Permaculture is an ecology-based design method that seeks to develop sustainable systems that fulfil the needs of both the individual, human communities and the earth in the short and long term by imitating and utilizing nature’s processes. These systems can be, for example, systems related to food and energy production, housing or the organization of economic activities.
At the heart of permaculture are three ethical principles, that are always followed in permaculture design:
- caring for the earth - taking care of the earth, forest, water, air and living beings
- caring for people - taking care of ourselves, close ones and communities locally and globally
- fair share - a sensible balancing of consumption in relation to production and resources and the return of surplus to circulation.
In addition to these, permaculture design is based on a varying set of general design principles formed by observing the functioning of natural ecosystems and identifying the regularities in them. By following these principles it becomes possible to create systems that are productive and self-renewing, and that are better able to adapt to changes in the environment.