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Environmental Responsibility Self Audit Process
Copyright © Beverley Paine March, 2007

In his book Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, by David Holmgren, co-originator of the Permaculture Concept, suggests a doing a self-audit is the first step to learning how to take responsibility for the consequences of our personal habits. We do this, in typical permaculture fashion, by considering our inputs and outputs in every area of our lives.

Holmgren emphasises that this exercise needs to be a positive and constructive exercise: it's not, he says, "a confession of our sins". He considers the self audit process to be part of the 'top-down thinking, bottom-up action' "implicit in thinking globally, acting locally." In addition to considering emotinal, intellectual and spiritual needs, Holmgren urges us to think carefully about our material needs. All too often our basis material needs are swamped or hidden below rampant consumerism programmed deeply into our consciousness by "family upbringing, peer pressure, ceaseless advertising and propaganda".

Holmgren's self audit process on page 85 of his book is a valuable aid to help me in my quest to plot an achievable path to a carbon neutral, sensible and more just ecological footprint on planet Earth.

[This article is still in progress - please come back in a few days to read the whole article - thank you for your patience.]

"List or brainstorm all your needs, wants, addictions, abilities, liabilities, and responsibilities."


"Consider all the influences and connections."


"Map the material and energy flos and your personal movement patterns."


"Take responsibility without guilt or blame on others."


"Look for the easiest opportunities for reducing dependence, minimising harm and improving quality of life."


"Make small changes and review the audit regularly."







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permaculture ethics
care for earth,
care for people,
return surplus,
reduce consumption

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Copyright © Beverley Paine 2002-14. Article from this website may be downloaded, reproduced, and distributed without permission as long as each copy includes this entire notice along with citation information (i.e., name of the periodical in which it originally appeared, date of publication, and author's name). Permission must be obtained from the author in order to reprint this article in a published work or to offer it for sale in any form. Please visit Bungala Ridge Permaculture Gardens for more original content by Beverley Paine.