8th Life Panama

From the blog

Eco-Building Heroes

Here you can see the stories of two brilliant Integral Permaculture Pioneers who truly live the above guidelines, ethics & principles, and have had the imagination & creativity to do very well out of it, as well as contribute something hugely valuable to the world. Integrity does pay off, eventually. Both had to pass through being dismissed, ridiculed & attacked, & sometimes still are.

Richard Sowa, Spiral Island Genius


Richie is onto his second island: the new island is about 20 metres (66 ft) in diameter, and plants and mangroves are already growing on it. It contains about 100,000 bottles. The new island has beaches, a house, two ponds, a solar-powered waterfall and river, and solar panels. Volunteers helped with the project. Sowa will continue to make improvements to the Island, so it will always be a work of art in progress.

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Another brilliant Integral Permaculture Designer is Garbage Worrior Hero & ‘renegade architect’ Michael Reynolds

He felt the need to specify he believes in “radically sustainable living”, very similar to our opting to invent the term “Integral Permaculture”! ‘Radically’ & ‘Integral’ should be redundant, if it weren’t for the fact that the original & defined meanings of the words ‘sustainable’ & ‘permaculture’ have been diluted so much by the usual consumerist patterns, over so many years.

These truly innovative sustainability pioneers are some of the TOO FEW people busy finding a solution to this:

And one of the amazing properties of plastics is that they last forever – which is terrible for ecosystems, but in fact great for buildings.

When we think ‘rubbish’, we find it very hard to think it could be transformed into the the most beautiful, inspiring things. We need lateral-thinking & a lot of creativity & imagination for this!

It is so ironic & typical of our consumerist culture that we turn a blind eye to the horrors of the rubbish we are creating, and then so badly long to live in surroundings made of ‘natural materials’ even as our actions are destroying natural habitats that create and rely on those materials.

Applying the above 2 common-sense design rules + the permaculture principle of “The Problem is the Solution”, we can arrive at the idea of turning this mess into great beauty & intelligent design. One thing that you observe if you live on a small island is that there is more packaging waste than ever, because so many things are imported. So we would like to contribute something creative & useful towards that problem.

We are sure more has yet to be invented, and we can invent it here, given a little imagination, creativity & by getting to the bottom of our deeply rooted emotional reactions to the garbage, which put many obstacles in the way of our thinking rationally on this subject.

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