– solutions for sustainable living
“We live in challenging times. Peak oil has made us aware that many of the resources we depend upon are limited; rivers are running dry; deforestation continues at an alarming rate; and we are beginning to experience the effects of climate change.
Our future need not be full of doom and gloom. There is indeed a way forward, and that way is exciting! Permaculture offers us the chance to create a low energy sustainable society, where, through careful design, and with a new awareness, we can begin to solve and maybe even undo some of the problems we have caused.
Taken from Permaculture: A Beginner’s Guide (2nd edition) by Graham Burnett
Permaculture means learning from nature. The aim is to make our lives more sustainable and more productive while reducing the work and energy required. We do this by taking nature as the model for designing our own houses, gardens, farms, woodlands, towns and villages. Definition from www.patrickwhitefield.co.uk
When it began permaculture was seen as mostly about living on the land in a sustainable way, managing our food production, both farming and horticulture, in a way that takes ‘natural ecosystems as the model for our own human habitats.’ Patrick Whitefield, The Earth Care Manual.
The principles have developed into a philosophy of life and action which Patrick describes as ‘careful thought followed by minimal action, rather than hasty action followed by long-term regrets’.
‘Permaculture design principles are thinking tools that when used together allow us to creatively re-design our environment and our behaviour in a world of less energy and resources. The ethical foundation of permaculture – Earth Care, People Care and Fair Shares – guides the use of these design tools ensuring that they are used in appropriate ways’. David Holmgren co-originator of permaculture.
The Prospect community aims to put this into practice both when we are looking at potential properties and how we live there after we have bought one. To this end we intend to use the following 12 permaculture principles, wherever possible:
- Observe and interact
- Catch and store energy
- Obtain a yield
- Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
- Use and value renewable resources and services
- Produce no waste
- Design from patterns to details
- Integrate rather segregate
- Use small and slow solutions
- Use and value diversity
- Use edges and value the marginal
- Creatively use and respond to change
As Maddy Harland – editor of Permaculture Magazine describes it.
‘Permaculture is about low carbon, eco-friendly, abundant living. It is also an ethically based design system for people who want to not only transform their lives and the lives of the people around them but also to play their part in bringing an ecologically balanced, equitable and kinder world into existence.