What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather against nature and is a framework for creating sustainable ways of living.  It is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can sustain human activities for many generations to come, in harmony with nature, by using efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere, in our homes, gardens, communities and businesses.

Across the UK and around the world, people are designing thriving communities and systems with the help of Permaculture.

There are three key aspects to Permaculture:

  1. An ethical framework: Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share
  2. Understanding of how nature works
  3. A design approach

The Ethical Framework

What is Permaculture? - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

Earth Care

Earth care involves many decisions, from the clothes we choose to wear; the goods we buy; the foods we eat; materials we use for DIY projects; how we travel and much more.

By reducing our consumption and becoming more self-sufficient, working alongside nature, we reduce our impact on the environment.

What is Permaculture? - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

People Care

People Care aims for all members of the community having their basic needs for food, shelter, education, employment and healthy social relationships met.
At the core of People Care is to become self-reliant. 

This means taking responsibility for more than our own future and helping our communities by sharing knowledge.

Permaculture involves an understanding of the power of community. Not all of us will have the skills or land to grow our own food or the ability to eco-renovate our homes but by developing positive networks and sharing information, we can learn from one another and increase our capacity to live more sustainably and become more self-reliant.

What is Permaculture? - SEAG - Shipley Eco-Action Group

Fair Share

Fair share recognises that that we only have one Earth. The Earth’s resources are limited, and we have to share it with all living things and future generations.

In practice, this could mean, for example sharing produce; sharing seeds and cuttings from plants in our gardens; tool sharing; equipment sharing and shared knowledge and skills.

The Design Principles

Without sustainable design systems, Permaculture becomes a lifestyle choice within an existing unsustainable system. 

There are 12 Permaculture design principles that can be used on any scale, in any place and in any climate. When used together, they allow us to design the most efficient and sustainable human habitation and food production systems.

As this is intended to be an introduction to Permaculture, we will not go into further detail in this post but the following is a fantastic introductory short video by Our Changing Climate.

If any of this information has peaked your interest and you wish to know more about Permaculture and how you can make changes in your life to live more sustainably, or perhaps you already practice some of the above principles and wish to develop your knowledge, then check out our new Resources page. We are still in the early days of building this section of the website and will be frequently adding new content.

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