Our environment

environmentThe environment is our physical surroundings. This includes natural features like the soil, the atmosphere, vegetation and wildlife. Then there are human features – housing, transport and industry.  In some happy societies these co-exist well with the natural environment. Often, they do not.

The environment can be seen as our common wealth. Finally, many people are realizing that we do not become better off by constantly taking from it. Instead we get problems of environmental degradation that affect us all: global warming, soil erosion, acid rain…

Cultural and political systems have a big impact on attitudes to the environment. Valuing invisible heritage and indigineous knowledge can help improve local decision-making.

Networklearning takes action locally

To translate words into deeds and be the change we want to see, Networklearning has started its own environmental project. It is located almost literally in our back-yard – on unused land bordering the foundation’s registered address in Schoorl, North Holland. So we are able to keep a good eye on developments!

food forestFood Forest Schoorl

Together with other neighborhood volunteers, I am getting my hands nice and dirty as we work to transform this circa 2,000 m2 of ‘commons’, previously rather neglected by the local council, into a small ‘food forest’.

Creating a healthy and diverse edible landscape starts with restoring life in the soil. It involves reintroducing indigenous plants and trees, including fruits and vegetables which used to grow in this area before the advent of big supermarkets and standardisation. Mostly, these varieties are only recognized by the elderly villagers, for whom they evoke happy memories.

Already there are several kinds of ‘circular economies’ becoming established. There are flowering plants and other organic food sources which encourage bees, insects, birds and small animals to visit and settle. And among the community of people, there is a kitchen-to-table food circle, as left-overs serve as starters for making good compost, which will feed the soil and produce healthy vegetables and fruits.

Fruit of Life

We chose the symbol known as the ‘Fruit of Life’ to represent our project. This form represents the creation of natural abundance at a level beyond any particular human culture »

The project is thriving but we are not there yet. Using the principles of permaculture and fractal design, there is opportunity for increasing layers of richness and diversity. We want many more plants, insects and animals to be inspired to visit and live in this green place. So we aim to make sure everything is done to make them feel welcome.

We like and we share

Our Food Forest Schoorl community likes sharing their knowledge and abundance with young and old(er). If you are interested in our project, or living sustainably, we invite you to share experiences with us or visit the project. And if you happen to live locally, you’re most welcome to work with us!

avatar jon
Jon Anderson » This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Making your NGO more 'environmentally friendly'

Your organisation has an impact on the environment. What you do may increase or decrease your 'Environmental Footprint'.

Read more ...

The pressures on land use

The world has a limited amount of land available for growing food. And the available land has increasing demands put on it.

Read more ...

Permaculture and sustainable farming resources

'Permaculture' combines the ideas of permanent agriculture and permanent culture.

Read more ...

Food sovereignty

Food sovereignty refers to the right to produce food on one's own territory. This builds natural resistance to turbulent market forces.

Read more ...

The importance of Fair Trade

Fair Trade is a small but growing movement that offers a progressive alternative to the conventional model of trade.

Read more ...


Help us to tend this field! We want to be informed so we can develop it with the best and most practical info.

—Do you have an environmental link or resource you can recommend?

—Are you making a difference locally that could inspire others elsewhere?

All feedback is welcome!
» This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jon Anderson
Jon Anderson
Environment Editor

Can't find what you want? Enter a keyword for your topic and click 'FIND'