Definition of sustainable
Sustainable-The word sustainable implies something that supports something, something that can hold up something. Sustainable as a process implies a method by which something is kept at a certain level.
What exactly is the definition of sustainable? There's a lot of different viewpoints as to conceptually what exactly it is and how it can be achieved.
According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, the definition for the word “sustainable” is:
1) Capable of being sustained.
2a) Of relating to or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.
2b) To be of relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods.
These days, the use of the word most likely reflects what's going on environmentally and socially. It’s definition in the common vernacular leans more towards processes and actions that can help keep a social and environmental balance and avoid the depletion of natural resources while keeping a quality-of-life suitable for todays’ societies. A sustainable environment socially, economically and in nature is the ultimate goal.
The terms “sustainable” and sustainability” have been applied to characterize the movement to galvanize awareness and action in natural, resource and social exploitation. These words impact financial flow, investments, consumer buying behavior, business/technological developments and processes with the goal of causing no or the least amount of harm possible to the environment or society.
What's the difference between sustainability and sustainable development?
Sustainable development focuses more on long-term vision. Sustainability has a stronger focus on the present and keeping things steady at a given level.
3 Pillars of Sustainability
There are three main principles to sustainability-Society, Environment and Economy, also informally known as people, planet and profit. Long term thinking organizations look to these as their triple bottom line. There are more conscious consumers than ever, and they are not happy with the long-term effects of uneven distribution of wealth and resources on the environment and societies that's been caused by short-sightedness from businesses and corporations.
Our voracious appetite for instant gratification of goods and services, “cheap and cheerful” products and Fast Fashion have eaten away at our humanity and environment. We are seeing the ill effects on our environment, and on people from our wonton lust for short-term satisfaction.
This had turned sustainability into a much more mainstream concept; a company's reputation can be ruined by perceptions of not practicing sustainable methods with their workers and supply chains.
The World Summit on Social Development identified the three core principles in 2005. From there, these pillars were used to form national standards for certifications and the base of guidance for practices to help the world face the issues it now faces.
Source: Photo Courtesy of Gallant International
Many peoples’ viewpoints differ on this issue due to politics. However people may disagree on what is and is not sound business practice, at the end of the day, people need jobs to keep economies healthy and growing. Providing incentives for businesses to employ and train people and rewarding businesses for adherence to sustainability guidelines is one way to impact this.
Another thing that can be done is to support incentives for the average person to do their bit (e.g. making it easy for people to recycle by having bins placed in easy access areas and public spaces). Everyone can do something, making a cumulative positive impact.
We live in a consumerist society and use a lot of stuff every single day. Getting better control of what and how we consume goods and services is important. Economic development is also about giving people what they want without sacrificing quality of life, making it easier financially and logistically for doing the right thing, especially, in developing countries.
Source: Photo Courtesy of Gallant International
A lot of things play into this pillar. The most important is being sensitive to the need to protect peoples’ health from pollution and harmful byproducts of businesses in the developing world. There's a lot of strong checks and balances that support this in the US, Europe, etc., but not so much in developing countries.
This pillar also this encompasses the need to be able to have access to basic human necessities without compromising the quality of life. Big push buttons are sustainable housing and how we can build homes better sustainably with sustainable practices using sustainable materials.
Another is education, not just the basic education of communities, although that is vastly important, but educating society as a whole. Educating society about the need for sustainable practices and encouraging people to engage in them. Educating people about the effects that our lifestyle can have on the environment and how we can improve them, and also making people aware of the consequences of not achieving these goals.
At this time, everybody is pretty aware that we need to get a grip on climate change and the adverse effects we make on our planet. We can all do something to move the needle, whether it's recycling, turning off all the lights when we leave a room, unplugging devices, walking or taking mass transit instead of taking an individual car. There are regulations for businesses to keep the air pollution and carbon emissions down and renewable power incentives for both consumers and businesses.
Protecting the environment is a huge concern for humanity. We need to study and protect our ecosystems and their integrity. Our ecosystems and the long term stability of our resources is vital to our species. We need to focus on areas where there is extreme stress on the environment it’s resources. Practicing sustainable agriculture is one way. Another is the development and funding of more green technology. Organizations like the EPA recognize this and champion it. The development and use of green technology is as key to sustainability as is protecting the environment against future dangers.
At the end of the day, the goals of sustainability include a healthy planet, healthy land, air and oceans. On a human scale, the goal is to rid our species of poverty and hunger via sustainable economic growth. The concept and practice of sustainability encourages jobs, builds stronger economies, fosters better health care, water quality, sanitation methods and gender equality. It will also help control climate change, pollution and other detrimental environmental factors that can harm us and our planet. By being sustainable, businesses now have a competitive advantage-which is to everyone’s’ benefit.
What can we do to live sustainably
A lot! Below is a list of VERY easy things to do that will make your lifestyle more sustainable. These are things I personally can vouch for.
Many of these items on the list have combined benefits of being not just contributing to sustainability, but are healthier for you, help you stay in shape and save money. I've included some links below so that you can get more ideas about other sustainable practices that you can apply to your lifestyle.
1 ) Switch to LED bulbs
2) Open up blinds/curtains to get as much natural light in as possible
3) Turn off lights when you leave the room
5) Dress in layers instead of turning up (or down) the heat
6) If you can, choose living quarters built with sustainable design
7) Time your showers
8) Grow your herbs/vegetables/fruit-even if it's just in a couple of pots it helps
9) Turn everything off at night
10) Hang dry laundry
11) If you only have a few dirty items to wash, hand wash them
12) Get low-flow showerheads/faucets/toilets
14) If it’s time for a new car invest in electric or hybrid (you also get a tax break for buying ” green”)
15) Fly less
16) Bike or walk as much as possible (plus it’s good for you)
17) Take the stairs (plus it’s good for you)
18) Use public transportation (and use the time to read, catch up on e-mails, etc.)
19) If you can, buy produce from a local farmers market/opt for things grown by sustainable agriculture
20) Avoid anything wrapped in plastic, opt for paper wrapping instead
21) DON’T buy bottled water!
22) Bring your own containers (for bulk food, bread, or deli or for water when traveling
23) Bring your own cup to coffee shops
24) QUIT plastic bags-bring your own leave them in your car/by the door so you don't forget
25) Read the labels and choose sustainable design/organic material use
26) Wash your clothes only when they need it-you'll save water and reduce wear and tear on your items
27) Repurpose old clothes as rags/donate them/use them for cleaning
28) Don't be afraid to do your own repairs on clothes-learn basic sewing skills (enough so that you can mend holes, put on patches and replace buttons) just Google a video-super easy!
29) Buy second-hand/thrift (and it’s super trendy)
30) Buy quality that last longer, “cheap, and cheerful” l will not save the day
31) Choose to buy brands that are ethical and support sustainable practices
32) Repurpose old garments-for example a pair of jeans can become shorts, or decorate them, etc. be creative
32) Send e-invitations when you need to invite people anywhere
34) Ask for email receipts
35) Opt into bank, bill receipts and payments online, go digital
36) Use the voice feature on your phone or computer to take notes
37) Turn off your computer
38) Unplug workstations to cut down “phantom” power
39) Use double-sided printing
40) Collect and recycle scrap paper
In the kitchen
41) Repurpose glass jars/plastic food containers
42) Compost the cut-offs of vegetables and fruits
43) Use washable metal straws
44) When doing the dishes fill up the largest pot or container with hot soapy water and put the balance in it to soak instead of continuously running the water over everything
45) Buy your coffee and make it at home, stay away from the pods
46) Use a dishwasher-it’s less water to run a full load rather than hand wash
47) Reduce food waste by eating only what you need
48) Use cloth instead of paper towels
49) Share products with your whole family (e.g. deodorant, everybody can use same deodorant or the same set of shampoo and conditioners)
50) Use multi-purpose bathroom products-e.g. body wash and shampoo
51) Forgo the make-up
52) Don't leave the water running when you're brushing your teeth
53) Read labels for toxic chemicals and don’t buy those products
54) Make your own gifts
55) Donate to a charity or cause instead of a material gift
56) Offer your services (e.g. pet sit, baby/house sit, clean someone's house, weed their yard, you get the idea)
57) Save gift bags and boxes for future use
58) Give experiences- for example of massage certificate instead of material things
59) Make a meal, cake or cookies as a gift
Source: Photo” Madison Whalen Cheshire Cat Cupcake party gifts
60) Use rechargeable batteries
61) Recycle your devices instead of throwing them out
62) Donate your old devices to schools or charities
63) Use an E-Waste recycling program
64) If you can, use solar energy chargers for your phones and tablets
65) Use cloud storage instead of physical hard drives or servers
66) Keep your device in good shape and repair instead of getting a new one
67) if you if you need to buy something new choose energy efficient it's there's a lot of available & it saves you money in the long run
68) Read online books
69) Make your food at home instead of ordering out- it'll save money and you'll be healthier (I can vouch for this)
70) And, while you're cooking make extra so you can freeze it or start a food swap co-op with your neighborhood
71) Adopt pets instead of buying-there are so many out there!
72) Don’t use disposable cutlery and napkins
73) Use stainless steel drink bottles/reusable containers for your beverages
74) Get outside
75) Eat foods that are close to nature (you can read/understand the ingredients)/go vegan
76) Join a local food co-op
77) Plant trees
78) Borrow books/use the library
Source: Terra thread Home
At Terra Thread Home we are committed to creating high-quality luxury home products in a sustainable way We are excited to offer our premium organic cotton sheet sets, blankets, swaddle blankets, bathrobes and bath towels. We at Terra Thread Home are committed to Quality Purity and Goodness starting from our GOTS certified cotton. Every product we make is a messenger of goodness-good for the planet, for the farmers and good for you.
We are acutely aware of the environmental and social issues that the world is facing and therefore take our ethical responsibilities very seriously. We are committed to sustainable practices of production. We ensure the highest social, economic and environmental compliance and quality standards have been met throughout our entire production cycle.
We believe in giving back--for every product sold we contribute meals in the US to those in need through the Feeding America program. Our contribution is, matched by the Tony Robbins 1 million billion meals challenge, doubling the impact.
We are proud to create good that returns goodness and contribute to a sustainable lifestyle.
We understand that the world can't be changed overnight; we also know that together we can be instrumental in making a difference. By supporting Terra Thread Home you are supporting sustainable practices and the well-being of people and the planet.