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Nathalie Bayard on Permaculture: «Closing Cycles»

Nathalie Bayard from Biel combines her background in social and natural sciences in environmental education. She works for the project Jugendsolar, where they install photovoltaic systems on roofs together with young people. In addition, she works in a project for the reduction of prejudices against Muslims in Switzerland as well as for the Swiss Cancer League. She also volunteers for the Permaculture Association as a board member and in the secretary’s office.

Forest clearance. Loss of biodiversity. Consumer waste. A sustainable lifestyle is indispensable. Nathalie Bayard aims to promote the sensitivity in these areas with environmental education, and thus to counteract these developments. With her life and actions she inspires us to design more sustainable lifestyle. This protrait shows us what we can do on a small scale to drive big changes with the principles of permaculture.

Here our portrait about Nathalie Bayard.

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Permaculture – a Global Movement

The term Permaculture comes from “permanent agriculture”. It’s a philosophy that has the objective to develop a holistic sustainable lifestyle. Sustainable ecologically, as well as socially and economically. People work on implementing permaculture principles all over the world.

Nathalie wanted to know more about permaculture and therefore made a one and a half month-long permaculture design course on a permaculture farm in La Palma (Spain). There, she learned about the practical side of permaculture. In La Palma, she and the other participants of the course lived in an earthship with energetically perfect design. They used compost toilets, gained energy from green waste, ate from the farm, cooked with a solar powerd oven and much more. This experience had a great impact on Nathalie. Back in Switzerland she joined the permaculture association and started getting active on local projects, such as the Permaculture Day in Biel. Today she’s an active board member.

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Solar powerd oven.

Permaculture is a highly active movement with global projects, national associations and regional groups. On all levels, people work to create a more sustainable world and paradises on Earth.

Closing Cycles in All Areas

You can apply the principles of permaculture to the formation of a more sustainable life. In the words of Nathalie this means closing cycles in all areas.

What effects do my actions have on nature and my environment? How can reuse the output and waste of my lifestyle, to close the cycle as a result?

The formation of a positive and sustainable lifestyle in harmony with nature is not only about doing less of the bad things, but also about doing more good. Closing cycles in all areas means also not neglecting this in our social life. According to Nathalie, celebrating after the completion of a great task is also part of it.

Integrating Permaculture into Everyday Life

The principles of Permaculture are mainly known to farmers. But there is no need for much space. Permaculture can even be operated on a small scale. Here are some tips from Nathalie to integrate permaculture into your everyday life.

Tips for at home

Companion planting: If you are planning, which plants you will put in your flower beds in the garden or in your pots on the balcony this year, try to apply the principle of companion planting. What is it? Some plants complement each other well when they grow next to each other or in the same pot. They protect each other against pests and compensate for the nutrients in the soil. As in the example of tomatoes and parsley, which grow well on the balcony. Here you find a good overview of good neighbours and bad neighbours.

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Permaculture garden in Biel.

Reducing consumer waste: In Switzerland private consumers produce the most waste, even more than businesses and restaurants. A suggestion to close the cylce in your houshold is to waste as little food as possible by recycling or composting it. You get a worm composter here.

Tips to Learn More About Permaculture

If you want to learn more about permaculture and the art of closing cycles and creating paradises, Nathalie recommends the following for further dealing with the subject:

Visit permaculture farms in your region, so you can get a good impression about the potential of the movement. Nathalie also visited a wide variety of projects in Switzerland and abroad and recommends to anyone who has an interest in permaculture to go visit farms and projects in his country.

Turn to Elena Tarozzo (e.tarozzo@permakultur.ch), who holds the coordination function of the Swiss Permaculture Association, to get concrete tips for your individual interests on books, courses or places to visit.

From Nathalie Bayard I learned about the various ways of closing cycles for a more sustainable life, and I’m looking forward to replanting our pots with the principle of companion planting this spring.

What are you taking with you?

Cheers
Prosper

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