Before and After Permaculture Design


Permaculture: What the transition looks like

Many homes, be they houses, apartments or ranches, have similar inputs and outputs. Here is a quick comparison on what space and energy uses arise from installing a permaculture design.

Before Permaculture Design Changes


Water: Supplied from Huge City Dams that impede major water courses.
Energy: Coal, Coke, Gas (for electricity) Disposable batteries, Timber,
Materials: Construction, packaging, cleaning chemicals, regular changes according to fashion.
Food: Packaged, processed, agro-chemicals.
Air Unfiltered


Water Sewerage, Grey water, Garden run-off, Rainwater lost, chemical pollutants from cleaning fluids, cosmetics, disposable batteries, etc.

Energy: Heat and Light, unburnt gases.

Air and Noise Pollution: Unfiltered Dust Particles ‘Rubbish’ Toxic, nappies, plastics, car fumes, car bodies and parts and spills, Mechanical toys and entertainment, maintenance machines such as mowers etc.

How does the LIFESTYLE change?

The lifestyle is driven by pressures to conform. It can be competitive trying to keep up with the neighbours and fashions. And choices are often driven by pressure to conform. The lifestyle can become repetitive because you are expected to mow the lawn regularly. Entertainment is sought from outside immediate community consumer driven, predictable and controlled input from media and friends, controlled and measured education and limited exposure to the natural world and environment.

Basic Changes to Create a Permaculture System:

In Permaculture we design for physical and cultural changes to the site and the surrounding area to promote durability and easy choices.

Harness and use natural energies (Sun, Wind, Water, Flora and Fauna) dedicate 15% of total space to storage of water (this can be as sub-soil storage, in forests or above ground in shaded ponds. They are shaded to minimise evaporation). Ensure that rain water is optimised, sewerage is utilised, pollution is avoided. Only clean water should leave the site. Use only natural fertilisers. Select strong plant species. Build or renovate to create climate-appropriate buildings [sun, wind, and water]. Encourage people to exercise naturally in the course their daily activities by as walking. Produce local fresh organic food.

Reduce impact and losses of natural resources (heat, shade, soil, water, flora and fauna). There must be no opportunity for soil erosion, hence bare soil. Reduce the risk of sunburn to plants, animals and people. Preserve existing rare species and native animals. At least 20% of the site should serve to meet native animal needs. Choose Flora and Fauna that live well together and not cause conflict.

Community Sharing encouraged by establishment of Meeting places, Eating Houses, Transport, Sports Facilities, Entertainment areas, Play Areas. Shared gardens can serve as a focal point, a place to meet and build social interaction. Many of these spaces should be multi-functional.  Choices include preference for biodegradable, durable and re-useable resources. Daily consumption is reduced and more selective.

AFTER Permaculture

Water: Less supplied water, Rainwater, localised humidity and condensation, natural cloud seeding. Energy: more natural lighting and heating, shade and insulation. The capture of cooling breezes, natural air conditioning.
People work: interesting, interactive and diverse, productive, changes according to seasons and evolution of the system. Materials: local, natural, recycled, organic, and sustainable with minimal packaging and transportation. Food: fresh, local, and nutritious with minimal packaging and processing. Air filtered and directed.


Water Compost toilet, grey water to garden, natural water filter system, poultry, and fish, birds and wildlife access water.
Energy is sustainable, and renewable. There is a lot less ‘Rubbish’ because most food and packaging, furniture and clothing is re-used, shared, recycled, composted and then finally mulched.


Interactive with unpredictable natural elements, interest and participation in local community, educational and health conscious. ‘free’ entertainment from nature (eg. bird watching). Surplus produce is shared, less pressure on existing farms and forests, Higher real estate value on the property, better community and local environment, safer environment for all especially the children and the elderly.