Observing and Interacting with Nature
The three ethics at the core of permaculture are quite simple and don’t need much explanation:
- Care of the earth: in everyday language you probably more often hear “protect/save the environment”. It means the same thing: using renewable resources, recycling, minimizing waste, building up soils rather than depleting them, conserving water and so on.Anybody who aims to do that is following that first permaculture principle or ethic.
- Care of the people: this means simply to look after yourself and after others. Health and well-being are important, so are learning, a sense of belonging, communication, trust and respect.All people should have access to what they need to live a safe and healthy life.
- Fair share: it’s what your mum tried to teach you many, many years ago. Only take what you need and share the rest. This permaculture ethic focuses on co-operation, networking, contributing to the community and on distributing resources and wealth.But it also looks at reduction of consumerism and requires us to rethink our current ideas about growth and development. Sometimes this principle is written as “accepting limits to population and consumption”. We can’t go on consuming like we do without putting more thought into where things come from and how we can produce them sustainably, so they will still be available tomorrow.
Permaculture teaches us to observe nature, to understand our environment and so become more ecologically aware and responsible. The philosophy behind permaculture also looks at the global context, it is a big vision.