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What is sustainable living and why we need it?

The dictionary defines sustainability as ‘meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations’. Sustainable living is a life that is not just dictated in fulfilling present needs but also thinking about the future.

Lately, the term has been most commonly associated with environmental movements. But sustainability is more than just the planet. It is an ecosystem that relies on three pillars – Economic, Social and Environment. Or profits, people and planet.

Economic Viability + Social Equity + Environment Protection= Sustainable
Sustainable equilibrium chart

Economic Viability

Any business model is incomplete without assessing the present demands and predicting future needs. A sustainable organisation thus allocates resources keeping the future trajectory in mind. This ensures steady monetary profits in the long run.

Social Equity

Societies constitute people who are guided by principles of equality, justice and fairness. Policies are implemented to ensure that the society functions smoothly. This allows everyone to enjoy the benefits equally.

Environment Protection

Finally, the last pillar is all about the ecosystem- society functions in an environment where issues of economics, politics and culture intertwine. A healthy ecosystem is one, where all these functions operate smoothly resulting in an overall upliftment of individuals.

Need for Sustainable living

Thus, sustainability is not just about the planet but about every aspect of our lives. It is the guiding principle of every decision we make, or at least it should be.

But human greed and ego have taken the prime spot and caused chaos in this ecosystem. The damage of the same is being felt across the globe.

Some recent facts and figures that highlight the problem.

  • Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean, as per a 2016 study by the World Economic Forum.
  • Global carbon emissions reach an all-time high of 36.8 billion metric tonnes. (Source: Global Carbon Project report,2019)
  • Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica that covers an area of 192,000 square kilometres (the size of Great Britain) is melting significantly due to climate and ocean changes.
  • The dangers of climate change strike the people least equipped to cope, ethnic or religious minorities and indigenous peoples.
  • Three recent studies have illustrated just how widespread climate change’s effect on life on our planet has already become as told by The Guardian.

Covid-19 and the lockdown may have declined some of these rates. But it has not eradicated the fact that our climate is changing. With economies and societies slowly moving back into action, the problems will soon come back into the limelight and this time may be far worse than before.

These numbers and figures are scary. Mass activism and action have thus become even more critical. While it is essential to voice our concerns and demand lawmakers to put certain practices in place, that is not the only solution. Individual steps have a sizeable impact.

Choosing eco-friendly products, adopting planet-friendly diets, purchasing consciously, are just some ways we can start living a more sustainable life. The time for change is now. So join forces with those around you and create a mass movement. Not just for your sake but also for the planets.

We at Conscious Charcha aim to keep the conversation about conservation alive and continue to share small yet effective measures that you can take today.

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