At the heart of permaculture are three ethics which are central to every permaculture design.
Earth Care – provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.
Permaculture works with natural systems, rather than in competition with them. On a daily basis this includes how we grow our plants, the choices we make as consumers and how we get around. On a larger scale it is about our agricultural systems, political decisions and the protection of wild habitats.
People Care - provision for people to access those resources necessary to their existence.
For most of human history the impacts of an individuals actions have been largely confined to those living in the same ecosystem. Today our actions often impact on people all over the world and often the consequences can be largely invisible. As individuals we need to look after ourselves but also do what we can to ensure that our actions to not harm others, and where possible help others to flourish.
Fair shares – by governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above ethics.
This ethic recognizes that the earth’s resources are limited and that these resources need to be shared amongst many people in an equitable way. Designing permaculturally means ensuring that we only take our fair share of resources to ensure that not only others around the world have access to what they need but also providing for future generations.