We humans think we're so smart: We figured out how to farm and cultivate, and no other species did. I say, big whoop -- those systems also create problems, from cow-fart pollution to overproduction. To lots of people, that's just the way it has to be. But what if hunter/gatherers had had such a lazy attitude?
Luckily, many academics, farmers, environmentalists, and others are putting their giant brains together to come up with a system that might make sense for the entire planet. The idea is to emulate healthy natural ecosystems. At Permaculture Fundamentals, a full-day seminar, ecological biologist David Blume explains the theory, starting at 9 a.m. at Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, Ninth Ave. & Lincoln, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $90; call 661-1316 or visit www.strybing.org for required preregistration.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Falling for You
The Bay Area's drizzly winter has pumped up the local watershed, with rivers, creeks, and lakes full to bursting and the waterfalls that carry rains to flatlands transformed from stingy trickles to gushing cascades. Outings club Absolute Adventures leads a seven-mile Mt. Tam Madness hike to the sensational Cataract Falls. Feel the mist starting at 11 a.m. at Mount Tamalpais State Park (exact meeting location revealed to those who reserve a spot), 801 Panoramic Hwy., Mill Valley. Admission is free-$25 for members and guests and includes a guide and trail-suitable snacks. Call 793-4948 or visit www.absoluteadv.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
Take the environment home
When your home needs sprucing up, you could visit the nearest big-box retailer to buy particle board (full of formaldehyde and other dangerous chemicals), traditional carpeting (which emits a shocking amount of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide during its tenure on your floor), and other environmentally unfriendly products. Or you could renovate your home with ecologically sustainable fittings from energy-efficient light bulbs to flooring made of recycled tires or salvaged lumber.
Jennifer Roberts, author of the how-to book A Good Green Home of Your Own, along with special guest speakers, spell out the finer points of green design at "Good Green Homes: Creating Better Homes for a Healthier Planet," starting at 6 p.m. at the Mechanics' Institute Library, 57 Post (at Market), S.F. Admission is free-$5; call 393-0101 or visit www.milibrary.org.
-- Joyce Slaton