Permaculture Principles: Nature's Design for Our Living World

2. Capture and store energy

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This one is easily summed up by this old proverb: May hay while the sun shines. The natural world is full of natural energy -- the sun is the most notable source -- and permaculture systems are designed to capture it (often by absorption through plants, as with these sunny yellow marigolds) and store it for later use. Of course, plants aren't the only way to capture and store energy -- solar heating, wind & water turbines are more technologically advanced examples -- but no natural systems can go without capturing and storing energy at some point, whether through plants or water or other energy storage source.

Photo credit: Samuel Mann via Flickr