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Understanding sustainability - what does the term really mean?

It is very likely that you have heard the words "sustainability," and "sustainable development," but what do these words really mean? In the age where it's hip to "go green," people need to have a clear understanding of what going green really means.

Sustainable development refers to the ability to meet our present-day needs while considering the impact we are having on our future. For example, water conservation and recycling are ways to not only help us have less expensive access to water, but to also preserve our natural supplies.

Sustainable development is actually a very broad topic that not only effects the environment, but also has a great impact on the economy and society as a whole. The benefits of studying and developing sustainable practices can be applied in many facets of life.

A few examples include our homes, construction, renewable energy, fuel independence and the development of third world countries. A few things we can do in our homes is recycling, using energy efficient appliances and light bulbs, turning off lights and unplugging unused electrical devices when we leave a room or the house. Using green materials in construction is proving very beneficial to the sustainability of our neighborhoods, and helps home owners save money over time.

Developing and utilizing renewable energy  sources will help us not only find independence from overseas fuel sources, but will also help to preserve our natural resources for future use. Studying these alternative energy and fuel sources would also benefit the sustainable development of impoverished countries, and even cities within our own country.

Development of sustainable practices is not only good for our future, but will help create jobs while increasing education opportunities. This is a relatively new field with the main stream public. As this field grows, jobs will be created and higher education institutions will have the opportunity to educate the much needed workers of the future. So, as you can see, sustainable development, practices that meet present day needs while protecting the future, is a very important topic. Since it is still a relatively young field, it will allow for many new opportunities for our present and future.


  • Christian A. Wittke 5 years ago

    Careful - not everything that is mainstream is actually sustainable; one example: to exchange conventional bulbs with so-called “energy-efficient light bulbs” will proof brutal rubbish as the LED technology is knocking at our doors; production input and recycling challenge of these mercury monsters will never be making up for another two or three years going on with easy to produce and recycle conventional bulbs; especuially as here in Europe it is just the 100W bulb that has been taken off the markets. It will proof a marvellous marketing trick like car- and boiler scrappage schemes. Nothing else.



  • Cassie 5 years ago

    Thank you for this insight. I agree with you that the technologies surounding sustainability and "going green" will be growing and changing as this industry grows and changes. I will be looking deeper into your comment for a future post, as I agree we must be weary of marketing and dig deeper into products. Thank you!

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