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Word of the Day: Sustainability

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by Danna Martínez

Reaching a balance or so-called sustainability depends on several factors. Fortunately, the human being has the necessary capacities to put them into practice. In addition to guaranteeing economic, environmental, and social balance, sustainability seeks to satisfy today’s communities’ needs without putting at risk the resources destined to fulfill future needs.

The concept of sustainability comes from the Latin; sus means under the surface, tenere means to sustain, and the suffix able, which means possibility. This is how sustainability is defined as “standing up for yourself.” In ecological terms, sustainability implies the productive maintenance of biological systems over time and strengthening the balance of the living being with the environment’s resources without making excessive use of them.

To guarantee a balance between economic growth, caring for the environment and planet earth, and the well-being of communities, sustainability goes through three fundamental pillars:

  • Economic. It seeks productive and competitive profitability through responsible practices committed to caring for the environment, promoting quality employment, strengthening social cohesion.
  • Environmental. In addition to implying the reduction of ecological damage, it plays a fundamental role in maintaining natural resources and ecosystem services in favor of human well-being and economic opportunities.
  • Social. Hand in hand with economic and environmental balance, social sustainability seeks the well-being of the human being, prioritizing health, quality education, the end of poverty, peace, reducing inequalities, and promoting alliances.

Natural resources are limited and scarce, such as the key concern for water. Sustainability provides different habits and practices that allow resources to be adequately managed without jeopardizing future generations’ resource satisfaction. Currently, multiple projects represent the effects of sustainability, such as promoting people’s well-being and focusing on preserving natural resources.

These are some projects that over time have managed to contribute to the construction of a sustainable society:

  • Inorganic garbage recycling.
  • Solar power plants.
  • Wind farms.
  • Ecological agriculture.
  • Use of rainwater.
  • Ecotourism.
  • Electric cars.

Global warming, erosion, and loss of forests, rising sea levels, extreme droughts, and species extinction are just some of the consequences of the excessive management of natural resources and social irresponsibility towards nature. Sustainability cannot end climate problems, but it can raise awareness in multiple communities and generate a stimulus of care and conservation of the environment.

The conservation of ecosystems and green spaces such as parks, wetlands, lakes, and forests is essential to strengthen and promote global change in a sustainable way. On the other hand, population growth and production and consumption patterns are the most significant challenges to achieving sustainability globally. That is why it is essential to develop sustainability that human beings generate a substantial change in their behavior on a global level.

Sustainability is essential for many reasons. For example, improving environmental quality to create a balance between the economy, the planet, and human beings. These three pillars can emerge and become more assertive and create an environment free of toxicity in various aspects.

For more information on how to have a better sustainable lifestyle, the WessexWater website offers 14 tips:

  1. Save energy. 
  2. Eat less meat.
  3. Use reusable alternatives.
  4. Go paperless.
  5. Use renewable energy.
  6. Recycle and reuse.
  7. Grow your own produce.
  8. Donate unused items.
  9. Save water.
  10. Buy fair trade products.
  11. Drive less.
  12. Don’t waste food.
  13. Wear sustainable clothing.
  14. Use eco-friendly cleaning products.

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