Out of all the different definitions of permaculture that I have heard over the years, two stick out the most:
- A different way of thinking and living.
- The application of the principles of ecology in the design of sustainable human habitats.
The first definition speaks to fact that we are facing challenges unseen by any of our ancestors and that a new paradigm is needed in order for us to be able to come up with solutions. As our world has changed we also need to change our worldviews and especially the way we have been living on this planet Earth, which now struggles to continue to care for our species.
The second definition is a little more broad and addresses how we can move forward, regenerating our degraded environment and creating an abundant future for all species that call this planet home. The principles of ecology are the ways in which the earth and nature continually regenerate themselves in a cyclical manner without needing external inputs and without ever destroying the systems and elements it needs to sustain itself.
To answer the question of why should you care, you only need to take a look around you to see all the problems that we are facing. Once you see these problems then think forward 10, 20 or even 50 years. Ask yourself, “who will have to deal with these challenges and what will they have been left with by our generation”?
Permaculture is not a end in of itself but a model of how we can acknowledge our problems and mistakes and apply practical and effective solutions in our everyday life. It is a pathway for us to walk on, one leading to a health, happy, free and abundant life for us and future generations.