Got real sustainability skills? Really, do you? I didn't. True, I went to college and studied and got a 9-6 job. However, I didn't have any good skills, like the kind that actually help the planet. My rent was paid, I could buy food. But when it gets down to the wire, what could I really do? I mean, with my hands- like building, cooking, knowing how to fix things, figuring out some sort of system…I could work a spread sheet, yay. Sustainability skills I believe are a MUCH needed part of our education system today. A problem however, is that they are not going to be taught in today's public or even private schools. For a real education on sustainability and what it takes to rely on yourself and the environment and the people around you, there is no better place to go to than a Permaculture Design Course. Permaculture classes are the place to go to get sustainability skills.

The class I choose was taught in Los Angeles of all places. Larry Santoyo, a leader of the Permaculture movement, of all places lives and teaches in L.A. (along with other places throughout the world). It made sense then that a lot of the Permaculture class was centered around the urban environment, and how we as people can build up sustainability skills that will help our little urbanite lives.

It was fantastic. I learned about soil management which is actually a fascinating subject that is extremely important to our national food security (and too often is not managed well due to profit pressures). I learned, along with the class, on how to convert a lawn into a beautiful food garden in a manner of hours that would have enough surplus produce to give to the neighbors. Imagine if a whole neighborhood had a garden instead of a lawn? We definitely would not be spending so much money at the supermarket and would all be eating healthier. This is just one example of how Permaculture design can postively effect lives.

Another skill I learned was how to build a cob outdoor oven. I didn't realize the profundity of this until I learned out it works, which is in essence- very fast and very efficiently. A cob oven can bake pizzas fast and takes just a bit of sticks to use as fuel. Cobb ovens will take on Energy Star ovens any day.

My basic design skills increased too. The idea behind a permaculture design class is not only to gain sustainability skills but to also learn how to think like an ecological designer and learn how to solve problems, as if nature was doing it, meaning the smart way and without wrecking the planet.

These are just some of the things that I wish I learned during my institutionalized school years. I truly believe that everyone would be better off if they had the option to take Permaculture classes and were exposed to these natural concepts and basic sustainability skills.

If you are interested at all gaining new insights into our world ecology and a sustainability skill set in your life, the type that will help both the world and yourself, seriously look into taking or at least sitting in on some Permaculture classes.