Is sustainable development possible for sustainable living?
by Meghan Gane
6 months ago
What is the meaning of sustainability?
It's the ability to meet our needs, NOT wants, within ecological constraints. By doing so the planet is able to sustain life with its available resources. For instance, providing food for a community without degrading our oceans or land. In this article we are going to talk about sustainable development for sustainable living.
What are the 3 principles of sustainability and how can they help create sustainable development
There are 3 main principles/pillars for sustainability
1. Sustainable environment (4 goals)
- Cleaner water
- Protecting life on land
- Climate actions
- Protecting marine life
2. Healthy society (8 goals)
- No poverty
- Zero hunger
- Good health and wellbeing
- Quality education
- Gender equality
- Affordable and clean energy
- Sustainable cities and communities
- Peace, justice, and strong institutions
3. Thriving economy ( 4 goals)
- Decent work and economic growth
- Industry innovation and infrastructure
- Reduce inequalities
- Responsible consumption and products
All of the goals mentioned above might sound like a lot, we therefore, have to
see it in a more simplified way. For instance, providing cleaner water helps improve the health of the community which in turn provides a healthy working population which are able to work efficiently therefore increasing economic growth.
Technologies such as better sewage systems or improved ways to dispose of our waste form part of sustainable development. These are key elements set up within society to help it thrive socially and economically. Well-established systems that function within environmental constraints are more capable of attaining sustainable living. If we continue to invest time and money in eco-friendly alternatives we will create the environment necessary for sustainable development.
Does that mean sustainable development is possible?
The answer is yes, but we must focus on sustainable economic growth. That means investing in economic development that is conducted without depleting our natural resources. This is vital in order to make sure that enough resources are available for future generations. Below are actions to be taken so that we can achieve sustainable development.
Actions that we should take for more sustainable living
- Stop the industrial level extraction of our non-renewable resources and invest more into the development of renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power. The extraction of fossil fuels or heavy metals is based on greed, greed for profits. The profit is then used to invest in damaging technologies rather than to develop innovative alternatives.
- Decrease our waste by consuming less disposable plastic containers that end up in the landfill. The increased amount of waste materials in landfill leads to soil and water pollution. This also affects communities that live around these contaminated areas.
- Stop the degradation of nature's natural resources e.g deforestation from industrialised agriculture or overfishing.
- Put forth better legislation that help protect workers. More fair trade products help protect their employees and improve their working conditions.
To conclude what would happen if there is no sustainability
The scarcity of renewable sources of energy will also lead to hunger and poverty. To put it bluntly, we will go extinct without viable resources to sustain life. But it likely wont be the starvation that finally destroys the human race but the wars that will erupt over newly scarce resources such as water and food.
We must take actions now to create a sustainable environment and economy for future generations