About Us

Our Mission

We are dedicated to supporting parents, educators and teachers with skills, resources and materials to co-create a greener future, with children — fast-tracking local resilience.

Ecocentro IPEC - Permaculture centre
Ecocentro IPEC - Permaculture centre

It all began in 1999, in Brazil…

Our journey started 20 years ago in Brazil when we decided to create an ecological centre called Ecocentro IPEC. We realised the importance of creating an eco-centre that promoted reachable sustainable solutions as catalysts for change. In addition, the centre would serve as an educational hub for technological development and social organisation.

This vision is now demonstrated by the widely successful experience at Ecocentro IPEC. So many people from 5 years old to 80 years old have experienced the pleasures and challenges of visiting and living sustainability at the eco-centre.

Ecocentro IPEC is a space where people can use a composting toilet for the first time, collect food and experience solar-powered buildings, all in a safe place. The success of our educational program has taken us to many continents hence the name Planet Schooling.

Planet Schooling is a place to inspire, guide and support you and your family with skills for a greener future. We are excited to present the Planet Schooling book, the Sustainable Solution Series, Workbooks and Permaculture Design & Lifestyle Courses. You can now join us and learn from anywhere in the world.

Head over to our courses to see all the upcoming educational programs and get inspired to change your community and build local resilience.

Meet the Sustainability Experts

Lucy Legan

Permaculture Educator & Author of Planet Schooling

Lucy Legan

Lucy Legan is co-founder of Ecocentro IPEC in Brazil, the most comprehensive reference centre of sustainability in Latin America, demonstrating scalable social technologies models. She has been teaching sustainable education for over 20 years. Lucy has played an integral role in environmental education in Brazil, a best-selling author of educational books on sustainability literacy, and seed saving. She is a public speaker and long- time ecologist.

Lucy is passionate about encouraging individuals to take environmental actions that will make a difference. Her quirky edible gardens have been tasted at Boom Festival in Portugal, Global Eclipse Gathering in the USA, Rainbow Serpent Festival and Strawberry Fields Festival in Australia. She is both an M. Ed and a Diplomat in Permaculture since 2005.

Andre Soares

Permaculture Design & Natural Building Expert

Since the beginnning of Ecocentro IPEC, Andre Soares has understood the need for permaculture design to be both functional, culturally relevant and artistic. This has resulted in the Ecocentro IPEC demonstrating various natural building techniques/models that are low cost, energy efficient, use local materials and are beautiful.

Andre has been responsible for more than 8500 sqm of natural buildings and many replicable technologies developed with the interaction of communities that represent solutions for social transformation. He has taught permaculture education in Australia, USA, Portugal, SpainHaiti, Argentina, and Brazil. His work with composting toilets has been seen at Boom Festival, Global Eclipse Gathering, Burning Man Festival and Strawberry Fields Festival.

Laila Helena

Permaculture Educator & Health Expert

Laila Helena is a children’s and family health specialist who has had a lifetime of sustainability. She grew up in Ecocentro IPEC, Brazil’s pioneering Permaculture and sustainability reference centre. Now, Laila enjoys homesteading in the Byron Hinterland, with her beautiful 7-year-old son. 

In 2008, Laila was selected by the British Council to represent Brazil at the Climate Change – Youth Summit for Environment in Kobe, Japan. Working alongside young people from 13 different countries all advocating for sustainable change.

Her passion includes reconnecting people back to nature and educating people about their innate ability to heal, using ethnobotany, herbalism, functional nutrition and medicinal gardening. She has also co-authored several books which includes Tea for Two.

Planet Schooling Book

The Planet Schooling Book

Many parents and educators wanted to take the experience they received at Ecocentro IPEC closer to home, encouraging life long learning with family members. We realize that a lot of work is involved in preparing a program for a greener future and we wanted to make the process as simple as possible for parents and educators.

This book  ‘Escola Sustentavel’, or Sustainable School was published in 2004 with the objective to support educators. After three editions and 10,000 copies, the book is in the process of being published in English as Planet Schooling.

The book Planet Schooling invites parents to create a living laboratory in the backyard or patio. A place where children can create their own organic garden, worm farm, recycling area, all whilst learning mathematics, science and technologies.

If you are wondering whether your child would be interested, watch the ‘feel good’ video that was taken in the PBCinho, which translates, to Permaculture and Bio-construction for little ones for inspiration. The video is in Brazil (Portuguese) but you will get the general idea of how children can re-design their future by planting trees, participating in communication circles, making colourful bread and stomping on mud to make adobe bricks and cob structures.


Our educational program for adults is known as Ecoversidade or Ecoversity. This program appeared on the government agenda due to the success of United Nations-sponsored first year PDC courses. Ecoversity functions as a model of viable rural settlement, incorporating realities of appropriate technologies, living systems and sustainable community life from a holistic perspective. It has several branches.

A program that connected Living Routes and the University of Massachusetts. University students from the USA participated in permaculture design, organic agriculture and natural building courses. The syllabus offered a unique opportunity for students from the economic north to understand and learn working with people from the economic south. Students gained the inspiration necessary for adopting appropriate ideas and techniques for their climates and cultures. Watch an evaluation of the program here.

A second branch was a successful program, which supported community leaders from Haiti, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Ecuador, and El Salvador and all regions of Brazil and other countries of Latin America. Community leaders would converge at Ecocentro IPEC and live and learn for months at a time, experiencing all aspects of the principles.

The method of inter-cultural communication was based on a community-oriented movement called the constructivist approach. More specifically, the strategy offers opportunities for disadvantaged people to reflect upon their place in the broader social system, realise the structures of oppression that may be present and build these problems into solutions. The issues are understood from many viewpoints. Solutions are sought and built into the premise of practical sustainability.

We always encourage a ‘hands-on approach to learn. Students gain ‘muscle memory’ of the learning experience. Then, when they return home, they remember all that they experienced, and it doesn’t become just a distant memory or pleasant feeling.

Our Programs

We offer a diverse range of programs, services and products all to help you fast track your sustainability journey. Supporting your transition into local resilience. 



Currently launching Planet schooling book by mid 2021.


We offer long and short term courses. Suitable for in person and long distance learning. 

planet schooling homeschooling homeschool


More details coming soon.

Become More Resilient

Permaculture, Homesteading, Natural Construction & More