Sustainable living is more than an idea – it’s a necessity. Our lifestyle is quite dependent on the planet, from valuable and limited land to the nonrenewable fossil fuels we’re quickly depleting. Unfortunately, we’ve continued to take from the earth without considering the effects it could have on our future.
Yes, the planet may survive the drastic changes brought about by global warming and the poor decisions of humans – the question is, will we?
What is Sustainable Living?
According to Merriam-Webster, to sustain means to give support or relief to, to keep up or prolong, or to support the weight of. Sustainable living requires an adaptation of our current lifestyle to continue meeting our most basic needs – including food, shelter, clothing, and transportation, as well as energy solutions and clean water and air.
Our current trends have led to:
- A global temperature increase nearly three times that of the previous century just in the past 4 decades.
- More than 170,000 chemicals in the air – accounting for drastic increases in allergies, asthma, and respiratory disorders, as well as diseases like cancer and heart disease.
- An alarming increase in a variety of diseases, including malaria, lyme disease, and bacteria-induced conditions. This increase is attributed primarily to bacterial growth in warming ocean temperatures and disease-carrying insects migrating to more acceptable climates.
- A potential rise in sea level of as much as 7m in the next century. Click here so see how rising sea levels could affect you.
- Eight of the hottest 10 years on record occurring within the last decade.
Why is Sustainability Such a Challenge?
Change is a challenge, whether it’s big or small. It’s obvious that our current habits and lifestyles can not continue without change – the rising cost of oil is just part of the proof. We have become dependent on fossil-fuel driven automobiles and electronic living, while our diets and general habits are typically wasteful and often excessive.
More than 150 years ago, at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, Henry David Thoreau conveyed the significance of a simple lifestyle for human sustenance. Today, we are far from simple! Rather than throwing centuries of advancements out the window, we can use that technology to adapt our current habits to more sustainable options.
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Sustainable innovation has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles are no longer the slow, cramped cars they began as. Net zero development is much more than a cabin in the woods with a compost toilet. Sustainable agriculture has also seen its share of advancements. With current technology and even bigger ideas for the future, sustainable living – that doesn’t sacrifice the luxuries we’re accustomed to – is not a far-fetched fantasy!