Sustainability is a concept often heard nowadays. And why not? The world’s population is continuously increasing. Resources are getting scarce to the point of unavailability. It is no wonder the way we see things should change. To preserve resources but still manage to meet your need. It is the main idea of achieving and practicing sustainability. Of course, this is not limited to the environment. But the majority of the concerns are related to it.
Looking to learn more about sustainability?
You’re in the right place! In this introduction guide I’ll answer common questions like:
- What is sustainability?
- How has the field of sustainable development evolved?
- What are the best places to learn more about sustainability?
- Is it possible to get a job or start a business in the field?
Sustainability as a Passion and Hobby
Sustainability can be both a Passion and a Hobby. For beginners, you can consider it as a hobby. You can kick it off by using reusable items like metal straws, grocery bags made of cloth, and patronizing recycled materials. Aside from that, you can practice using only what you need. Or maybe take public transportation every once in a while.
As a Passion, you can choose to enroll in science-oriented or engineering college majors. There are also a lot of online courses that teach how sustainability is achieved. You can also check out your community for sustainability-focused organizations. Or even give donations or pledges to volunteers that spearhead these types of projects.
What Is Sustainability?
Sustainability aims to improve the quality of life by preserving natural resources and protecting the balance of the ecosystem. It can be considered a holistic approach. It is not only for private life but in the corporate world also. It has four factors, society, environment, culture, and economy. Each plays a vital role in assuring that future generations have something to look forward to.
The term sustainability refers to the ability of the present generation to meet its needs without compromising the quality of life of the future generation.
A lot of emphasis on the sustainability discourse is placed on the environment, but it also includes social and economic factors.
The main focus in sustainability is the need to avoid exploitation of natural resources.
Evolution of Sustainability
The origin of sustainability is a number of movements including internationalism, conservationism, and social movements.
This was in response to the paradox of industrialization- industrialization brought about a higher standard of living, but many people still live in abject poverty.
It is in this light that personalities such as Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Prime Minister of Norway, came up with a concerted call for sustainable development.
Today, many Americans are aware of sustainability and it’s far reaching and positive impact in enhancing the quality of life.
As a matter of fact, young people are becoming more pro-active in enhancing a sustainable business environment.
How to Get Started With Sustainability
To get started with sustainability, you must first support its projects. First, buy materials that are made of sustainable materials. Second, support renewable energy. Third, reduce waste. At home, make a compost pit and grow a garden. If you don’t have a huge yard, you can use spacious spots. Fourth, Stop using plastic utensils. And fifth, whenever going to the supermarket, bring your reusable eco-bags.
Sustainability 101 – Sustainability for Beginners
For beginners, sustainability in simple words is meeting your needs, without jeopardizing future generations. It is about learning to preserve and avoid excessive consumption of resources. It is a generous act of today that will build the foundation of the future. A future where everyone also has enough to live by.
The best way of looking at sustainability is from the perspective of the parts, that make the whole.
The social, economic, and environmental parameters exist in dependence with each other in a complex web.
For example, if a human being does not have enough money for the school fees of his child (economic challenges and deficit), he may encroach on the forest in order to earn a living, and this will lead to economic degradation.
Similarly, a significant number of American consumers are concerned on the issue of the supply value chain and human rights. Americans are reluctant to source goods from countries which do not protect the welfare of their employees. Similarly, an increasing number of consumers do not want to source products from countries where players use natural resources to fuel conflict or maintain power.
The modern business environment is going green, and the consumers are willing to pay extra in order to protect the environment. Therefore, when you think about starting a business, consider the energy efficient products available in the market, and be sure to utilize them. The federal and state authorities offer incentives on companies that enhance sustainability.
Sustainability must be adapted to the local context. In other words, it is advisable that one avoids a one size fits all strategic sustainability plan. Put differently, one cannot copy a sustainability plan from somewhere else and paste it on the desired plan. In that case, then, one can achieve milestones in a realistic way.
Sustainability works though constant research and development on the need to come up with green products and solutions. For example, if a certain bulb is consuming a lot of light, there is a need for innovation in order to come up with alternative solutions.
However, businesses themselves must be willing to take part in the green process. Coercion is not only inconsequential, but also, it’s a misplaced strategy. Therefore, if you want to convert your followers to the use of green solutions, you must be willing to win their hearts and minds.
Sustainability as a Career/Business
The field of sustainability offers a plethora of study options indoors, in office, or in an industrial environment. There are many roles and responsibilities of a professional in sustainability. This article samples just but a few:
- Evaluating the needs and the scope of a business in protecting the environment
- Contributing to environmental policies
- Making an audit of the operations of the business
- Meeting the requirements of quality assurance
- Preparing teams and enhancing the spirit of team work
- Engagement with the public and collecting feedback
Having stated that, you can prepare yourself for certain job titles which are relevant to sustainability. These include the following:
- Sustainability program director
- Sustainability program coordinator
- Sustainability specialist
- Air quality forecaster
- Water quality engineer
Sustainability Resources – Communities and Websites
The internet is saturated with resources which can help you prepare for your career in sustainability. However, you need to ensure that you extract data and information from valid and reliable sources. Some of the best sources of information for sustainability include the following:
University websites: eg University of Southern California
Government sources: eg United Nations: Sustainable Development
Research centers: eg RAND corporation
Non-Governmental Organizations: eg the Green Institute
Why We Love Sustainability:
Sustainability is not just about saving the environment. It is about being a good steward of the resources you have. And it is also a great chance to leave a mark in the world. Remember, every resource saved is an extension of someone’s life in the future.
How to Show and Celebrate Your Passion for Sustainability:
To celebrate your Passion for Sustainability, you can volunteer for some of its causes. Set a date to join a clean-up drive and tree planting activity. Every day practice recycling and use reusable materials. Make also an effort for people to know the basics. Influence them to practice it too.
Sustainability is not a short-term goal. It requires a lot of discipline, strategy, and planning. And for this concept to succeed, it is important to receive as much support as possible. That is why every person counts.