People Care Ethic

Permaculture Earth Care Ethic

Look after Self, Kin and Community

If people’s needs are met in compassionate and simple ways, the environment surrounding them will prosper.

– David Holmgren

There is a common misconception that Permaculture is primarily about growing food, gardening and farming; however, the People Care ethic highlights the importance of human relationships.

People Care starts with caring for ourselves and then expands to the care of our families, friends, neighbours and wider communities. The aim is to be the best and healthiest version of ourselves so we’re empowered to build authentic relationships with the important people in our lives.

We can start by looking at our internal landscape, our values, beliefs, patterns, health, and well-being.  Focussing on our physical health, emotional health, intellectual health and spiritual health are all equally important if we want to reach our full potential.

As we nurture relationships with others

  • we proactively develop effective and compassionate communication
  • genuinely value the differences in others
  • build intimate one on one connections
  • enhance positive group cultures
  • learn from elders, and
  • care for future generations.

The challenge is to grow towards interdependence through first building self-reliance, personal responsibility and resilience, and then connecting and interacting in positive ways with others to build family and community resilience. By recognising and celebrating synergy and the collective wisdom within a group of people, we facilitate opportunities that are not possible alone and achieve the very best outcomes for all involved.

The People Care symbol of two people together represents the need for companionship and collaborative efforts to affect change.  Image from

Short Video

Looby Macnamara, in her book People and Permaculture, explores the relationship that we have with ourselves, each other and the ecological communities in which we live.  This short video highlights some of her intentions for writing the book and also highlights the importance of the People Care Ethic within Permaculture systems.

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