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Permaculture Ethics



What are Permaculture Ethics? Simply put, ethics are rules for distinguishing between right or wrong, norms for conduct that determine what is acceptable or unacceptable behaviour.

Permaculture is defined as an ethical design system. The three ethics of permaculture define how you should behave towards the earth, and each other.

What are the three ethics of permaculture?

1. Care of the earth

This means that in permaculture, the number one priority is taking care of the earth, making sure we don't damage its natural systems.

Taken literally, it means caring for the soil itself through revitalising our soil rather than depleting it.

Caring for the earth entails protecting our environment through using renewable resources, recycling, minimising waste and conserving water.


2. Care of the people

This means meeting people's needs, through looking after yourself first and then others including your family, neighbours and communities.

It entails working together with others to achieve the best possible outcome.

Care of the people includes health and wellbeing, 'true' food, learning, right livelihood, community belonging, communication, trust and respect.


3. Sharing of resources

This involves realising that we cannot continue to increase and also sustain the planet.

Sometimes we call it accepting limits to population and consumption. It means to redistribute surplus resources and wealth, taking what we need and sharing the rest.

Fair share entails cooperation, networking and sharing, community development and offering a fair price. After all, what we do for the other, we do for ourselves.


Using the ethics of permaculture, you can evaluate whether your project cares for the earth, cares for the people and shares resources equitably.

It's also very important to continue to measure your project according to these criteria, because it's easy to lose perspective as you become more and more successful.


Related Articles

Discover more about Permaculture by clicking one of the links below:

Permaculture Design Principles: Familiarising yourself with and applying these Permaculture Design Principles make creating a sustainable environment easier than ever before.

No-dig gardening: Build a thriving no-dig gardening bed with virtually no effort.

Making compost: Making compost has never been simpler with this step-by-step method to creating humus-rich soil.

What is soil made of? Discover more about this incredible natural resource.

Or visit Permaculture Design Courses to find out more about studying permaculture.



Return from Permaculture Ethics to PDC Blog: Day 2

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Hi, my name is Melissa and I created this site together with photographer Christopher List to help spread awareness about green lifestyles and travel, so everyone can learn how easy it is to live in a sustainable way. Enjoy!

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