vinegar and a few drops of peppermint essential oil, and make our own vinegar with fruit scraps. Consider using coconut oil in bulk for your skin care and cooking, and not washing your hair every day to use less shampoo.
We can reduce our purchases of unnecessary products from large stores and instead grow our own garden, trade for products or services, and exchange with our local community centers or colleagues. Become a Kiss the Ground soil advocate!
The problem with plastic waste is that it doesn’t go away. Before you toss something away for good, can that item serve another purpose? Single-use items are great—for the companies that sell them. Luckily, there is a reusable alternative for almost every single-use item out there!
Fix things. Develop your handywoman skills and try to fix whatever it is that broke. Or, if it’s out of your league, look for a repair person near you or see if there is an easy solution online (i.e. Google it). Things are designed to be short-lived so that we will replace them faster. But it doesn’t have to be this way. A lot of items can be repaired, mended, or patched up to squeeze some more life out of them. Whenever you do make a purchase, do your homework and opt for quality and repairability.
Recycle whatever is recyclable. Learn about your municipality’s recycling policy and systems. If they offer compost bins, awesome, but I highly recommend composting at home if you have even a tiny yard. Consider looking into composting as the most eco-friendly way to recycle food waste and nourish your garden. Composting at home means no emissions caused by transport and no valuable resources wasted on big treatment facilities.
Make your old clothes into rags or breathable coverings for fermentation. Or upcycle items you’re not using into art, turning trash into creations. My grandma showed me how to make plastic into painted flower sculptures, for example.
Regenerate In All Ways
We must take steps towards our dreams by contributing towards the betterment of our ecosystems. We can be part of making our home planet better than we found it.
Jean is the best selling author of Regenerate Your Reality, a resource for those who seek regeneration in their lives and in the world. She is a partner of Jungle Project, and Soil Advocate at Kiss the Ground. In addition, she enjoys sharing her passions through holistic workshops and regenerative agriculture tours.
Ready to get deeper into regeneration? Regenerate Your Reality: Your Guide to Regenerative Living, Love, Happiness, & Sovereignty is available to order. Visit www.regenerateyourreality.com to learn more.