My Flat and the Corruption of Permaculture Zone 0 (Home#1)

My flat is where I can break down and then break through and build up again.

My flat, in the middle of Devon, accessible to Cornwall, North Devon, Dartmoor and Exeter by bicycle.

My modern flat, where I get very lonely, because I have not yet worked out how to reintegrate into the (concept of) community that is vaguely in all our hearts.

My flat, home of revolutionary plans and humble bumblings-along.

My flat in the lovely old Devon village of North Tawton, former home of Ted Hughes, (my empathy for Sylvia Plath). With the village gym (just for locals) down the road that I asked for in my envisioning, and shamanistic mushroom fields nearby.

My flat, in Permaculture terms ‘Zone 0’: the home; where the least effort / energy is expended physically to get day to day needs met; where most stuff happens; where conceptually and then practically, everything in (my) life can be integrated -an integration that serves energy efficiency as well as a resilient coherent replicable culture. Replicable coherent culture -a culture that can be repeated from day to day and month to month in a way that contains and nurtures us- this is key to well-being, to mental health. Human culture being ‘the sum of everything that we are and do’. Zone 0: the home; from where I sometimes wish I was elsewhere.

However sustainably we build our homes; however ingenious we make our ‘zone 0’s to be energy-efficient, ecologically low impact and handily located for food production and consumption, and for work; nevertheless our zone 0’s are fundamentally open to corruption in the modern world.

The corruption of zone 0 is the internet (and to a much lesser extent, the phoneline, whether mobile or landline). Firstly, if we are using the internet all day every day (if we work from home online, for instance) we have to ask ourselves what the environmental impact is. How can we assess the ecological impact of server farms and whatever else that keeps internet-based companies going that we use from day to day? (and not just the big ones like Google and Facebook).

If we can stick to wholesome resources on the net then so much the better; if we can continue to use it to connect to Tribes of likeminded positive changemakers around the world, then so much the better; however, with the events that have unfolded over the past few days in America, the former freedom of net-based connection and research that we have enjoyed, seems to be in doubt. New York Times: FCC Repeals Net Neutrality Rules

In this context, on an ideological level how can using the internet, with all its promises of foreign places and ideas, contribute to the corruption of our homes? When the most powerful corporate internet players now have an increased influence on what we can and can’t access, and the speed at which we can access our chosen domains, how can we retain integrity, from zone 0 outwards?


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