12 Guiding Principals of Permaculture




Courtesy of John D. Ivanko

The power of permaculture rests in its easy-to-understand foundations. Understanding them and our relationship to Earth’s ecology is where the work begins.

  • Take cues from nature: The goal of permaculture is to mimic a natural landscape, and to make it more productive for human needs as well.
  • Put up your own food; preserving a garden’s harvest is like capturing sunlight.
  • Grow perennials that produce food; plant an edible landscape, not a lawn.
  • Use less energy, feed the soil and harvest rainwater. On a finite planet, only renewable resources are sustainable.
  • Enable the surplus of one design element to supply the need of another: Garden scraps feed chickens, which produce manure, which makes compost to nourish the garden.
  • Strive for self-reliance and resiliency, not self-sufficiency, and engage with the community; permaculture is an integrated system.
  • Avoid big and fast solutions that can have unintended consequences; make the least change necessary and see if it works. As E.F. Schumacher famously stated: “Small is beautiful.”
  • There’s strength in diversity; value it by avoiding a monoculture of anything.
  • Remember that living on the edge can be a very productive place; not all good ideas come from the mainstream.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Art that Inspires Action

By using marine debris, steel, twigs and even snow, artists are incorporating the natural world into their work while simultaneously sending out an SOS from the planet.

Meat Menace

New data shows that emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with three large meat producers emitting as much as some oil companies.

Loving It

McDonald’s says it will end the use of harmful polystyrene foam packaging globally by year’s end, and Dunkin’ Donuts is phasing out its polystyrene foam cups in favor of paper cups.

Natural Pools

Natural pools, which may be built of stone and clay and filtered with aquatic plants, turn out to be both eco-friendly and price competitive compared to conventional swimming pools.

We Need Clean Waters

Efforts are underway around the country to make polluted waterways clean again and to instill local appreciation for their many helpful roles.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags