22. How to Participate in Your Ecosystem: Restoration Through Use


Our culture teaches us from a very early age that there are two kinds of places in the world: “people places” and “wild places.”

The people places are the cities and towns where we live and operate. The wild places are the parks and forest preserves outside of town where we occasionally visit for recreation.

In our cities we observe herds of people, trash in the streets, smoke and fumes emanating from exhaust pipes, smells of human and industrial waste, and geometric grids constructed of concrete, metal and glass that confuse and disorient us.


It makes sense that we would want to keep all of that separate from the “wilderness,” right? To preserve those wild places in their “natural” state; to “take only pictures, and leave only footprints.”

Unfortunately, this concept is built around two major conceptual flaws: that outdoor recreational spaces are “natural, pristine wilderness,” and that there is no connection between these “wild places” and the “people places” that surround them.

There is no place on Earth that does not feel the impact of modern human exploitation. We have already “left our traces” everywhere.

How, then, can we participate in our ecosystems in such a way that they are improved, rather than degraded, by our presence? How do we reestablish our fundamental connection with nature and live in a way that’s not just less-bad, but actually regenerative?

It is possible, and in this episode of the Good Life Revival podcast (Stream and download above, or listen through iTunesStitcher, or Google Play), I’ll share with you my top five suggestions for making a positive impact on any landscape you come to work with.

I hope that my thoughts on this subject will help spark your imagination about the ways that you can begin to create the world that we all want to live in, but most importantly, I hope you will come away from this episode with at least few ideas that you can put into action right away.

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