From news reports, we are bombarded by signals of distress of toxic wastes, famines and expiring species, of wars and climate change. Never have so many systems vital to the earth’s habitability been out of equilibrium simultaneously. So why not awaken to the urgency of this global challenge?
As a strategy to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable future, many people are using Permaculture as a tool. This methodology offers a radical approach to food production and urban renewal, water, energy and pollution. It integrates ecology, landscape, organic gardening, architecture and agro-forestry in creating a rich and sustainable way of living. It uses appropriate technology giving high yields for low energy inputs, achieving a resource of great diversity and stability.
At the heart of all permaculture design and practice is a set of ethics of caring for the earth, caring for people and sharing resources, which remains constant, whether we are creating an urban garden, a 1000-hectare forest or an ecovillage. Yet the transition to sustainable future touches on core issues of our societies, which may seem a little frightening to some. It demands that we reflect on our collective values and lifestyles.
Behaving ‘sustainably’ translates thought into action, world views into movements. The cultural transformation demands that each country, community, household and individual involves new ways of looking at the world and how we walk on the surface of this amazing planet.
Permaculture principles can give us the tools, a way to get from here to there. Remembering if you have a problem, see how you can transform it into something positive. Develop new ideas, remembering Albert Einstein’s words “ In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” or, as Bill Mollison once said, “You haven’t got an excess of slugs, you’ve got a duck deficiency”.
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