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Sustainability Essay

1603 words - 7 pages

Sustainability One may often hear sustainable development, sustainable community, sustainable industry, and sustainable agriculture and wonder what these terms mean. Sustainability is related to the quality of life in a community, whether the economic, social, and environmental systems that make up the community are providing a healthy, productive, meaningful life for all community residents, present and future (Hart, 1). Sustainability also is the act of living sustainable at an individual level and as a society. Our actions cannot jeopardize the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A Native American defines sustainability in that we must always take into account the effects ...view middle of the document...

In class we discussed the idea of sustainability that involves four factors: environmental, economic, social, and ideological issues. Often a community is defined according to its three separate parts, economy, environment, and society. However, when the society, economy, and environment, are viewed as unrelated parts of a community, then the community's problems are also viewed as isolated issues. (Hart, 2). Sustainability is more than just the quality of life. It is about understanding the connections between and achieving balance among the social, economic, and environmental parts to a community. Thus, a sustainable community can be better understood as the economy existing within society, and both the economy and society exist within the environment. So sustainability requires managing individual, community, national, and global to allow the economy and society to exist without destroying much of the natural resources we are so depended on. Sustainable communities admit that there are limits to the natural, social, and built systems, which we depend. Often a key question such as, " Are we using this resources faster than it can be renewed" and "Are we enhancing the social and human capital upon which our community depends" (Hart, 2).In essence, sustainability is an issue for all communities, from rural towns to large cities. The three indicators measure whether a community is getting better or worse at providing members with a productive, and happy life, now and in the future (Hart, 2).How then do communities start working on sustainability? Sustainability is considered at the local, regional, national, and global levels. The level we chose to focus on is the local level, the area you live, work, and shop. The ultimate goal of a sustainable local community is to meet its resource needs in ways that can be continued in the future. In order to be able to do this, we need to figure out our basic needs and how to meet those needs most effectively. For example, do you need a TV in every room of the house? Or can we develop more effective, efficient, ways to create a way of life that is satisfying but also can continue into the future? (Hart, 4-6). Some possible solutions we as a society can help the environment and reduce global warming to live more of a sustainable life include the following: When you shop: 1. Don't buy food or household products in plastic or styrofoam containers if there's an alternative.2. Do not purchase goods that are produced at the cost of the rainforest such as coffee, tea, beef and bananas.3. Buy certified organic food. Organic farmers do not use pesticides or nitrogen-based fertilizers, which can poison the earth.4. Avoid buying disposable such as paper plates, towels, and styrofoam cups.5. Buy in bulk whenever you can 6. Look for refillables.7. Buy natural fiber clothing, organic when possible. Wool, silk, linen, hemp, and cotton are renewable resources, longer wearing, and more comfortable.8. Buy products that have...

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