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.
What is Meant by Sustainability / Ideals To Live By
In its most general sense, sustainability can be defined as the ability to endure or the capacity to be maintained at a specific level or rate.
In the context of present times, however, sustainability represents an undefined set of ideals that allow people and other living things to live long lives with comfort, dignity, productivity, and satisfaction within an environment that is sound and a society that is just.
It is through the ideal of sustainability that the current population of human beings can lead rich lives without compromising those of generations to come. In effect, sustainability has defined the effort to make the Earth, as well as all beings that populate it, endure indefinitely or for as long as possible.
What is Meant by Sustainability / How Societies and Economies are Affected
Many people seem to think that sustainability is all about caring for the environment. However, it should be obvious that it is much more than cooperating with nature so that nature will cooperate with us.
Sustainability does not just encompass environmental preservation but also the well being and development of societies and economies that exist within and depend on it. The effort to conserve nature in the context of sustainability is not the end but the means to achieve the need to advance human civilization at present and in the distant future.
Many societies and civilizations have grown and developed without clearly defining or recognizing the ideals of sustainability.
Of course, the human nature of survival has always been present and that has translated into where we are now and how we got to this state.
However, now that we recognize the need to balance progress with the fate of future generations, there is a need for us to discover, adopt, implement, and establish practices that encourage the ideals of sustainability.
What is Meant by Sustainability / Awareness is the First Step
We all need natural resources to sustain and enhance our way of living. As we become more and more aware of the importance of sustainability, we begin to recognize the fact that the resources available to us are limited and that we need to use them responsibly.
This means ensuring that we use renewable sources at a rate that will allow nature to regenerate completely.
Non-renewable resources, on the other hand, should be used at a rate that is low enough to give mankind sufficient time to develop alternatives before risking depletion.
Apart from resources that we use, we also need to start being careful with the by-products of our activities. Everything that we create or do generates some form of waste.
Because waste will ultimately flow back to nature, we need to start making sure that the rate at which we create waste is well within the capacity of the environment to absorb it without degrading its future capabilities.
We cannot undo what our predecessors have already done. We can, however, adjust our way of life for the sake of sustainability and continued existence.
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