I enjoy using permaculture principles as a design lens in my everyday life, particularly when I'm designing music programs for work or trying to figure out my lifestyle. Responding to your question about how to use permaculture principles in everyday life, I think it would be fun to brainstorm about how to use the permaculture design process with regard to a random everyday-life-idea. For now, let's try "How to make friends as an adult," just because.
I've heard that the best way to make friends is to have a series of unplanned spontaneous encounters (which is why life on college campuses fosters friendship formation so easily). I'm no expert -- on either permaculture or friendship -- but I'm feeling playful and designy, so let's give this a whack.
Observe and Interact – Go to different spaces and check them out for "regular hang-out-ability." Agreeable church nearby? Club? Charming bar or coffee house? Game store with community gaming tables? Something else? Maybe go out and try hanging out in these spaces and find a few that seem right for you. Check out who's there. Say hi. Return a few times to see how the mood, population, or agreeableness shift over time.
Catch and Store Energy – Gather e-mail addresses and phone numbers from people you like. Notice if there's interest in creating a regular activity, such as a regular gardening group, a D&D night, a choir, a movie night, what-have-you.
Obtain a yield – Enjoy spending time with people at these locations, maybe leverage those phone numbers and e-mails into a dinner party or a Facebook group or a community e-mail list or into a series of planned social encounters
Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback – Notice if you're burning out, notice if you need to wear deodorant, notice which people you enjoy and which people enjoy you, figure out which people seem supportive and enjoyable v. the reverse, cut the crap and refine your process accordingly
Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services – Hang out in places you can afford given your income, find easy ways to make hanging out with people convenient and sustainable, don't be a mooch...
Produce No Waste – Don't be a jerk, don't participate in drama, cause no harm, don't let anyone abuse you or use you, have good boundaries and be kind, and keep things local to you so you don't waste a lot of time or gas getting to these unplanned spontaneous social encounters.
Design From Patterns to Details – If a Friday night movie night works, maybe a Tuesday night board game night will also work. Or if a book club works, maybe a gardening club will also work. If regular meeting times work, set up more meetings. If a spontaneous flow in and out of the door works, foster the flow and don't block it by trying to control times in and out
Integrate Rather Than Segregate – If you've been having fun at the book club, the coffee shop, and the gardening group, try bringing people from these populations to the charming bar, or invite representatives from each group to your home for a gathering, or bring a friend from the coffee shop to the gardening group, etc.
Use Small and Slow Solutions – Start with a visit to the coffee shop once a week. If that weeks, maybe build in a regular stop at the library's continuing adult educations classes. If a dinner party with your integrated friends group works, maybe the next thing is to organize a camping trip -- if that works out, maybe it can be an annual event.
Use and Value Diversity – Maybe interact with people who are much older or younger than you, from a different culture, or who have a different religious or political value system.
Use Edges and Value the Marginal – Challenge yourself out of your comfort zone. Go somewhere new. Hang out with someone who seems lonely. Volunteer.
Creatively Use and Respond to Change – If one of your new friends moves out of state, maybe you can arrange a yearly visit at their new home, bringing you sweeping views of New Jersey or whatever. If a friend discovers a passionate interest in rock concerts, maybe go with her and help her with the driving. If a friend goes through a tragedy, support him with food, conversation, or dish washing as seems right to you. If your charming bar closes, see if you can divert your bar friends over to the coffee shop.
Anyway. That was all totally random. Maybe it's hogwash, I don't know. But it's some hazy 5am brainstorming about how to use the principles of permaculture applied to an actual design problem. Whether or not I did it well is an entirely different story.