Idiots Introduction to Sustainability

Sustainable agriculture. Sustainable economy. Sustainable bags, buildings and boots. In today’s ‘environment’ sustainability seems to sound like an overused and wide ranging term which can be applied to almost anything, yet how many people can give a precise and concise definition as to what it actually means?
The broadest definition of sustainability is “the ability to keep in existence or maintain”. In its broadest sense sustainability is a concept – in other words, an idea or a notion which is on its way to being or has not yet been fully feasible. The goal or potential for long term maintenance and well being of human life is heavily dependent upon the maintenance and well being of the natural world as well as the use of its resources. To achieve overall sustainability (on all fronts) or the definition of ideal sustainability (long term maintenance of human life) is theoretically made up of the reconciliation of 3 pillars or areas of sustainability to maintain human life’s dependence on) these are social, environmental and economical.
For the purposes of this article we shall say environmental sustainability is the most widely connotated aspect of sustainability, when we hear sustainability, we immediately think of global warming, pollution, renewable energy and the likes thereof.
Natural resources are being used by all industries, some more than others, the way in which they are used and also the amounts they are being used in will determine the potential and the extent to which this goal can be achieved
In the 1970’s it was widely becoming obvious that there is a fanatic limit to the earth’s resources and since then vast amounts of scientific research and evidence has proved that sustainability is still only a concept, a potential term and has not yet been achieved, therefore we are living in a state of unsustainability. At present, the earth cannot continue supporting human life as it is known to us, on a long term basis. Once sustainability is achieved in all areas through collective effort, it is not to say the earth will be able to continue supporting human life without compromise. It is important to note that although thinking sustainably will generate innovative approaches and solutions to the challenges we face, it will not eliminate these challenges, unless we eliminate on non renewable natural resources.
Rather than defining sustainability as a concept or a potential goal, I would say sustainability is a journey. The destination is the almost complete and total elimination of our dependence on inevitably non sustainable resources, and sustainable development is the route to our destination. The element of not knowing exactly how long the journey is and the compromise of forsaking resources along the way should not hinder us in travelling sustainably. Having said all this, the concept of sustainability is what it is, its goals and how these should be achieved, (e.g. sustainable development) is a different variety now to what it was twenty years ago from now, in other words, the terms and …