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Using Zone 00 to Transform Your Inner Landscape

Author Bernard Alonso

Author Cecile Guiochon

In Human Permaculture: Life Design for Resilient Living, authors Bernard Alonso and Cecile Guiochon create a guide for taking principles of permaculture to redesign your life and create a sustainable existence within the community. One of the fundamental techniques in permaculture design is zoning. Zoning organizes and positions elements into areas according to their needs or use. The more something is used or needed, the closer it is placed starting at zone 0. However, in their book Alonso and Guiochon unpack how to use zone 00 to transform your internal landscape before (or during) changing your environment.

Excerpt from the Book

Change the World Starting With Yourself

“How can we change the outside world without first (or at the same time) transforming our inner landscape? There’s more to the human factor than just “other people”; it includes ourselves. To change yourself — what an adventure!

Usually change is something imposed on us by the events of our lives. But making the decision to change yourself is an act of courage. It is a case of mobilizing both hemispheres of your brain to guide you to the right attitude — a more personal one. Sustainable, profound, and conscious change only moves in one direction: from interior to exterior. Such change roots us in our deepest dimension, in our relationship with that which is “bigger than ourselves” and in our relationships with other people and with society. How do we start this inner change? By activating our “Zone 00” (pronounced “double zero”)!

Zone 00 is a recent “invention” in the history of permaculture. To save travel in their everyday activities, the first permaculturists originally devised five concentric zones, from their personal habitat (Zone 0) out to the wilderness (Zone 5). As time went on, it became unavoidable to consider the uniqueness of the inhabitants themselves: their niche, their sensitivity, their deep needs. Thus was born Zone 00, which represents the most intimate reality of each person.

a person’s life is zoned starting at 00 to represent how to organize one’s life using the zoning principle

This zone was inspired by observations of Zone 5, which remains untouched or given over to nature. Zone 5 can inspire the attitude we adopt in all domains, from how we build our habitats, to what food choices we make, to what projects we undertake, and so on. It is from Zone 00 that the seeds of change germinate, allowing us once more to blend harmoniously with the flow of the world and become fully actualized as humans.”

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