What is sustainability?
Sustainability can be defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
So what does this mean exactly?
This means that as a society, humans are running out of time. We are exceeding our carrying capacity and using up all of our natural resources. We are currently compromising future generations' ability to meet their needs due to our current overuse of resources. To consider future generations well being, humans must start adapting sustainable practices into their daily lives. Yes, many humans are very aware of these growing concerns and are making conscious decisions to slow down the impending doom of reaching carrying capacity. However, a large portion of the world has no idea how their actions are negatively impacting our planet's future.
How can you be more sustainable in your daily life?
Reduce your household energy consumption- turn off the lights,
open the windows, unplug, and air dry clothing!
Shop locally- buy food from farmer's markets or directly from the source. Think about the process of growing, maintaining, and transporting food to your grocery store.
Reduce your plastic consumption! use reusables such as produce bags, bamboo toothbrushes, glass containers, and metal straws.
Compost your waste- DIY composts are very easy to create and if you don't have room for one, you can collect your waste and take it to a composting center
Buy less of what you do not need- consumerism is a huge problem in the world of waste. So many items are made cheaply and bought cheaply, then thrown out soon after. Buying items that are made more sustainably tend to have a longer life cycle and are of better quality. Would you rather have 1 pair of good quality shorts that last you 10 years or have to keep buying a new pair every year due to wear and tear?
Drink tap water- Often times, bottled water is not actually safer than your tap water at home. Philadelphia is lucky to have safe drinking water, as there are many cities that do not have great quality tap water. If this is the case, water filters are also great to use and more sustainable than buying a million plastic bottles.
Use public transportation- It is easier and cheaper to use public transportation when living in a city, opposed to owning a car. It is also a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions. For those who do not live in a place where public transportation is easily accessible, there is often still ride-shares or the opportunity to use a bike/walk places!
All of these small actions are great ways to make yourself more conscious of your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle. However, these are only small scale changes. In order to make a change worldwide, the most significant thing you can do is talk. Talk to your friends, neighbors, coworkers, and strangers! Educate people on how to make the change to sustainable practices. You can also speak to your local and state representatives, pushing for carbon-neutral acts and green initiatives. The fate of future societies and ecosystems is in our hands. Be the change!