Thursday, September 29, 2011

Permaculture: Living the Green Life

Bob Ewing - Economics, environment, and ethics, living green demands that all three operate in harmony. Education and energy are two other Es that are elemental to living sustainably on the earth. Living green means to live in a sustainable way and sustainability demands that we replace, repair or restore the natural resources we use too support us.

I will explore all the Es but let us begin with the one that forms the support for all the others, ethics.

Ethics, to live green or to tread lightly on the earth requires an ethical code that informs your decisions. All we do makes a difference and when we take an approach that considers how our actions will impact not only other people but all life we have taken a major step towards living a sustainable life.

I came to the study of permaculture, a term coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren from combining permanent agriculture and more recently to stand for permanent culture, through a search for a way to not only live in harmony with other beings but to do so in an ethical manner.

Permaculture is a design system and an ethically based one the three permaculture ethics: care for the earth, care for people and fair share. Are central to permaculture and they form the foundation for permaculture design.

Permaculture Ethics:

1.Care for the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.
2.Care for people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary to their existence.
3.Fair Share: this ethic is also known as Setting Limits to Population and Consumption—By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above principles.

It is not essential to get a permaculture education to live a life based upon the ethics. It does require that you take responsibility for your life and be aware that what you do has an impact that goes far beyond your immediate circle. Respect the right of all beings to live and use no more than you need and you are off to a good start.

The four Rs, reduce, reuse, recycle and rethink are an important part of living a lifestyle that reduces your effect on the planet. Buy only what you need, reuse what you can, recycle rather than toss away and perhaps most important be conscious about what you do.

Often our habits are so ingrained that we act without thinking, so take some time now and then and rethink what your daily routines.

If you want to learn more about permaculture and go beyond the basics, then a permaculture course is a sound investment. There are a number of reasons why a permaculture course is valuable.

Permaculture design can assist you to reduce your ecological footprint while saving you money, time and energy. This illustrates a permaculture concept- taking one action and accomplishing three or more tasks.

However, if taking a course is not what you want to do at this time, you can still reduce your impact on our planet by applying the three ethics of permaculture to you daily life.

Ethics is where making a difference begins. When you have a code to live by it will guide you when you need to make basic life decisions and it is those fundamental choices that can heal or harm the earth.