22 February 2007
The three Permaculture ethics are fairly simple and self-explanatory, yet very powerful if you stop and consider them as part of every decision you make. They areâ€¦
Care of Earth
Care of all People
Return of Surplus
Care of Earth â€“ this ethic encompasses the Earth as a whole, the planet we share, the air we all breathe, our fresh water supplies, our oceans, the precious soil which supplies our food, care of the microbial life that gives life to the soil, and all species of animals from the smallest to the largest, and our diverse plant worldâ€¦ Is the decision you are making and the way you live your life of benefit to the Earth, doing no damage and, if possible, improving the Earth?
Care of all People â€“ imagine if world leaders made decisions based on this ethic â€“ what a different world we would all be living in. This ethic encompasses the physical and psychological well-being of all people â€“ ensuring needs are met and again doing no damage and if possible making improvements. Will your decision or the way you live your life adversely affect others? How can we meet the needs of all people â€“ providing food, shelter, quality education, and meaningful employment while strengthening our communities and celebrating our culture?
Return of Surplus â€“ in our all-consuming world of consumerism this is such a very important ethic to consider. It invites us to regulate ourselves and only take our fair share. Can you pass something on, can it be recycled, reused, repaired, returned or can you reduce what you are consuming? This not only applies to material goods â€“ what about your knowledge, skills and your time â€“ can you share what you know with others, returning the surplus of your experience, or perhaps volunteer your time? Consider where your consumer dollar ends up â€“ somewhere local that will help build your community and genuinely care for people and the Earth? This ethic is also described in various texts as; distribution of surplus, reducing consumption, limiting consumption, and limiting reproduction and population.
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