Permaculture is a branch of ecology that develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained agricultural systems modelled on natural ecosystems. The term was coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978.
Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labour; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.
The core tenets of permaculture are:
- Care for the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish.
- Care for people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
- Return of surplus: Reinvesting surpluses back into the system to provide for the first two ethics. This includes the recycling of waste.