Sustainability - is it just a buzz word?
Sustainability is an over used term these days. What really is sustainability? I looked up the best information source ever - the internet and here is the simplest definition I found.
Sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Read that again.
This definition is so simple and made me realize that I have grown up seeing and practicing sustainability. If sustainability is about saving for the future - I have seen my parents and grandparents selflessly save for our future. They protected, preserved and saved their resources for the future generations. What resources did they save - financial resources because that is what they have experienced a lack of and didn't want their future generations to ever feel a lack of. That is the only resource in their knowledge that they thought depleted. It is quite logical - we save up for what we think we might lose. The only sustainability we saw preached and practiced was financial sustainability.
People, Planet and Profits are the three areas of sustainability. We have focused on People and profits over the last few decades, that we have abused the planet. Industrialization, Mass production, Machinery - all these are examples of our efforts towards sustaining profits and people. Undoubtedly, industrialization has advanced us leaps and bounds but let's ask ourselves - Have we misused industrialization? Have we abused technology? Have our consumption patterns caused this climate change?
In our efforts to sustain profits, we abused and misused our planet. The very planet that sustains lives.
Is it worth it? What can you and I do? What small steps can we make in our lives to reverse the changes we aimlessly caused?
Let's forgive ourselves for what we did in ignorance but when we know what we know now - what can we do to reverse the changes we aimlessly caused? To prove to our ancestors that we learnt the lessons of sustainability from them well? To be satisfied that we did the best for our future generations?
The ball is in our court - Sustainability is not a buzz word my friend, it is a NEED! It is not for later, it is for NOW.