What Is Sustainability?
What Is Sustainability?
Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
(UN World Commission on Environment and Development)
The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: economic, environmental, and social—also known informally as profits, planet, and people.
This approach to sustainability is the most popular and it is the most advertised. Environmental sustainability should guide people and businesses to be more sustainable to the environment and animals, and how to protect the future for the next generations. We can work on this goal by focusing on reducing their carbon footprint, packaging waste, water usage, and more things that can help support our planet.
It is about how we take care of society, and how our society is sustainable. The role of society is very important because it is us, we are the society, the people who need support as well as the environment. Practically, this means we should contemplate human rights, workers' rights, justice, diversity, and democracy.
Economic sustainability necessitates a different perspective on sustainability, the ability to generate wealth. For a sustainable economy, we should reflect upon whether economic growth is achievable, and try to ensure a distribution of wealth.
Wasted food is a growing problem in modern society. In 2017 alone, almost 41 million tons of food waste was generated, with only 6.3 percent diverted for composting from landfills and combustion for energy recovery. By cutting down on your food waste, we can not only help the environment but also such issues as food poverty.
Online or local shopping
Nowadays, technology allows us to make our shopping online, which is a very sustainable way to do it. You don't need to drive anywhere and waste time, gas, space and more just to buy products. Also, we can support small businesses, which are helping the economy to grow in a sustainable way. By shopping in local stores we can further reduce our environmental impact by lowering our carbon footprint.
Buying plastic-free packaging can dramatically change the impact you are having on environmental sustainability both in the ocean and on the land.
Quality over price
Personally, I believe in it, and it is very important to evaluate the quality of the product I want to buy. I consider the values of the company and the overall quality of the product itself. By being more conscious about our spending choices we can contribute to better workers' rights and the use of ethical materials, in addition to supporting the economy.
Check Certificates and eco-labels
When buying a product, it is important to check the certifications of the company and eco-labels, such as Fair-trade, Vegan, cruelty-free, FSC, MSC, etc. These labels help the sustainability of the society and the environment, by ensuring certified products are produced humanely and by only using sustainable materials.
All three pillars are important, and there's more than one way to be a sustainable consumer.