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.
Why is Sustainability Important / Our Future Depends Upon It
Sustainability is important because all the choices we pursue and all the actions that we make today will affect everything in the future. We need to make sound decisions at present in order to avoid limiting the choices of generations to come.
For example, if you continue wasting water and polluting the dwindling supply of freshwater that we have today, we leave future generations with no other choice than to desalinate saltwater or treat contaminated water for their consumption and daily use. We can also be assured that, if that happens, all life that depends on clean freshwater will become extinct.
The same goes with the supply of soil that we currently have. Without proper care, our soils can easily lose quality enough that they will no longer be able to encourage growth and sustain life. If that happens, future civilizations will be void of crop and other natural sources of food. They will then have no other choice but to create man-made sources for nourishment and sustenance.
Why is Sustainability Important / Extinction Will Prevail
The two examples described above may seem terrible but, in fact, those are not the worst circumstances we can leave the future of mankind with. If clean water and good soil become scarce enough, all life on Earth can become extinct. Keep in mind that this does not just apply to soil and water but all elements of nature that are crucial to sustaining the Earth’s equilibrium.
In the past, the entire human population was small and civilizations had very few needs. At that time, natural resources seemed infinite because the capacity of nature to regenerate was much higher than the rate at which human beings used up resources.
Why is Sustainability Important / Time to Wake Up
Today, we are painfully beginning to learn that environmental resources are limited and are quite sensitive to everything that we do. We are starting to experience the effects of the actions of generations that came before us. To make sure that future generations will not experience worse, we need to be aware of the ideals and requirements of sustainability.
As we become aware, we need to put what we learn into action as that is the only way we can allow nature to catch up with the rate at which our requirements grow. This does not mean having to stifle human development. On the contrary, it means sustaining the supply of resources so that we can, in turn, sustain human development.
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