What is Sustainability?

In simple terms, Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. So often we are too self-absorbed to see the implications of our actions. Our decisions are made with micro-level consciousness instead of big picture thinking. It doesn’t mean that we are intentionally looking to cause harm or are uncaring about things outside of our personal experience. It means that we have opportunity to be more mindful about the choices we make.

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

Robert Swan

Our deficit in consideration is often stemmed from our need for convenience. We equate change with discomfort and if we are hardwired to preserve comfort, we’ll be resistant or hesitant to change.

When we begin to open our mindset to consider not just our own needs but the needs of others, we become more receptive and aligned with living sustainably. Caring for something outside of ourselves helps us to consider how our behavior will impact others and the world at large. Sustainability consciousness begins when we take a look at our current choices and determine how we can make it more conservative. Once you become more mindful, making alternative choices will naturally be imbued in your actions.

Think of all the areas of your life and your activities throughout the day- getting ready in the morning, cooking, commuting to work, household chores, shopping, etc. As you go through each of these activities, look for ways to be more conservative.

Ask yourself the following questions:
  • How can I save energy?
  • How can I simplify this process?
  • How can I reuse this?
  • What can I minimize?
  • What can I reduce?
  • What can I make instead of buy?
  • What sustainable companies and businesses can I support?