What is Sustainability?
The word “Sustainability” is commonly tossed around these days. We’ve all heard of sustainable products and sustainable lifestyle. But, what does it actually mean to be sustainable? Sustainability is the act of sustaining and maintaining at a certain level.
Why is Sustainability Important For Our Earth?
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important because of the effects that consumerism and the fashion industry have had on the environment. Humans have become wasteful. In fact, 70 pounds of clothing are just thrown away each year and right now, 5% of landfills are made up of clothing and textiles. In order to sustain our Earth, natural resources, and the environment in which we live, we need to adopt sustainable habits and lifestyles.
The 3 Sustainability Pillars
Focusing on one pillar of sustainability will result in a fall in the other pillars. Businesses have to put emphasis on all three pillars working together…
The economic pillar of sustainability focuses on cost-benefit. It’s essential to looking at the economic cost and outweighing the benefits, as well as the impact on the other pillars of sustainability. For example, the cost would greatly outweigh the benefits of purchasing food from another country versus a local market. This is because it costs to transport goods farther but also negatively impacts the environment pillar in that it produces air pollution as well.
Something You Can Do to Help: Purchase locally grown, organic foods to sustain local businesses and grow your local economic strength.
The environmental pillar of sustainability has become a trending concept, and for good reason. The focus that businesses and people are taking on preserving our environment will be good for the Earth for years to come. This pillar of sustainability focuses on protecting the climate, natural resources, purchasing organic foods and stopping the use of pesticides.
Something You Can Do to Help: Ride your bike or walk to work. Switching to green transportation uses less gas and fossil fuels, which will help reduce air pollution.
The social pillar of sustainability focuses on how businesses and the other pillars affect communities and people living within them. Essentially, this pillar focuses on the social responsibility and quality of life aspects of the world. The social pillar of sustainability focuses on providing better education, equal rights, fighting poverty, and prosperity for all people.
Something You Can Do to Help: Encourage equal opportunity at work. Be a leader in corporate social responsibility, with the intent to improve quality of life and equality in your workplace.