Earth Care is one of the three ethics of permaculture. Each time that permaculture is practiced, it should be done with the intention of caring for the environment. The wellbeing of the natural system that each aspect of the permaculture plot belongs to should be considered in its design and maintenance.
The Earth Care ethic is met when a healthy environment is created that can sustain life. This environment is often assessed by its soil health. If the soil is healthy, with the proper organisms and nutrients, it is a good indicator that the system is healthy.
No single element, human or otherwise, can be healthy if the system that contains and supports them is not healthy, making Earth Care crucial to creating a successful permaculture garden.