The Natural Solution

Written by Matthew Vander Molen, BTG Staff

Pucallpa.

Peru.

Catch a bus in Lima.

14 hours to Pucallpa; up, over, and down the 14er Andes.

Off the bus into the fray of the urban Amazon. A moto-taxi to the port of the muddy river highway of Ucayali.

Hop on the river boat for five hours to the small village of Nuevo Saposoa.

Take a look around. Houses are made of local wood planks, palm leaves for a roof. Hungry? Its a menu of fish, plantains, yuca root, and a side of cocona fruit salsa. Watch the sun go down, the village surge with pedestrians, machetes in hand and sacks of the palm fruit pijuayo on their backs – back from a day of work on the family farm ‘chakras’ scattered in the outskirts.

Imagine a life with only natural resources. Very few exterior, artificial inputs. “But Matt, it’s not practical.” I say it has to be or we will simply exterminate the natural systems upon which we depend for every breath, drink, bite, and shelter we need.

We can have our natural cake and eat it, too. Inexpensive energy, swift transportation, effortless communication, other creature comforts. The technology already exists.

The longer we wait, the more costly and risky the transition will be.

Our brothers and sisters in Peru have created an excellent solution for a community rich in natural resources yet poor by the economic world standard. A solution that is inspired by, powered by, and arguably life-giving for all organisms involved.

What about you, Kansas City?

What natural solutions from our unique environment and natural resources can we create to solve our problems?

Why not boost energy efficiency in home building with Hempcrete? Promote wild native pollinator gardens and/or disturbed, ‘weedy’ areas from which are harvested natural medicines?