Sustainable Living – What Does That Mean?
Sustainable Living Definition
The sustainable living definition describes a choice, actually a necessity, that is about living a lifestyle directed at reducing the effect people have on the planet and its natural resources. To be sustainable, the Earth needs to be able to continue supporting life; human, animal and plant life alike, indefinitely, but we as a population are disrupting the balance in nearly every aspect of our lives. We take and take and take but give very little back.
We need to STOP, NOW! My own view on this definition is to incorporate ideas and perspectives from the areas of self-sufficiency, eco-friendly living and reducing the impact the world population in general has on the planet as a whole. As the image above suggests, we really are living on this planet as if we have another one to go to. It’s time to wake up, smarten up and do things differently. If we take it one step at a time, we can slowly bring about this change. But it has to come from everyone if we are going to turn things around.
Self sufficiency – generally means that there is no requirement for any assistance in terms of aid, support, and interaction to be able to survive. In relation to an entire economy that is self sufficient, this means that there is no trade conducted outside of the community, area, place that is self sufficient. However, I would like to see the addition of helping each other by way of trade or other means so that self sufficiency does not become a situation of every man for himself. This would not suit my ideals at all.
Live “Off The Grid”
Self sufficiency often involves living ‘off the grid’ in terms of not relying on sources of power from electricity companies, instead solar power or other energy generating methods are used. Water is sourced from somewhere nearby and not from town supplies. People grow their own food, make their own dairy products such as butter and cheese and also grind their own flour. They keep animals such as goats, cows, chickens for a source of meat, milk, eggs, etc and make their own clothes, cleaning products, and other items of comfort. Not all people who live self sufficiently, live green as well.
Eco-Friendly Living – is the state of living without causing harm to the environment. This may mean that a person uses non-toxic building supplies, no chemicals for cleaning the home, using materials that have been made from natural substances for clothing and shoes, use solar or other power sources, driving electric cars. The idea being that by using less items that produce carbon emissions the carbon footprint of yourself individually can be reduced. If everyone chose to do this, there would be a huge beneficial impact on the current state of affairs within the world.
We Need To Interconnect Eco-Friendly And Self -Sufficiency
Not all people who are living eco-friendly lifestyles, are living self sufficiently. What I’d like to suggest is that the two become interconnected. Many people do live both ways, but I believe everyone should strive for this kind of lifestyle as best they can in each of their own circumstances and hopefully one day ALL people will live in this way.
Carbon Footprints – What Are The Main Culprits?
So how can I contribute, even in a small way, to help this process along? How can you? Let’s consider what we can do as individuals, or as a community if possible, to lower our carbon footprint on the Earth and start being conscious of our uses of natural resources. Carbon footprints are also known as greenhouse gas, which from my understanding is basically the emitting of carbon dioxide and methane into our atmosphere. However I believe there also are many other substances that are released into the environment that contribute to a drastic reduction in the Earth’s ability to continue to support the people here and these will be discussed further in future articles. The three main culprits in emitting greenhouse gases are generally as follows:
1. Transport And The Associated Fuels.
Nearly all modes of transport have the ability to cause an imbalance in the ecosystem of the Earth. These might include transport by road, air, rail, water, space, cable and pipelines. The areas causing problems fall into the categories of infrastructure, vehicles and operations.
We Are Making Progress, But Is It Enough?
We can alter this by developing fuels and so forth from renewable resources but they must be able to be replenished quicker than they can be consumed. One day even these hybrid cars will hopefully be completely changed over to being fully economically friendly. The world is changing it’s views and becoming more aware of what is causing problems with sustainability, but is it happening fast enough? I am really looking forward to seeing what is developed in terms of transport in our future.
2. Energy Consumption
Energy Consumption plays a big role in the diminishing of natural resources. Just in a domestic home we use energy in many areas of our lives, such as heating, hot water systems, refrigeration, cooling, lighting, washing, drying, cooking, and items like plug-in electrical devices. And this is just in our homes. I dread to think what large companies, producers and industry use every single day they are producing their wares.
Choose Greener Options
We can look to swapping out what we are using now with more greener and longer lasting methods. For example, simply changing our light bulbs to more energy efficient ones will make a vast difference in one home’s carbon footprint in a single year. We live convenient lives but there are still many items available that won’t take us back to the dark ages, but may use older methods with new mechanics. I saw recently that there is now a washing machine that is worked by a foot pump rather than by using electricity.
3. Our Dietary Habits
Our dietary habits place their own problems onto the sustainability of the planet. The amount of land cleared for huge agricultural projects just to produce processed foods, means less unspoiled land but adds to the production of foods that are no longer nutritionally sound.
We Are Poisoning Ourselves Along With Our World
Not to mention the poisoning of the soils with chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides. Or the depletion of quality soil to grow crops in. The convenience and processed food industry and subsequent by-products of manufacture alone would be a horrendous contributor to the energy consumption, waste, environmental impact and dietary disasters of this world. Somehow we have to force ourselves to say No.
Other Factors Affecting Sustainability Are:
- The manufacturing of goods and materials
- The buildings we live
- The shops we buy our goods from
- The places we work in.
- The Take Away foods we eat
- Household pollutants
- Waste products
- Adding hormones and antibiotics to plump up our meats for eating
- Genetically modifying of our plant and animal life known as GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism)
- The pouring of chemicals from personal usage into the waterways by simply bathing
- To name just a few
Join With Me, Come With Me On This Journey!
Let’s discover together how we can reduce our impact. Let’s make a choice to uphold the sustainable living definition by doing everything we can as individuals. If you can, do more. You may want to lobby for changes, you may want to fund raise, you may feel drawn to a particular pet project that has you saving a tree in your community, you may want to blog about it like myself to raise awareness and provide solutions. I don’t expect to be able to incorporate everything into my lifestyle, but I do want to do my best with what I am able to. I have a dream that one day I will live on a fully self-sufficient, environmentally friendly, sustainable property. I hope to achieve that goal in my lifetime. Moving forwards let’s make sure we include green directives in the sustainable living definition.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to sharing this adventure together. If you are doing something that you feel you would like others to know about so they can do the same, please leave a comment below. I am sure my readers would love other ideas for ways to live greener, cleaner and more self-sufficiently to maintain the sustainability of our planet.