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What's your least "permie" trait that you have no intention of changing?

 
pollinator
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I am sure I have an answer (maybe multiple answers) to this, but I haven't thought about it. So first I'll ask everyone else.

Note: I'm talking about personal traits--affinities, inclinations, preferences, etc. Not "fact" stuff like where you live, or particular skills you have or don't have.
 
pollinator
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It's a good question, Ned.

Show me yours, and I'll show you mine.
 
gardener
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My least Permie trait is how utterly passive I am. I observe, and...observe and observe and observe x infinity.

Any "interacting" happens in my brain, where I think things through and ultimately decide that a real-world action would take too much effort. Ugh...

I wish I was a tornado of activity like my in-laws absolutely are. If they were Permies, they would outdo Sepp Holzer and Geoff Lawton put together!  🤣
 
master gardener
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What a thinker of a question. You really got me combing my brain here to try and pinpoint something.

I think I would have to say my least Permie trait is my occasional enjoyment of the "Good Life". You best believe if the Mrs and I are planning a trip that we indulge in things such as whirlpool baths.  I would never have one in my home but boy are they neat.
 
master steward
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My trait that dear hubby hates is the amount of time I spend on the computer.

I have no intention of changing this as it would interfere with the amount of time I spend here on the forum.
 
pollinator
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I may earn my first apple core for this post but I heat with wood burning furnace. Nothing unpermie about that but during the heating season I burn my plastic trash. I try to avoid buying single use plastic but its impossible. Burning plastic is not great but I feel its a better option than landfilling it. My stove burns very hot and I feel it burns clean.
 
steward & author
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It is for the betterment of all mankind that I continue to drink coffee.  

Although I am trying to grow my own, it's taking a while.  
 
Ned Harr
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:It's a good question, Ned.

Show me yours, and I'll show you mine.



I'm still trying to think of it! Mainly haven't had time, I'm sure I'll eventually come up with something that will make jaws drop
 
gardener
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Letting my kids eat stuff that is not organic, even junk food and fast food. It bugs me but I'm trying to not let it bug me so much because when it comes down to it, I have to feed them and I'm not perfect and I'm bad at planning ahead sometimes so sometimes it really comes down to junk or nothing.

That first part I do have intentions to become better but this is the part I have no intention to change: at social occasions, they get to eat what everyone else is having (within reason - there are some "never" foods- they don't get caffeinated beverages or energy drinks and they have some food allergies that obviously they can't eat) because I don't want them to have negative emotions associated with food, like guilt or shame. I grew up with a lot of negative emotions tied to food and rebelled as a teen by starving myself.

It's been a difficult balancing act between giving my family what I know is best and giving them what I have available with the resources at my disposal.

It was difficult to write this because, even though most people are very kind on this site, it's hard not to only present your best self and worry that others will judge you when you don't measure up to the perceived standard.
 
master gardener
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I'm going to keep using soap. All over my body. Almost every day. I spent a year and a half exploring my pooless options and that just ain't happening. Swapping commercial shampoo out for baking soda and vinegar was easy enough, and I already used Bronner's castile soap, but I'm afraid that's where it ends for me.
 
steward
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Jenny Wright wrote:That first part I do have intentions to become better but this is the part I have no intention to change: at social occasions, they get to eat what everyone else is having (within reason - there are some "never" foods- they don't get caffeinated beverages or energy drinks and they have some food allergies that obviously they can't eat) because I don't want them to have negative emotions associated with food, like guilt or shame. I grew up with a lot of negative emotions tied to food and rebelled as a teen by starving myself.  



This is what we do, too. I try to steer them to more of the healthy options that won't mess with their systems (especially since my husband has crohns and I also have autoimmune conditions, and I don't want my kids developing them). But, I don't want them to feel deprived or left out during social occasions. They'll eat lots of fruits and veggies and other things that look clean...and then also get a small piece of cake and some pizza. They often ask if it's okay and worry that they shouldn't have it. We tell them a little is fine. They also get to keep their Halloween candy and the candy from friends' birthday piñatas--sometimes I'll encourage them to trade the halloween candy for money or fruit snacks or organic candy, but I let their choice be there's.

It's hard being a parent when healthy food is expensive and the kids are constantly bombarded with toxic food at every party and event!




I think my  least permie trait is probably all the plastic wrappers from Lara bars and other healthy packaged foods. My kids eat two Lara-type bars each morning for breakfast, and often have them for snacks in the car or on field trips. They're healthy, whole foods that my kids like, and it makes mornings easy. But, man, it generates a lot of wrappers.

And then there's the nori seaweed packets. I LOVE nori. My son and I each eat one pack a day. It's SO. MUCH. PLASTIC. Plastic wrapper, plastic container, and little plastic baggy with moisture-absorbing silicone. All for a tiny amount of seaweed. I wish there was another way to get crunchy, salty iodine treats without all the plastic!
 
Jenny Wright
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Nicole Alderman wrote:

I think my  least permie trait is probably all the plastic wrappers from Lara bars and other healthy packaged foods. My kids eat two Lara-type bars each morning for breakfast, and often have them for snacks in the car or on field trips. They're healthy, whole foods that my kids like, and it makes mornings easy. But, man, it generates a lot of wrappers.

And then there's the nori seaweed packets. I LOVE nori. My son and I each eat one pack a day. It's SO. MUCH. PLASTIC. Plastic wrapper, plastic container, and little plastic baggy with moisture-absorbing silicone. All for a tiny amount of seaweed. I wish there was another way to get crunchy, salty iodine treats without all the plastic!



Yup, I so agree with you on that one.
Lara bars wrappers and seaweed wrappers and I'd add the occasional fruit leather wrapper or dried fruit package too.  These are the easy things to grab so we don't have to end up eating junk but the wrappers kill me.  I tried to make my own lara bar style bars once but I broke my machine trying to blend them up- the dates are too sticky.  My kids will eat a lot of seaweed if it's in the house so when we are near the Asian grocery store (it's about an hour from our house), I'll buy the big bulk bag of giant sheets so it's less waste (and cheaper).  But those aren't an option at any more local grocery stores- just the ones with the five layers of plastic containment.
 
master steward
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Oh, I thought this was going to be about us, rather than what we did....

About me - I'm a hoarder. I'll never have that uncluttered natural look with no techno-plastic-rubbish in my house. I have books dating back to my childhood - they are old friends.


Remember books are great insulation...

What I do - I run a grocery /convenience store. It is not (all) organic/wholefood. If stuff doesn't sell I eat it. I know this is to the detriment of my own health, but I hate waste.

 
Ned Harr
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Nancy Reading wrote:Oh, I thought this was going to be about us, rather than what we did....


You thought right, I was hoping this thread would be "about us", not what we did -- see my OP:

Note: I'm talking about personal traits--affinities, inclinations, preferences, etc. Not "fact" stuff like where you live, or particular skills you have or don't have.





Remember books are great insulation...


Well, that's awesome! Is that your photo?
 
Nancy Reading
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Ned Harr wrote:Well, that's awesome! Is that your photo?


Yes - my (ahem!) well insulated study. One wall overfull with books :) My husband does automotive diagnostics and apparently needed an FLIR camera. It does take really neat photos.
 
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We go out to eat once or twice a week and i usually bring home leftovers in a 😖🫢to go box.  I do take the styrofoam and plastic containers to Publix to recycle, but I really need to stop this.
 
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Sometimes to fix a situation quickly, I "throw money at it" instead of being frugal, resourceful, and making something. I do this to get everything done that I need to get done - just to make it through the day. For instance, last holiday we visited 3 houses in the same day. I went to the grocery store and bought coleslaw for the dish to pass at each place, rather than making something.  I have no intention to change that aspect of myself. If it enables me to enjoy the day more, I'll cheat.
 
Ned Harr
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The easy one is I'm kinda vain. I care about how I look. I don't spend a ton of time preening, I don't wear "product" or cologne or jewelry or anything, but I do have little things I do for my appearance most days that take a minute or two (if you don't count weightlifting, which takes a lot longer), and I'm picky about my clothes even though I mostly get them at the thrift store. I think about what image I want to project physically. That seems anti-permie-ish to me.

Okay, low hanging fruit out of the way, here's the hard one, and I'm not sure how well this qualifies, but I spent a lot of time racking my brain and here's what I came up with:

I perceive a tension between sustainability on the societal scale and on the individual scale.

On the societal scale, it's way more efficient if we live in high-rise apartments and outsource inputs (e.g. food and energy production, transportation, etc.) and outputs (e.g. waste management, etc.) to centralized specialists who optimize and automate, leaving as much untouched/unclaimed wilderness as possible, which we can visit and tread lightly on. All of Earth's 7.X billion people and more could be accommodated with minimal environmental impact if we were to neatly arrange ourselves this way.

Meanwhile on the individual scale we are much happier and healthier when we have space and greenery and self-grown food and interact intimately with the natural environment and see stars at night (sorta the Earthship homestead dream). Such an arrangement has a much lower ceiling in terms of how many people it can accommodate per fixed area of land mass before necessitating substantial damage to the planet.

Okay, many permie-ish people perceive this tension as well, but unlike them I don't see a compromise. To me this tension is just left hanging there and I have to pick one or the other. So I aspirationally choose individual sustainability for myself and wish that the vast majority of other people would choose societal sustainability. In other words, I see my position, unflatteringly, as "lie down so I can walk on you please."

Or, "go slave away in a lithium mine in the developing world so I can generate my own power in my comfy home in the American West, please."
 
Ned Harr
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Related to my previous post: not exactly an "un-permie"ish trait, more a "does not play nice with permies" thought that has nagged at me long before I had ever heard of this website...

To what extent are permies values only realizable because of the rest of the world's un-permie-ness? I'm inducing from a few examples, like:

- When I look at my garage full of scavenged lumber that wouldn't have been available to me had the big production builders not tossed out ~30% of their materials on every new home they erected in the next subdivision over.

- Or when I think about how huge a company needs to scale before it can be competitive as a supplier of at-home power generation technology to people who aren't rich.

Is my desired way of life actually subsidized by the other 99% buying brand new F-150s and giant flatscreen TVs every few years? Sometimes I feel it likely is.
 
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Ann Kehayes wrote:We go out to eat once or twice a week and i usually bring home leftovers in a 😖🫢to go box.  I do take the styrofoam and plastic containers to Publix to recycle, but I really need to stop this.

If I know we have a plan, I bring containers from home. I wish I'd kept some stainless nesting bento boxes for that purpose, but alas, my son swiped the ones I was given second hand before I realized they'd be good for that task!
 
pollinator
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We have fairly efficient cars, but we still drive, a LOT.  Can’t seem to get away from plastic packaging either, but don’t think it compares to driving.  We could probably feed 10x as many people off of our land if we ate a lot of carbs, but I prefer to grow meat as it is more efficient in terms of labor and seems to manage my weight better.  We bought an existing house, but If I had built one, it would probably be twice as efficient.

I can’t see myself not traveling or eating meat but I am striving to improve the efficiency of both.

Good thread, not so much to point out what we could do better, but to acknowledge that it is difficult, and no one is “perfect”.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to improve, sometimes to my detriment.
 
Ned Harr
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Gray Henon wrote:Good thread, not so much to point out what we could do better, but to acknowledge that it is difficult, and no one is “perfect”.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to improve, sometimes to my detriment.


Thanks Gary, and I'm glad you're getting something useful out of it. I actually wasn't thinking of what we could do better, more that I'm an instinctive contrarian and whenever I find myself among a group of people my mind inevitably drifts toward "what makes me unfit to be here?" and I find that kind of fun, figured maybe others would too. There's a hard-to-describe satisfaction of "fitting in despite not fitting in", and vice versa. To me anyway.
 
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Ned Harr wrote:The easy one is I'm kinda vain. I care about how I look. <snip> I think about what image I want to project physically. That seems anti-permie-ish to me.


In some circles, I agree that it can seem anti-permie, so I appreciate your candor and questioning it.

Though to me, there is SO much beauty in lustrous, healthy, well-maintained locks, bodies, natural fiber clothes, healthy landscapes, natural building, etc. that I think a person really can have both.

I, too, struggle with aesthetics a fair amount. I'm currently renting where I'm slowly changing the garden landscape so I don't scare the property managers. Plus, I lean heavily on "pollinator attractants" (ahem, flowers!) in my gardens which I love and I don't care if they are not multi-layered in their functions. My joy is enough for me.

Ned Harr wrote:I perceive a tension between sustainability on the societal scale and on the individual scale.


Yes, there is this, but I think we can do better to close this gap without as much guilt of our societal trappings.

For me, it's often in the minutiae, and not the larger picture as you described.

Without wandering into toxic gick or cider press topics, to stay within my budget, I do sometimes purchase items (food, clothes, household stuff) that are not within my values.  But I alleviate my first world guilt by most of the time doing a lot of minutiae things on the daily that I feel add up to making a significant difference. I realize I'm not perfect, but I'm always trying to do better.


 
pollinator
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Using plastic for starting seeds.... I start thousands of seeds every year, many for other people, and just can't imagine/think of doing it any other way. Plastic seeds trays, plastic pots, mesh and watering flats. Well, at least I do reuse them until they are worthless.... Bad me.
 
Christopher Weeks
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Jen Swanson wrote:Using plastic for starting seeds...


I'm experimenting with starting in TP rolls for the second year. There's a problem with scaling up to the thousands you suggest, but even with my experiment, the rolls are sitting upright in plastic 1020 trays. I am always on the lookout for way to use less plastic, but some things are hard!
 
master pollinator
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Tough question.  I think probably my unwillingness to go the whole way on a number of subjects.  I like my long hot showers, permanent press, more durably fabrics, plastic pots, clothes drier for certain things, modern building materials, some chemistry for gardening, like meat and a host of other non permie things.

Now I am working towards somewhat negating some of those that I am unwilling to change.  Working towards solar heated water so I can have the long hot shower that is not an energy hog, solar preheating the air into the drier to reduce fuel needs there.(a bit over half of clothing and most other is line dried)  Reusing disposable plastic pots reduces needs there.  And in some cases learning to make modern building materials more durable.(vapor barriers and densifiers so concrete lasts, Perfect wall type construction so home is more durable)  Working on soil building techniques to hopefully go no till to reduce tillage and reduce chemical needs.
 
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I'm a techie.  In a way we all are, Permiculture is a type of tech, and obviously we're on a forum.  But I am a hard core computer techie. I've got a homestead server, I've got camera's setup to identify if deer got into the garden, I've got weather sensors setup everywhere and working on collecting and displaying data, automating irrigation for more traditional garden beds.

Growing and producing sustainably grounds me and is a very needed distraction from my techie brain, but it's just part of me.
 
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Eating fried chicken at KFC. I'm flexitarian ONLY because of that. If KFC crispy chicken was a vegan product, I'd be vegan. Shoot me
 
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r ranson wrote:It is for the betterment of all mankind that I continue to drink coffee.  

Although I am trying to grow my own, it's taking a while.  



Same here, I can't quit my expensive specialty coffee grown thousands of kilometers away from me
 
pollinator
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Flying to India and back to America about once a year, maybe year and a half.  I haven't done it in 5 years now due to health and family issues, but I totally want to get back to it. I want to live in India again,  but spend summers with my elderly parents.

Also,  when I was in India I had to leave every 6 months due to visa restrictions. I might fly to Dubai for a week,  or Sri Lanka, etc.


 
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I’m anti social. Not in a hostile way I just don’t prioritize human interaction, not even with family or friends. This goes against the whole permie thing of community and working with other people. I’m not against community but good luck getting me to do anything that has to do with other people.
 
pollinator
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I love fast food and eating out.  Yeah its not healthy but it tastes so good.
 
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I will grow all the things I would want or need, and I would not give up not needing things from animals. For caffeine in what I might have, there's alternative things that can be grown for that.
 
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Travel, & internal combustion engines. I like to go off the beaten path and see new things. experience others way of life so to speak. My 1940's piper cub get about 20mpg, air travel was easier in the 80's. more farms less suburb. you could fly for 3 hours or so find a farmer's field circle and wave at farmer to see if they mind if you land. give their kids a ride and have the best hamburger of you life swap stories till wee hour of the night and sleep under the wing. but times change.  I've switched to primarily traveling by motorcycle, hotels with hot tubs/or tent with hard ground depending on how my sore back feels. the Harley is almost as reliable and does offer full immersion in the environment while burning a lot less gas.  Two trips planned this year are clam chowder in New Hampshire, & rocket stove pizza in Montana. "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;....... " Robert Frost
 
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