The Pros and Cons of Sustainable Permaculture Philosophy

Sustainable permaculture is a design science based on ethical principles that were developed over four decades ago in response to the unsustainable and destructive patterns of development that were emerging. 

The word ‘permaculture’ is derived from permanent agriculture. The goal of sustainable permaculture is the harmonious integration of human beings with nature. It’s about creating more sustainable communities and living systems by applying permaculture principles and ethics in our everyday lives. It can be applied to anything, from urban and suburban gardening to farming, to whole regions, including:

  • City flats, yards, and window boxes

  • Suburban and country houses/gardens

  • Community spaces

  • Farms and estates

  • Countryside and conservation areas

  • Commercial and industrial premises

  • Educational establishments

One thing that makes permaculture unique is how it distinguishes between ‘sustainable’ and ‘regenerative’. Sustainable is usually taken to mean the maintenance of what currently exists. Permaculture, while considered as being sustainable, also focuses on the regeneration of what has been lost. It does this by caring for the land in a way that connects to the ecosystem by use of specific ecological practices.

Permaculture has proven to be successful and has several benefits for the environment. However, it does have some limitations, such as being less adoptable on a global scale. Specific permaculture practices must be adapted according to the environment in which it is being practiced.

Permaculture is a comprehensive and mindful process – it connects you to your environment and ecology. Thus, it delivers its aims by creating a deep-seated connection to nature and the community working within the permaculture community. Without teamwork and collaboration, permaculture has little chance of sustainable success. In short, it is a way of life that requires a change in mindset and lifestyle.

Advantages of Living in a Permaculture Community

Living in a permaculture community has many advantages, including:

  • You are protecting our natural resources

  • There is less work involved, and less energy needed

  • It promotes biodiversity and helps to preserve wildlife

  • It produces organic crops

  • Health is boosted

  • Space is saved

Living in a permaculture community is also said to increase self-reliance, produce stronger family bonds, reduce the need for housing and town infrastructure development, empower education systems, and deliver greater social equality and justice.

Disadvantages of Living in a Permaculture Community

The disadvantages of living in a permaculture community depend on the individual. For some, the disadvantages are too strong.

The challenges of living in a permaculture community are more mental than physical. It is hard to give up all your previous habits and beliefs when you move to this kind of lifestyle. In addition, you must be willing to work hard and take care of yourself and another person.

It is also much more difficult to create and maintain wealth. Consequently, it can also be more difficult to purchase goods and services. Other disadvantages include little evidence that permaculture works on a large scale, that it is considered to be outside mainstream life, and therefore doesn’t connect easily to modern-day needs.

Conclusion: You Should Probably Consider Living in a Permaculture Community

Permaculture recognizes that people are not separate from nature and that we have a responsibility to care for the planet. Permaculturists cooperate with nature to create environments in which humans can flourish.

While there are challenges associated with permaculture community living, it does help to create shared values, cohesion, and relationships that work for the good of the community, rather than the profit of individuals.

If we wish to be serious about creating a better, more sustainable, and more equitable world, then perhaps we should seek to create communities that take the best of the permaculture principles and put them into action, from concept, design, and maintenance. What do you think?

At ACB Consulting, we are committed to helping improve the communities in which we live, work, and play – including how they are conceived, designed, and created. To learn more, contact ACB Consulting.

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