Permaculture Ethics 1: Earth Care

The first permaculture ethic I am going to look at is Earth care which can be summarised as “enabling all life systems to continue and increase”.

I sometimes think it strange that we, as Christians, don’t seem to value the Earth on which we live. We, like most of the the rest of the world’s population, continue to consume and treat the Earth as if it were a consumable resource, like toilet roll – when the roll runs out there will be another in the packet. But the truth is, there isn’t a packet, we only have one Earth, and if we use it all up then we will be in the ……

I think that part of the problem is that we don’t see the gorilla in the room because our focus is elsewhere, we are too busy counting things, we are not paying attention to our “home”.

As a person of faith, a seeker after truth, as a Christian, I believe that the Earth is part of “creation”. In other words, there is a power, a deity, a “god” who is ultimately responsible for bring everything into existence and sustaining it. All life is a gift from the creator, not to just me or just you, but to all things. All things are a gift to each other, we are all intrinsically linked, we are all parts of the whole creation. As such, I have a responsibility to treat all those gifts to me with care, and I have a responsibility to treat myself with care as a gift to the rest of creation.

I believe that Jesus did just that. He saw all creation, all people, all animals, plants, soil, water, food, everything, as God’s creation, as part of a giant gift economy, to be cared for, to be tended, to be loved, to be appreciated, to be valued.

Not to be consumed, abused, treated as of no or little value, commoditised, discarded.

So for me, the first Permaculture ethic, Earth Care, rings so true. It resonates with my faith and my being.

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