Sustainability is the ability to maintain a certain status or process in existing systems. The most frequent use of the term “sustainability” is connected to biological or human systems in the context of ecology. The ability of an ecosystem to function and maintain productivity for a prolonged period is also sustainability.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is one way to help. In this series pages we will go into what sustainability has to with ecology, recycling, water, and more. We will also reveal what some companies (like Petsmart and Disney) are doing to make a difference by operating their businesses in a sustainable way.
Living Sustainability / What is Sustainable Living?
A lifestyle that focuses on the reduction of the consumption of the Earth’s natural capital is called sustainable living. Our planet’s natural capital or natural resources are finite and will not last forever at the current rate of consumption. Numerous individuals and groups are advocates of this kind of environmental concern and as such preach a lifestyle where there exists a balance with Earth’s natural ecology.
Individuals or groups practicing sustainable living have devised various methods of reducing the impact that human society has on the environment. The reduction of our “Carbon Footprint” is often the most important aspect of proponents of ecological or sustainable living.
Living Sustainability / Past and Present
Advocates of sustainable living try to live lives that are in accordance with the principles of sustainability. Sustainability is often defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This is the “Brundtland Definition” of sustainability and is the definition most internationally recognized.
Living Sustainability / What can we do to live sustainably?
Reducing our carbon footprint will reduce the impact of our society on the environment. There are numerous ways to reduce our carbon footprint. The following measures are the easiest and will result in a sizeable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Minimize the necessary car emissions. 1 liter of gasoline can produce 5 lbs of greenhouse gas emission. Obviously we cannot totally do without cars but what we can do is use the car only for essential purposes. We should drive less and instead walk where possible and use public transport more. When doing essential driving plan for a maximum number of errands per trip.
Buy less use less. Statistics show that the average American household wastes 1,000 dollars every year buying things they never use. If you buy takeout eat all of it don’t waste any of it. Practice buying only what you need and what you will use. You will get better at this with time and practice. Every time you think about buying shoes, clothes, appliances, etc. ask yourself whether you truly need it.
Be an advocate of sustainable living. Preach about what we can do to help our environment. Be a living model of sustainable living and show others that it can be done with a little effort and a lot of concern over our ecology. Spread information and start discussions about sustainability. The more people become aware the more people will get concerned about the environment.
Eat less meat. When land is used to grow vegetables and legumes it produces 10 times more protein than when the same area of land is used to grow beef. Reducing meat in your meals is easily done. Just start by replacing one meal per week with a vegetarian meal. You can increase the number of vegetarian meals as you find more vegetarian recipes.
Make ethical and green investments. If you are not sure what your investments are funding you had better find out. Your money might be used for unsustainable activities and even for activities that are against your ethics. You need to know if your investment supports of takes away from your stated position.
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