The Holistic Life: Sustainability through Permaculture


A great place to start for anyone wanting to live more sustainably. Ian Lillington fulfils a need for a simple and up to date introduction to permaculture, highlighting how our own behaviour is a central issue in permaculture design.

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In this timely book, Ian Lillington sets out the vision for a sustainable planet as well as methods we can all use to get there. The time has now come to get serious about using alternatives and conserving what we already have, rather than living as if there is an unlimited supply of what we all know to be limited resources.

The first part of the book is based on the three ethics of permaculture, describing the ideal that we can work towards. It covers what is wrong with the current environmental situation and why we need permaculture’s holistic approach.

The second part provides some practical short term techniques that can be applied to ‘buy time’ as we deal with the huge environmental crisis we are mixed up with. It is based on what people are doing in towns, cities and on properties around the world.

The final part illustrates the permaculture design principles and how they can be applied to help you make choices in all aspects of life.

144 pages with colour artwork and photos (210mm x 255mm)

Additional information

Weight .69 kg
Dimensions 255 x 210 x 14 mm

1 review for The Holistic Life: Sustainability through Permaculture

  1. Review by Keith Farnish in the The Sieth Blog, view the original here.

    I’ve been neglecting my garden. Not in any serious way, mind, just that I haven’t been using it to its full potential: I have a small patio that could host a glasshouse, a play area that isn’t played with any more that I could grow some food on, and I could even rent an allotment from my local council (in fact, I am now on the waiting list). But the garden is only a part of the story, as Ian Lillington explains in his book “The Holistic Life”. A cross between a tale of personal, practical discovery, and a general guidebook for establishing a permaculture way of life, The Holistic Life has proved to be a very useful resource in my own journey of discovery.

    Covering a large range of topics, possibly too large for an introduction, the book guides the reader through the ideas of sustainable growing, low energy living, rainwater management, ethics, healthly living and even global ecology. The problem with having such a wide spectrum of interest – I suspect Ian treated this as his one chance to say everything – is that the author sometimes slightly loses the plot in the process: for instance a discussion about vegetable gardening then launches, apropos of nothing, into 8 pages on the principles of passive solar design.

    Permaculture is a huge subject, and it is not something to be gone into lightly; and it is clear that Ian positively revels in the challenges, enthusing about the benefits of lettings his “chooks” onto the garden to eat bugs, and the vital part that local food will play in the future. If the reader is prepared to forgive this darty approach then they will find lots to reward them, and it certainly makes for a nice comfortable bedtime read, allowing the sleeping mind to mull over the ideas contained within.

    The book is split into three sections, the first two describing the practical aspects and background to permaculture, and the final section outlining the core principles of permaculture: for instance, catching energy, obtaining a yield, and valuing diversity. As I said, perhaps too much to be covered in a 140 page book, but nevertheless it is all done with a big heart, lots of very useful photos, illustrations and references. Best of all, unlike a lot of “green” writing being churned out at the moment, the book is not at odds with the kind of deep-green thinking that should be guiding the way we live – something that has been lost so badly in today’s greenwashed world.

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