What is the meaning of sustainability?
It's the ability to meet our needs, NOT wants, within ecological constraints. By doing so, the planet can sustain life with its available resources. For instance, providing food for a community without degrading our oceans or land. In this article, we will talk about sustainable development for sustainable living.
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, and we, therefore, have to see it in a more simplified way.
For instance, providing cleaner water helps improve the community's health, which in turn provides a healthy working population that can work efficiently, therefore increasing economic growth.
Technologies such as better sewage systems or improved ways to dispose of our waste form sustainable development. These are crucial elements set up within society to help it thrive socially and economically.
Well-established systems that function within environmental constraints can attain 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, which means investing in economic development conducted without depleting our natural resources.
This is vital to ensure 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 developing 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 develop innovative alternatives.
- Decrease our waste by consuming less disposable plastic containers in landfills. The increased waste materials in landfills lead 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 helps 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 energy sources will also lead to hunger and poverty. To put it bluntly, we will go extinct without viable resources to sustain life. But it likely won't 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 now create a sustainable environment and economy for future generations.