Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 6-1-2021


In issues of food pathways, social justice, and sustainable practices, permaculture ethics and care ethics provide unique models for improvising solutions. First, permaculture ethics is comprised of three fundamental maxims: (1) care for Earth, (2) care for people, and (3) fair share. These principles inform permaculture practices but also have the possibility to inform cultural frameworks and economic practices. For example, by prioritizing the value and practice of “fair share”—taking only what an individual needs—warns against the consequences of overconsumption. Regarding maxims of care for Earth and people, such principles provide a framework to reclaim the value of care and care work. Care ethics, which prioritizes relational and context-bound approaches to morality as well as care as a virtue, has the potential to inform—similarly to permaculture ethics—a starkly contrasting world ecology to that of the current capitalist world-ecology. Therefore, to apply such ethical theories into public scholarship and acknowledge the powerful potential such theories have to inform cultural, economic, and sustainability practices, I propose that one solution may lie in youth education programming. Thus, by designing an afterschool educational program based on permaculture and care ethics values to be implemented at the DePauw Campus Farm and Permaculture Garden, one step towards a more sustainable future can be taken. Ultimately, the goal of the program would be to foster such values of care and fair share in students.


Winner of the 2021 Prindle Prize for Ethics in Social Science



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