Essay on Permaculture – A Sustainable Future

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The term “permaculture” was coined in 1978 by Bill Mollison, an Australian ecologist, with one of his students, David Holmgren. It is a contraction of “permanent agriculture” and also “permanent culture.” Permaculture is a relatively broad term subject to interpretation, but generally it is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. The aim is to create systems that are ecologically sound and economically feasible, which do not damage or pollute and are therefore sustainable in the long term. It is based on the careful observation of natural ecosystems, the value of traditional farming practices, and modern scientific and technological knowledge (Mollison, 1991). The basic philosophy of permaculture …show more content…
A correctly designed system should become more and more diverse and self-sustaining (Wasser, 1994). The basic life ethic of permaculture is that each living thing has an intrinsic worth. A tree may not have commercial value, but it is of value in itself, because it is playing a part in nature. From this life ethic stems the threefold ethic of permaculture: care of the earth, care of people, and reinvestment of all surplus to support the first two ethics. Care of the earth means care of all living and nonliving things: soils, species, atmosphere, habitats of all forms and sizes, waters, and so on. Care of the earth also encompasses care of people, so that our basic needs are taken care of. People have a significant impact on the living systems of the world, but if we can provide for our basic needs, we don’t need to engage in far-reaching destructive practices against the environment. The third component of the care of the earth ethic is the dispersal of surplus materials, specifically time, money and energy, to achieve the aims of earth and people care (Mollison, 1991).

Successful implementation of permaculture design is based on vital guiding principles. First, each element of the system performs multiple functions. Second, each desired function of the system is supported by multiple elements. Finally, crucially, everything in the system is