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What is Permaculture Design?

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

Solving our environmental problems with common sense

If you ever wanted to know what just one person could do to help solve our environmental problems and make our world a cozy place, the word permaculture is the best place to start. It goes way beyond recycling and "buying green," instead it gets to the heart of living in balance with ecology. The best part? You don't need to live in a commune, smell like patchouli or stop shaving to do it. Oh no, permaculture is a way of thinking as a ecological designer that can benefit all sorts of people, in different places and jobs and interests. Teachers to archeticects can embrace it, small business owners to yep, even writers too.

Permaculture Orgins

Bill Mollison, a man with an extensive background in biology, forestry, hard labor and academia devised a system based on an understanding of nature, that would help humans thrive better within in. Thus a complex, but profoundly insightful and useful methodology of solving problems was born, in the 1970s in Austraila where the Permaculture Design movement was born. As of 2010, that man Bill Mollison was named the "Austrailan of the Year" for his work that spans the globe. The book Permaculture, A Designer's Manual is the tomb of information covering the topic.

Thankfully, you don't have to read the entire dense book to see some of it's helpful solutions in your life. Instead, it's easier to grasp some of the principles by taking a Permaculture Design Course. Many are offered throughout the world, in almost every country. The best hubs are in Australia of course, and the United States where some of Bills former apprentices took the movement in the 80s. Larry Santoyo is one of those former students who is an excellent and hilarious permaculture designers who teaches in California.

Here are some of the things Permaculture brings to modern life:

  • How to understand the natural patterns around you and use them to make your life easier
  • How to manage and maximize your resources to achieve your goals while supporting the environment
  • How to design anything using the principles of natural succession and the patterns in the landscape
  • How to create wealth and food security within the community

And for more tangible applications,

  • How to harvest rainwater off your roof
  • How to repair land that has been destroyed by humans
  • How to build a beautiful outdoor natural oven that can make 60 pizzas in 90 minutes
  • How to build with natural materials
  • How to build a food forest and harvest rainwater at your home

Ultimately, Permaculture is common sense written down well. In essence, we are all designers, we as humans design our own life, the placement of our furniture, the way we travel to work, the colors we like to see around us and the habits we create for ourselves. Society has gotten away from taking the environmental impact of what we do when making decisions. Today we are looking for ways to solve the problems that we created. This is a job of an ecologically thinking designer. With Permaculture it is a job that everyone can do. Anyone can pick up these skills and benefit their own lives by creating a better habitat around themselves and a healthier one for the whole. Permaculture is a holistic way to problem-solving and balanced living.


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Comments

Nov 16, 2010 12:46pm
dreamaker
Interesting piece.
Sep 28, 2011 3:10pm
Mulchkin
Great to see someone writing about such an important topic. What incredible potential there is with permaculture!
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