There is no doubt that human activity is having a significant impact on our environment. These environmental impacts include depleting our natural resources, air and water pollution, climate change, destruction of habitats, and loss of biodiversity. Because of these growing concerns, we need to learn how to live sustainably. Living sustainably will allow us to conserve our limited resources more wisely so they will be available for future generations (Withgott & Brennan, 2011, Chapter 1).
Although more people are aware of the impacts we have on our environment, there are still people that choose to ignore scientific evidence, or do not fully understand the consequences. Further education and research are critical components in an effort to become more sustainable. Fortunately, younger generations are learning about the need to address environmental issues so that changes can be made to ensure our way of life is sustainable.
Rising global population is hindering our ability to become sustainable, especially in poorer and developing nations. Empowering women through educational opportunities and family planning programs have been shown to decrease population in developed nations through demographic transition. Even though fertility rates are declining in developed nations, there has been a significant increase in resource consumption, and the consumption of material goods and services (Withgott & Brennan, 2011, Chapter 8). Although population control can be a touchy subject, it should be addressed as a solution to our overconsumption and need for sustainability.
Getting involved in political affiliations, or voting for candidates that support sustainability is another solution. We can also support companies that practice sustainability by purchasing their products and services, rather than companies that do not. Companies that satisfy the triple bottom line make environmental, economic, and social goals a priority (Withgott & Brennan, 2011, Chapter 1). In fact, one of my prospective clients discusses their support of sustainability on their website. They participate with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which is a non-profit organization that develops voluntary methods for businesses to measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses can encourage their suppliers to use the CDP as a way to measure goals and reduce emissions (CDP, 2013).
Exploring our options when it comes to food can promote sustainability. Buying in-season, local and organic foods supports sustainability multiple ways. First, purchasing food that is local means that the food is not shipped across the world, thereby reducing carbon emissions from fuel. Second, organic foods do not use pesticides that can contaminate water, nor are they genetically modified; many people are concerned that genetically modified foods could be dangerous to our health. Third, paying attention to ecolabeling can help consumers make informed...