American Permaculture Directory

A Tool for Sustainable Living ©

What is Permaculture?

APD Cover Shot

Around 1975 Bill Mollison & David Holmgren originated the term "Permaculture" to describe a PERManent agriCULTURE. Since then, the concept has expanded to represent a PERManent CULTURE.

A quarter of a century later, many Permaculture Design Course Graduates still have difficulty explaining just what permaculture is. That is why this website offers a variety of descriptions.

Below are some current ideas, terms & practices which complement permaculture:

Aquarian age

alternative energy

animal rights

appropriate technology

back to the land

back to nature

barter economy


bio-dynamic gardening

biological remediation


buy locally



community currency

community land trusts

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

conscious design with nature

conservation, preservation

cradle-to-grave awareness

deep ecology

democratic decentralization

Earth Literacy

eating low on the food chain

ecological living


edible landscaping

energy independence

environmental awareness

environmental protection

ethical business

experiential education

folk wisdom

food as fuel

gaia consciousness

Garden of Eden

global consciousness

grass roots activism

Green party movement

growing our own food

holism & wholism

Holistic Resource Management

holistic health

harmony with nature

home gardens

home schooling


hunting & gathering

intentional community


land restoration/reclamation

leaving no tracks

leaving things better than found

live/living food

living for now & the future

living lightly on the land

living spiritually

living within our means

local self-reliance

love mother earth

low-impact lifestyle

low impact recycling

Low Impact Sustainable Agriculture

minimal government

money as a means not an end

mulching & composting

Natural Capitalism

natural food, clothing & shelter

natural healing

natural law

natural pest control

*The Natural Step

*Negative Population Growth


non-toxic materials/products


organic farming & gardening

off-the-grid energy sources

paradigm shift

passive solar energy

peace on earth

permanent communities & societies

post industrialism

post modernism

quality over quantity

remineralization of the earth

refuse, reduce, reuse, or recycle

restoration & regeneration

renewable resources

restoring/respecting nature’s balance

responsible investment

sharing resources

simple pleasures

*Small is Beautiful

social responsibility

solar aquatics

sustainable agriculture

sustainable future

sustainable living

thinking 7 generations ahead

think global - act local

tribal communities

*Use less stuff

*Voluntary simplicity

wildlife habitat preservation

*Zero population growth

.......John Irwin

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