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Permaculture Tools for Life: Ethics
Permaculture design takes a practical approach to ethics. What would we have to do to create a permanent culture - one that wouldn’t destroy itself through war or pollution or other means?
This week Koreen gives you the full lowdown on the meaning of ethics in the Permaculture environment. Her fresh take on this age-old subject, one that has bewildered folks for centuries, will provide you with some profound insights. Come on out to our neighborhood on June 3rd for an incredible event: Discover what permaculture really is and what it can do to improve your family’s life in our Free Intro to Permaculture Course. We have another special gathering on the 10th. See below under Events!
Permaculture Tools for Life: Ethics
One of my favorite parts of permaculture is the ethics at the core of it. Ethics is a topic that is sometimes discussed, sometimes argued about, and sometimes ignored in our society. Permaculture design takes a practical approach to ethics. What would we have to do to create a permanent culture - one that wouldn’t destroy itself through war or pollution or other means?
We’d have to care for the earth that provides us with sustenance. If we destroy the ability of the earth to feed us and give us clean water, we can’t survive for very long, clearly.
We’d have to care for each other. When we do, there is less violence and war, and more support, which is really nice when we can get it. Permaculture offers some excellent tools to help people do both things.
The third ethic is to share the surplus.
All these things add up to caring for the future.
Let’s take that third ethics, share the surplus. What does that mean? A first reaction might be to think it means "I must give away anything I have that's extra." Not exactly.
Let’s look at what nature does. In nature, nothing is wasted. Everything in the system is used by something else to survive. From an energy production and use standpoint, this is a hyper-efficient system resulting in super abundance. If you’ve ever been to an old growth forest or even a desert like the Sonoran Desert, these natural systems are packed with an incredible diversity and abundance of life - a self-perpetuating machine. Nature is a circular system, where everything uses everything else.
Modern humans, on the other hand, waste tremendous amounts of energy in a mainly linear approach to life with wasted energy and resources streaming off everything we create from extraction to discard.
So, this third ethic is not just about sharing the surplus, it’s about sharing it in a way that maximally benefits both you and the system and allows it to continue to produce more surplus for everything in it, including you. Because by doing so, by nurturing a complex, abundant system, you create resilience - the ability of the system to continue to survive in the face of a wide range of challenges. Cultures that have learned to do this throughout history have survived much longer than cultures that have not (often thousands of years). This is an important practical aspect of being able to achieve “permanent culture.”
In nature, when surplus is hoarded or aimed only at certain areas, neglecting others, an ecological system will degrade and lose the ability to produce sustainable abundance.
Here’s another fun fact about surplus. The definition of pollution is “surplus in a system that cannot be handled by the system.” If you have a little bit of cyanide, you can survive it. If you eat enough of it, your body systems will shut down and die. Another very scientific saying: “The solution to pollution is dilution.” In other words, diluting the surplus by spreading it can not only reduce or eliminate toxicity, but could allow the system to gain actual benefits.
While it's very possible for humans to produce so much pollution we don't have the means to dilute the damage, spreading a surplus in the system - like manure, which can act as heavy pollution when concentrated - can increase the health of the system. Nature does this on her own; there are ways we can replicate this.
How can this be applied to human systems? There are countless ways, in every sector of life. An example might be a business that finds ways to share its waste stream with others who could benefit from it. A restaurant can give its food waste to local farms to make compost and feed their crops. A construction company could ensure its leftover wood is made available to hobbyist wood workers, repair people or others who could use it rather than the landfill.
Profit sharing is a proven way to inspire loyalty and deeper participation from employees. This can be quite fun once you get into it. How do we turn waste in our own lives into more energy, by sharing our surpluses wisely?
June 3, 2023, 9:30-Noon
Free Intro to Permaculture Course at our farm.
Find out how permaculture can help you:
Grow healthy, organic food with little maintenance needed, by working with nature
Reduce costs of living
Achieve more economic stability
Design your life toward more health and abundance
Sign up today!
June 10, 2023, 9:30-Noon
Slam Dunk Summer Gardening at our farm
Discover how you can plant now and create an abundant food supply for summer and year around.
Learn which little known superfood plants to plant for summer, and how to maximize yields from them.
Cost $25, handouts provided.
Sign up today!
Grow Permaculture Curriculum and Courses:
Are you ready to take your next step in Permaculture? If so, we’ve got you covered from novice to all-star. All our courses are under the direct supervision of Koreen Brennan, educator, diplomate, and PINA board member.
FREE Online Course
Our free Intro to Permaculture Design Course will get you started, give you the basics to prepare for your future. Discover why the adoption of permaculture is rapidly growing and how it opens doors such as: food security, non-toxic pest control, how designs are changing the way people solve problems, and find happiness while doing so! Sign up today!
Online Permaculture Design Course
The internationally recognized Online Permaculture Design Course comes with hands-on practical and mentoring. Now more than ever, people have attention on creating more choices and resilience in their lives. We want healthy food, a clean environment, happiness and security for us, our children, and future generations. This course offers practical steps to achieving these things in your own life, regardless of your circumstances. You can get started right away! Sign up now!
In-Person Permaculture Design Master Class
This is Grow Permaculture’s internationally recognized In-Person Permaculture Design Course. It will be held in St Petersburg, FL, and at our farm in Brooksville, giving people an opportunity to see permaculture in action on both the farm while also studying in an urban environment. Space is limited sign up today!
Check out our full lineup of Grow Permaculture courses!