A system of design that provides all of the needs of humanity in a way that benefits the environment. Geoff Lawton
Permaculture is a holistic system, what this means is that we consider and design all aspects of human and environmental needs. For generations now we have looked at our needs as singularities, we need shelter so we build a box with a roof. We need water so we pipe it in from miles away. We need food so we grow and ship it across the world. A better way of design is to combine these needs and find the connections inherent to their supply. A home is capable of providing shelter, water, comfort and warmth, with good design and a small plot of land it can also provide food, and waste recycling.
The common paradigm or discussion today seems to revolve solely around the negative and the neutral. If we remain as we are today, if we ignore the signs around us and continue with the status qou we are perpetuating previously made, destructive choices. Attitudes in the world are slowly changing but to what? The discussion today is of sustainability, as if the belief is that we can continue in a more enviromentally concious way and nothing needs to change. We should instead look at how we can improve, and enhance the world we live in, how would that look? It is possible to have increaisng life, better living conditions, improving environment.
We need to stop asking how we can continue with less ongoing damage, or asking how to have less impact and instead ask...
how can my impact improve the world around me?
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is a design science that mimics nature's systems to develop sustainable human environments. The most logical extension is in the realm of farming and gardening but its principles can be applied to all of life's environments, public, private, work, social and home.
When we look around us we see a constructed environment. Every piece of our environment has been designed from the lamp on the table on the rug in the house in the city, as well all the invisible structures of society, business, government and social groups, we interact with.
Every element of our lives, how we live, where we live has been designed. We or our ancestors have made descisions, some times actively, consciously or un-consciously. At times there seemed no descision or it has been coerced (another made the descison), others we chose one way over another, one method amongst many, each descision was an act of design.
We have designed the world the way it is, so there is no reason why we can not design it another way. Permaculture is about that choice. We can choose how to live, we can design our environment, our homes, landscapes, and social institutions in a better way. We have chosen to follow a destructive design, fortunately we can change, and change quickly.