What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is design science presented by Bill Mollison. It describes the sustainable use of land and it’s design, using ecological and biological principles. Design that uses patterns in nature to maximize efficiency and minimizing waste and the waste of energy.
Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that meet the needs of humanity, harmoniously integrating the land with it’s people. The ecological presence of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic influences and weather cycles are all part of this picture. These elements are viewed in relationship to the world around us, a system whereby the energy that is used is recycled back into the system, minimizing work and using waste efficiently as a resource. In this system productivity and yields increase and our environments are restored.
These Permaculture principles can be applied to any situation, from a dense urban area to larger residential properties, to farms or entire regions.
Central to Permaculture are the three ethics:
Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share form the foundation of Permaculture design. These Ethics can be found in most traditional societies around the world. Ethics are culturally evolved mechanisms that regulate self-interest, giving us a better understanding of good and bad outcomes. The greater the power of humans, the more critical ethics become for long-term cultural and biological survival.
Permaculture ethics are distilled from research into community ethics, learning from cultures that have existed in relative balance with their environment for much longer than more recent civilizations. This does not mean that we should ignore the great teachings of modern times, but in the transition to a sustainable future, we need to consider values and concepts outside the current social norm.