The Patterns of a Conservation Economy
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Waste As Resource
Examples of this pattern in action:

City of Vancouver uses "Waste as Food"
One of the most crucial aspects of sustainability is reducing the amount of waste that the city produces. Organic waste actually represents the mined fertility of our soils — if this fertility is to be replaced and maintained then it is crucial that the nutrients contained in our waste be returned to the soil. Household waste contains virtually all the nutrients plants require (Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphorus and other micro-nutrients). Urban agriculture offers a great opportunity to use these otherwise wasted nutrients. The City already has a progressive composting program in operation although this is rarely linked to urban food production. There are also a lack of incentives and disabling regulations that mean that recycling waste-water and sewage at a local level is problematic.

Organizations whose work incorporate this pattern:

Northern California Resource Directory

Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives


Pauli, Gunter, J. Hugh Faulkner and Fritjof Capra. Upsizing: The Road to Zero Emissions, More Jobs, More Income, and No Pollution. Greenleaf Publishing. Sheffield, UK. 2000.

Platt, Brenda and Neil Seldman. Wasting and Recycling in the United States 2000. GrassRoots Recycling Network. Athens, GA. 2000.

Winter, John and Anne Marie Alanso. Waste at Work: Prevention Strategies for the Bottom Line. Inform, Inc.. New York, NY. 1999.

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Pattern Index

A Conservation Economy

Social Capital

Fundamental Needs

Subsistence Rights

Shelter For All


Access To Knowledge


Social Equity


Cultural Diversity

Cultural Preservation

Sense Of Place

Beauty And Play

Just Transitions

Civic Society

Natural Capital

Ecological Land-Use

Connected Wildlands

Core Reserves

Wildlife Corridors

Buffer Zones

Productive Rural Areas

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Fisheries


Compact Towns And Cities

Human-Scale Neighborhoods

Green Building

Transit Access

Ecological Infrastructure

Urban Growth Boundaries

Ecosystem Services

Watershed Services

Soil Services

Climate Services


Economic Capital

Household Economies

Green Business

Long-Term Profitability

Community Benefit

Green Procurement

Renewable Energy

Sustainable Materials Cycles

Resource Efficiency

Waste As Resource

Product As Service

Local Economies

Value-Added Production

Rural-Urban Linkages

Local Assets

Bioregional Economies

Fair Trade

True Cost Pricing

Product Labeling