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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Practical Permaculture: Simple Ways to Observe its Principles Every Day

Mar 28, 2011 07:56PM ● By Scott Mann

Many of us would like to live by the principles of permaculture, but don’t know where to begin. Here are some ideas that can help us begin practicing Earth care, people care and fair shares—the ethics of permaculture—every day.

Earth care is about maintaining the planet for all life, not just for people. We can take local steps to nurture our global home by participating in community cleanup and environmental programs; limiting waste by reusing and repairing items; buying used items when possible; and choosing new items that use minimal packaging and are made from recycled materials.

People care involves taking responsibility for supporting ourselves, our families and the community. Planting a garden to feed family, friends and neighbors is a great way to start. Spending dollars locally is helpful, too—visiting farmers’ markets and supporting local craftsmen, artisans and businesses builds our connections to one another and keeps communities strong.

Practicing fair shares ensures that resources are available for everyone now and in the future, by sharing surpluses, being mindful of population and limiting consumption. Sharing excess garden produce with a food bank, donating items to community thrift shops and recycling whenever possible avoids wasting anything that can be used.

Permaculture is about taking action and being positive. When we practice its simple principles, we experience a more enjoyable, vibrant and sustainable life.

Scott Mann, a certified permaculture designer from the Harrisburg area, owns Mann Design, a company providing permaculture design and education. For information, contact him at 717-798-8100 or [email protected]. Also visit

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