Lesson One
What is sustainable living?

In this lesson you will:

What do you think it means to live sustainably?

A. Living within Earth's limits
B. Reducing our impact on the earth's resources
C. Making lifestyle and consumer choices to limit our use of resources
D. Living more simply
E. Taking care of nature so nature can take care of us
F. Meeting our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
G. Creating a balance between our natural systems, our economic system and our social system
H. All of the above

The best answer would be H. Sustainable living and sustainability mean different things to different people. Here's a definition from Teaching Tolerance, "A Standard to Sustain," Number 24 (Fall 2003), p. 14: "It [sustainability] has come to mean the ability to meet present needs without damaging or depleting the environmental, economic or social resources that future generations will need." And that is what permaculture is all about.


  1. Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_living and explore the concept of sustainable living.
  2. Write down your own definition of sustainable living.
  3. In what ways are you living sustainably?  What would you like to change in your own life so that you can live more sustainably?

Intro/Table of Contents Lesson Two


Heathcote.org Home
Introduction/Table of Contents | What is sustainable living? | What is permaculture?
Ethics of permaculture | Seven principles of permaculture | How do you apply permaculture?
Useful strategies and techniques | Resources | Course Assessment | Glossary | Feedback