Design Your Life With Permaculture 5: Use and value renewable resources and services

Josh Davis
Monday, 23rd January 2017

Josh Davis explains how we can manage time, movement (exercise) and our energy so that we retain and renew ourselves rather than becoming drained.

In the aims of replicating and learning from the natural world we should aim to encompass all of her lessons. Rarely, does a natural ecosystem use up all of its resources leaving a depleted and unusable landscape. It is always closing the circle and reusing materials again and again. In the natural world one person’s waste really is another person’s treasure. 

If we ignore the importance of using renewable energy it is impossible to meet so many other permaculture principles. If we deplete our ecosystem it will have knock on consequences that directly affect us. Therefore, using renewable services is key to creating stability for everything else in our lifestyle.

Time - This is one that has been mentioned a lot in the other principles as it truly is our most precious resource. The only way you can get more of it is by looking after your mind and body. We really must try to maximise this resource by eating healthy and exercising regularly. 

Movement - Our bodies are a renewable resource. If we fuel it well it provides energy, the amount of energy we can get out of it depends on how well we have maintained it. It is so important to stay active and flexible in order to get the full value out of this resource. The more we opt to use this resource over non-renewable energy forms the healthier we become. This is a unique resource in that, for the most part, the more we use it the stronger the resource becomes. 

Energy - In order to protect the ecosystem in which we live we have to work with it rather than against. There is a wealth of options to switch to using more renewable energy in our lives and we should aim to incorporate as many as possible that work for our situation. While these options sometimes might not seem to have a positive impact directly on us the two are so closely connected. If we pollute our ecosystem it will become less abundant. The natural world shows time and again that when ecosystems suffer, all of the animals reliant on the system eventually suffer too. We are part of that system. If it stays healthy, we stay healthy.

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Josh Davis is an outdoor educator and facilitator exploring ways we can learn from the natural world. He offers one on one coaching and consulting to help design your life from permaculture. 

You can find out more at

For more ideas about designing your life with permaculture

People and Permaculture and 7 Ways to Think Differently by Looby Macnamara

Zen in the Art of Permaculture Design by Stephan Geyer