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As all Angelenos know, car culture has taken its toll on the city. We have smog, we have traffic, we can't drink the water. Despite all the high points, the big show-stopper for life in LA is the automobile.

But there are those who buck the system, living in green homes, growing their own vegetables, biking or walking instead of driving, recycling—we all know someone who is trying to live greener, even if we aren't ourselves. Beyond even these efforts, however, there are people who really live green, adopting a permaculture lifestyle that pushes the limits of how Earth-friendly you can be in our metropolis.

"An amalgamation of the words 'permanent' and 'agriculture,' permaculture is a 30-year-old Australian term that's only now coming into vogue — a sort of shorthand for closed-loop systems that take advantage of natural cycles, using the waste products from one cycle to fuel another. Think composting food waste into garden mulch, catching 'gray water' from the kitchen to irrigate outdoor plants, converting discarded cooking oil into biodiesel to fuel cars."