I've been doing some permaculture around my house, and have become excited by the work of Brad Lancaster who has developed many ways for people to harvest and conserve water in arid lands (I live in Arid Zona). I'm excited to explore some of the options, and to that end have also signed up as a potential host with Workaway (http://www.workaway.info/), a wonderful site that connects travellers who wish to help out in exchange for room and board. Check out the site .
Below is a fascinating TED talk by Allan Savory about desertification, and surprising ways to combat and restore desert areas. What he speaks about, and demonstrates, is both hopeful and absolutely surprising, going against the common ideas we have about the desertification process. He shows the relationship between soil erosion, and the loss of very large, moving herds, such as the buffalo in our great Mid-Western grasslands. Well worth watching! And two videos with Tucson's Brad Lancaster.
I will not have any large herds of buffalo, or wolves, in my own backyard any time soon, so I must resort to a whole lot of digging. Ok........now let's see if any travellers want to take me up on my offer and help me "green" my own backyard!