Sustainability is the ability to maintain good environmental, social, and economic systems in balance, indefinitely, on a global and local scale. When all three aspects are taken care of, then we can say that a practice or a product is sustainable.
And sustainable living, as the word suggests, means sustaining life on the Earth. This way of living is about reducing, offsetting, and eventually creating a positive personal and societal impact on the planet’s environment. In more complex terms, sustainable living targets to achieve an environmental equilibrium. While living sustainably, one wishes to return everything to the Earth that he/she took from it.
Astonishing data points like global CO2 emissions reaching 38016.57 metric tonnes in 2019 (approximately 2% more than 2009 Global CO2 emissions) and more plastic waste in the sea than fishes in 2050 have left significantly less time for us to reverse the effects of global warming, ocean pollution, loss of biodiversity and what not.
The modern world has been revolving around overconsumption. We continuously demand resources for food, clothing, shelter, and enjoyable things. However, our way of consumption isn’t sustainable. We demand more and more from a planet that’s quickly drying up resources than the rate of replenishment.
David Attenborough has clearly warned by saying that “There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it.” The question about human life existence has made sustainable living the need of the hour. And therefore, shifting to more conscious consumption patterns is the way forward.
HOW LIVING SUSTAINABLY CAN HELP TO SAVE THE PLANET?
We, as consumers, tend to undermine the power we possess. We have the power of “choice”! Whenever we choose a product, we give a direct or indirect signal to the company, implying a demand for its product and hence should continue producing it.
However, when one starts to live sustainably, he/she becomes conscious about consumption. There are several questions one starts asking before buying or consuming any product or service.
1.Do I really need this?
2.Can I borrow from my friends or neighbours?
3.Can I make this at home?
4.Will I be able to upcycle/recycle it?
5.How many miles has this product travelled?
6.Is it ethically sourced? Were the workers paid fairly?
As we start to make conscious choices, this practice slowly and gradually forms a demand and, hence, the supply of such sustainable products. This way, we communicate to the companies that I no longer require a product that negatively affects the planet, whereas I want a product that has zero to low impact on the Earth.
Sustainable living is not impossible. Sustainable living is a journey. Sustainable living is starting somewhere. Sustainable living is realizing that every effort counts in our quest to save the future. Finally, sustainable living is the only way to ensure the survival of both the human race and Earth.