Permaculture is a word used to describe the sustainable use of our land and it’s design, based on ecological and biological principles. Using patterns that naturally occur in nature to maximise efficiency and minimising our waste and waste of energy.
The movement towards 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 our weather cycles are all part of this picture. All 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, minimising 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:
The ethics earth care, people care and fair share form the foundation for permaculture design and are also found in most traditional societies. 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 civilisations. 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.