Hail the Green Man

G R E E N   M A N

The Green Man: Usually depicted as a face surrounded by leaves. In mythology he represents the latent power or life force within nature. He is interpreted primarily as a symbol of rebirth, of the cycle of growth in nature which begins anew each spring.
The Image: The Green Man holds his staff aloft. Hail the Green Man! The raised staff symbolises vitality and victory.
A New Interpretation: This is an image of the Green Man as Eco Warrior, a "fierce gentleman" who is earth advocate; a present and future vocation. The Eco Warrior is usually regarded as being an environmental activist, but is simply a more radicalised kind of earth advocate. Warrior energy as an archetype of the mature masculine represents energy in service to or in defence of the realm. In this context, the realm is the natural world.

Sustainable development considers the interrelationships between economic, environmental and social factors and focuses on policies and activities which are equitable, bearable and viable. Unfortunately when decisions are based primarily on conventional economic thinking and imperatives, social and environmental costs are not adequately considered and real viability is never established. Read more here.

Sustainable Development

According to this book and website, "Drawdown is the point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis." Solutions are ranked in terms of the reduction of carbon dioxide (in gigatons) and the top ten are as follows:


1. Refrigeration Management (89.74)
2. Onshore Windfarms (84.60)
3. Reduced Food Waste (70.53)
4. Plant Rich Diet (66.11)
5. Tropical Forests (61.23)
6. Educating Girls (59.60)
7. Family Planning (59.60)
8. Solar Farms (36.90)
9. Silviopasture (31.19)
10. Rooftop Solar (24.60)

Refrigeration Management
According to Drawdown every refrigerator and air conditioner contains chemical refrigerants that absorb and release heat to enable chilling. While refrigerants like CFCs and HCFCs have been phased out because of their role in depleting the ozone layer, HFCs, their primary replacement, spare the ozone layer, but have 1,000 to 9,000 times greater capacity to warm the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Because 90% of refrigerant emissions happen at end of life, effective disposal of those currently in circulation is essential. After being carefully removed and stored, refrigerants can be purified for reuse or transformed into other chemicals that do not cause warming.

Reduced Food Waste
Drawdown says that the food we waste is responsible for roughly 8% of global emissions. The world already produces enough food to support the world's population so it's an absolute travesty that a third of our food goes to waste while there are 800 million of people either malnourished or going without food every day.

Plant-Rich Diets
Drawdown says that plant-rich diets reduce emissions and also tend to be healthier, leading to lower rates of chronic disease. According to a 2016 study, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70% through adopting a vegan diet and 63% for a vegetarian diet, which includes cheese, milk, and eggs. $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity would be saved.

Tropical Forests
Drawdown says that in recent decades, tropical forests have suffered extensive clearing, fragmentation, degradation, and depletion of biodiversity. Once blanketing 12% of the world’s landmass, they now cover just 5%. While destruction continues in many places, tropical forest restoration is growing and may sequester as much as six gigatons of carbon dioxide per year.

Young native trees, including Kahikatea, Karaka, Kohekohe, Miro, Pukatea, Rewarewa,
Rimu, Tanekaha and Totara. Some of these trees have been planted in a reforestation
project at the edge of Egmont National Park.

Harvesting beans off a bamboo frame. Forest garden (fruiting forest) and vegetable beds run according to permaculture principles.

Hail the Green Man

Hail the Green Man
The same area of garden with subsequent plantings. Following the removal of the bean frame, plant material was mounded in a pile at the rear. Some remaining vegetables have been allowed to flower, which will help attract bees into the garden. These plants then go to seed, eventually producing new seedlings.
The compost bin has been lifted and started again further over to the right, making more compost available. The pile of plant material has now broken down, producing a very rich mulch/compost and replanting has started at the right rear.
The garden has been cleared and some replanting has been done. An area at the front is ready for further planting. At the left rear, white polythene covers the unused compost pile to prevent it drying out too much.
Hail the Green Man Hail the Green Man Hail the Green Man
Mulch produced from the breakdown of plant material, combined with leaf mulch, helps to retain soil moisture and limits weed growth. The containers with their bottoms removed help protect plants against slugs and snails.
This 3300L x 1200W x 900H cage was designed to prevent vegetables being eaten by possums (in the first instance). It can be opened at the front to access or harvest crops, or opened right up if needed.
The trap pictured below replaced a bait station on the property, enabling us to help control possum numbers in the area while ensuring that no other animals would get secondary poisoning consuming dead possums.
Seedlings Mulch Pest Proof Garden Cage Possum Trap

Bioregional Development Group, Surrey, U.K.
Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai
Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand
Greenpeace Aotearoa
Permaculture Magazine - solutions for sustainable living


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