sustainable living and why we need

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. Let us understand sustainable living and it’s features in detail.

sustainable living pillars
Sustainable equilibrium chart

Three pillars of Sustainable Living

Sustainable living is an ecosystem that relies on three pillars – Economic, Social and Environment. Or profits, people and planet.

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.

Features of Sustainable Living

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that aims to reduce an individual’s or community’s use of natural resources and decrease their negative impact on the environment. Some key elements of sustainable living include:

  1. Reducing, reusing, and recycling waste by buying products with minimal packaging, reusing items instead of buying new ones, and recycling whenever possible.
  2. Conserving energy by using energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs, reducing electricity consumption, and using renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power.
  3. Eating sustainably by consuming locally grown and seasonal foods, reducing meat consumption, and supporting sustainable farming practices.
  4. Transportation by using public transportation, carpooling, biking, or walking instead of driving alone, and purchasing a fuel-efficient vehicle
  5. Consuming ethically by being mindful of the environmental and social impact of the products and services we use, and supporting companies that have sustainable practices.
  6. Supporting community and environmental projects by volunteering, supporting environmental organizations, and participating in community initiatives that promote sustainability.
  7. Being aware of the impact and trying to minimize the negative impact on the environment with every decision made.

The best part about sustainable living is that some of these practices are already a part of your daily routine. Find out some zero-waste practices you may be doing already.

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. Subscribe to our blog & start your conscious journey!

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