Showcasing 12 Principles of Permaculture

permaculture Feb 10, 2022

Written by The Ecoversity Team

Permaculture is an ethical design system that cultivates a regenerative, truly sustainable way of living. Its primary intention is for people to take responsibility for their own existence and that of their children, and to create abundance for humanity by producing all food and materials locally. In essence, permaculture means working with nature instead of against it, through the observation of natural cycles. As we hurtle along a destructive path, destroying precious resources at a rapid rate, permaculture has never been more important.

It’s not time to feel hopeless and defeatist, the great news is Permaculture isn’t just a vague theory, there are clear, practical solutions to create a better world for all of us. Permaculture principles can be applied not only to agriculture, but to how we live our lives. 


Twelve of our Favorite Principles of Permaculture 


1. Observe and Interact

Observing the natural world around us, and responding to it, is essential in moving towards a more conscious, sustainable way of living. We can learn so much from nature as well as from other people, observing carefully and applying the same methods to achieve better outcomes.


2. Catch and Store Energy

Energy is abundant on planet earth. We can learn how to catch and store energy in plants through renewable energy infrastructure. Growing your own food is a brilliant way to catch and store energy from the sun. Passive solar design offers ways for architects and designers to make further use of this incredible and abundant energy source.


3. Obtain a yield

Obtaining a yield can mean using organic gardening techniques to provide food for our families – a tangible yield, but it can also be about obtaining the non-tangible: joy, health and emotional wellbeing. 

Living a lifestyle that applies permaculture principles offers all sorts of yields - it brings so many benefits to ourselves, others and the environment in many different ways. 


4. Apply Self-Regulation and Feedback

Understanding where we’ve succeeded or failed is vital in creating lasting change. Through analyzing and evaluating all the things that we buy, we can make better purchasing decisions in future. By reducing, reusing, recycling and regulating our bad habits (such as buying many things we don’t really need) we can make positive change and be more conscious about our decisions and their actions.


5. Use and Value Renewables

By harnessing the power of the sun, water or wind, we can power our homes, grow our food and regenerate our environments. Rather than remaining reliant on expensive, limited and polluting fossil fuels, we could make use of renewable sources of energy, such as switching to a green energy supplier, or better yet, generating our own power with solar panels installed in our homes. There are many things we can do to move towards a more sustainable way of living. 


6. Produce No Waste

We can move towards a zero waste lifestyle by examining the trash we throw out and trying to reduce the volume of it. This can be done in a few ways: by reducing the amount of things we buy, by buying more wisely (better quality products where possible) by recycling, reusing and up-cycling things, and by choosing more ethical companies who look at their product life cycle and attempt to prolong it, or close the loop entirely.


7. Design from Patterns to Details

Whether you’re designing a garden, or redesigning your life, it can help to look at the bigger picture before getting concerned with the finer details. Thinking in a holistic way about all aspects of our life can help us move forward in a proactive, purposeful way instead of getting stuck with all the details before we’ve even made a start.


8. Integrate Don’t Segregate

Plants work well in diverse systems and so do people. This thought can be applied not only to gardens and forests, but also to groups, communities and organizations. Regenerative, sustainable practices are done collaboratively, not alone. We achieve great change through working in harmony, not against each other. The founding principle of permaculture is just that - to work with nature, not against it, and the same applies to people. 


9. Small & slow solutions

Everything starts with an initial step. This can be small. When we try to run before we can walk, by taking on too much, we can become overwhelmed quickly. Don’t try to redesign every part of your life, just make one small positive change today. Then repeat it tomorrow. Don’t try to start a whole community in one month, just make one new friend each week, then go from there. Instead of a permaculture farm, why not first start with an edible herb garden? Small and steady always wins the race.


10. Value Diversity

Ecosystems work best when there is rich biodiversity of many plants, trees and animals, living together, and in the same way life works best when there is a rich variety, too. In your garden and life, it’s a wise idea to value and promote diversity in all its forms.


11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Sustainability is about being resourceful, making use of what’s available and around us.

It doesn’t matter if we’re referring to work places, homes, society or land use, making best use of what we have involves fringe elements and the marginal. This could mean growing food in an unused space, involving someone who has been left out or it could be a little abstract, like thinking in a different way to the norm.


12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change

Permaculture isn’t just about the present, it’s about the future too. We design for change, understanding things fluctuate over time, like the climate, our perspectives, and our actions. Change is inevitable, so including this when we think and plan for the future will equip us with a broader perspective, and how best to adapt.

Understanding the key principles of Permaculture is helpful and eye opening, even if we don’t intend to set out on a permaculture journey just yet, we can apply this wisdom and thinking to our daily lives to affect positive change. 


Ecoversity’s Permaculture Design Certification

In this internationally recognized certification program, you will gain the tools and principles to design a self-sustaining property system for your property or anyone else’s. It gives you the tools to redesign your life, as well as your garden. It will teach you how to grow your food, and your relationships.

It will foster the right balance of self-reliance and community mindset. From compost to renewable energy, mushrooms to bees, the curriculum will teach you about the earth, ecosystems, community and yourself.

It will equip you practically to deal with the very real challenges of our future.

Learn More Here.

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