Saving resources



The fifth Permaculture Design principle is ‘Using Biological Resources’.


This design principle is concerned with the use of biological resources to do work or conserve energy, rather than using non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuel resources. Wherever we can use a plant or animal to perform a certain function in our designs, then this is our preferred approach.


For example, we can use livestock to keep grass short rather than use a lawnmower, or use plants that attract beneficial predatory insects to control pests rather than use toxic chemical pesticides.


It is critical to plan the use of biological resources early in the design process. You will need to figure which biological resources you wish to utilise on the site, and what your strategy will be to manage them. These biological resources will form the very basis of your energy recycling systems, and as a result, determine how sustainable your design will be.


To put it another way, biological resources are a key to recycling energy and materials, so the more you use them successfully, through a well planned strategy, the more sustainable your systems will be within your design.