The Basic Principles of Sustainability are the basic principles of nature.
Principle of Abundance: All creatures have to give to live.
Principle of Enough rather than More: too much of anything starts to self destruct. Nature does not work on the basis of greed. (Use what you need and not what you think you want, bigger is not better. How much of your house do you use and enjoy every day, or are you just paying to store stuff ??)
Cradle to Cradle Thinking: in Natural systems EVERYTHING is food for something else. Waste does not exist. Practice seeing EVERYTHING as a resource. (Example – a compost pile uses what could be waste to produce great soil , amendments, to produce more and better food.)
Stacking Functions: Everything we create should have at least three functions. You should always be able to meet all basic needs in at least two ways. (Example – an arbor that shades your south windows in the summer also grows food, then dies back in the winter for passive solar gain.)
Nature works for softer solutions, always! Solve problems for pattern and relationship. (When in doubt plant trees native to the area). Remember the greatest creativity is on the edges.
Ethic of care for the Earth and all its creatures; caring for people; giving away or reinvesting surplus.
Natural systems are based on relationships – they are local, complex and self regulating. (Example – native plants provide nectar for bees and insects that then pollinate other plants, that then give us food.)