Sustainable Society: What Is It And What Does It Look Like?
The world we live in today is unsustainable.
We’re destroying our planet at an alarming rate, and there’s no sign of slowing down. Our population continues to grow, and we continue to use resources faster than nature can replenish them.
To fix the environmental issues and many problems facing us today, we must work together to create a sustainable society.
What Is Sustainability?
Sustainability refers to a system’s ability to continue functioning over time.
This includes not only the physical aspects of our environment (such as air quality). But also the social and cultural aspects of life (like the health of our communities).
Sustainable development is a concept that emphasizes the importance of balancing human needs with natural resources.
Sustainable development recognizes that there is no single solution to the world’s problems. Rather, we must develop sustainable solutions through collaboration. Governments, businesses, communities, and individuals must work together.
We need to be sustainable because there are many things we cannot control.
But we can reduce waste, conserve energy, recycle materials, and protect the environment. And we can do this through simple actions. Such as: turning off lights when not needed, recycling paper, plastic, glass, and aluminium, and buying organic food.
What Are The Three Main Pillars Of Sustainability?
There are three main pillars of sustainability: environment, economics, and society.
These pillars represent different aspects of sustainability, each of which requires its own set of actions.
This pillar focuses on protecting our planet’s ecosystem and reducing pollution. Sustainability implies that the environment should be protected. It must be used rationally because it is not an inexhaustible source of resources,
This pillar promotes fair trade practices. It also encourages companies to develop environmentally friendly products. It aims to achieve economic growth without sacrificing the environment.
This pillar aims to improve living conditions for everyone, including women and children.
What Is A Sustainable Society?
A sustainable society is a holistically sustainable society.
It must be:
- Energetically Sustainable
- Resource Sustainable
- Environmentally Sustainable
- Fiscally Sustainable
- Socially Sustainable
In a sustainable society, all human needs are met without depleting or degrading nature and its resources.
An environmentally sustainable society meets all its needs in the present without compromising future generations.
That means working around the limitations of our renewable energy and other planets resources to not harm nature.
A sustainable society would sustain life through renewable energy and other resources like solar and wind power.
If we continue to consume as is, renewable energy generation may not be enough. We will still rely heavily on energy generation through non-renewable fossil fuels.
So a sustainable society may mean lowering consumption, but it doesn’t have to be. We just need to focus more on renewable energy generation. A sustainable society is where people can have a high quality of life without sacrificing the environment.
A sustainable society caters to the well-being of the people while promoting a healthy environment.
It deals with its housing, transportation and resources in a manner that values the natural environment.
A sustainable society minimizes the human society’s negative effect on the environment. It does so by minimizing the consumption of fossil fuels, emissions of greenhouse gases, damage to lands and water resources and pollution.
What Does A Sustainable Society Look Like?
We believe that building a sustainable society is possible. There are examples worldwide where societies have succeeded in making significant progress towards sustainability.
A sustainable society is one that:
- Uses renewable energy-powered ground transportation (electric)
- Has widely available and efficient public transportation
- Has upgradable goods and structures
- Uses long-lasting, reusable goods and almost no disposables
- Has an effective recycling system
- Have most goods locally or nationally produced
- Uses harvest and store energy systems widely (use of solar power, thermal energy, wind energy etc.)
- Uses more efficient farming techniques
- Has overall reduced consumption and reduced waste
How Do We Achieve A Sustainable Society?
For now, we can do things like electrifying cars and ground transport. We can also optimize the surfaces of buildings to use as renewable energy infrastructures. We must strive to be a renewable energy society that uses non-polluting, renewable resources.
But getting society to act as one is the most important thing.
We must establish the common goal of the conservation of resources. We must strive to become a conserver society rather than a consumer society.
For that, we need to raise awareness so that more individuals make sustainable choices. The more citizens that work together for this cause, the more pressure their government will receive. It will make them promote sustainable practices.
For example, the more people choose to ride bikes, the more there will be a need to create more bike-friendly roads rather than car-centric ones. We must thrive on having sustainable and inclusive societies.
Public awareness is not enough. People need to actually understand, so they need to be educated. Having free and fair access to quality education is essential for this.
Aside from individuals, the government and business owners should also change. So, they need to invest in development. We need new technologies, infrastructures, and practices that will be better for the environment.
Lastly, we all need to re-evaluate our values regarding our current consumer-based society. It directly affects how we can conserve and eliminate waste which is crucial to sustainability.
20 Simple Ideas To Begin Living Sustainably
Here are some simple ways you can practice sustainability in modern society:
- Do DIY projects using recycled materials or buy items made of recycled materials.
- DIY your personal products with natural ingredients.
- Shop locally.
- Use natural cleaners like vinegar.
- Buy second-hand items.
- Buy bigger bottles of items (also save you money!).
- Consider zero waste items like shampoo bars.
- Go paperless.
- Support eco-friendly products.
- Opt for reusable things like metal straws than disposables.
- Use public transportation to save resources.
- Buy fair trade products.
- Turn off unnecessary lights when not in use (also save your long-term electrical costs!).
- Unplug electronics when not in use (also reduces your long-term energy costs!).
- Take stairs instead of elevators to save energy (better for your health!)
- Change lights in your house to CFL or LED light bulbs to reduce energy use.
- Air dry your hair instead of blow drying to save energy (also healthier for your hair!).
- Turn off the faucet when brushing teeth to save water.
- Use less hot water to save energy.
- Eat only what you need and reduce food waste.
A sustainable society means living while preserving our natural resources rather than depleting them.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use technology or energy at all; it just means that we should be smart about it.
We should strive to live in a sustainable society because it’s the right thing to do; it may even become our last hope.
But sustainable societies aren’t easy to achieve.
They require us to change our habits, and our mindsets, which is easier said than done.
So, let’s all keep working toward a healthier, happier future together.