While there has been increasing awareness of sustainability in the recent years, the concept itself is hardly new. The movement towards a more sustainable lifestyle has been gaining recognition because it is becoming clear that it is something we all must do to preserve the quality of our lives and of all the lives on Earth.
If you’re confused about what sustainability means or are curious of how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, this article is for you!
What is sustainability?
The definition of sustainability is broad and complex. The most often quoted definition comes from the UN World Commission on Environment and Development: sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development focuses on a more long-term vision for our planet, where the needs of the present do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
What are the goals of sustainability?
In 2014, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development met to discuss and develop a set of primary goals to work towards. They came up with a list of 17 items which included goals such as: ending poverty and hunger, bettering standards of education and healthcare, having sustainable consumption and production patterns, and taking urgent action to combat climate change, pollution, and other harmful environmental factors.
What does a sustainable world look like?
The concept of sustainability is built on the principles of environmental, economical, and societal progress. In a sustainable world, environmental integrity would be maintained meaning that all of the Earth’s natural systems are kept in balance while our natural resources are used at a rate where they are able to replenish themselves. Additionally, all communities have access to the resources they require to meet their needs so that economic systems are intact. Lastly, universal human rights and basic necessities are guaranteed for all, so that there are enough resources to keep families healthy and secure.
Why is sustainability important?
The ability to maintain a sustainable lifestyle will influence the future of the next generations. Thus, sustainability is important for the simple reasons that we will not be able to maintain our quality of life as human beings, the diversity of life, or our ecosystems unless change is made.
What can you do to have a more sustainable life?
Every person can adopt sustainable practices, whether large or small, which can have significant impacts in the long run. There are many realistic changes you can make in your life to decrease your carbon footprint and when these changes are done on a widespread scale, we can make a major difference. For example, if every office worker in the UK used one less staple a day by using a reusable paper clip, 120 tonnes of steel would be saved in one year!
A 2014 report states that 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation and most are due to passenger cars. Taking public transportation, such as buses or trains, walking, and cycling are some realistic changes you can make to your lifestyle. If you are someone who has to drive, consider carpooling with 3-4 other passengers to reduce the number of cars on the road. Another change you can make in your lifestyle is through your diet. In fact, a plant-based diet is the single biggest measure that can be taken to reduce environmental pollution: eliminating meat and dairy products can reduce a person’s carbon footprint by up to 73%!
There are less dramatic ways to promote sustainability: always reduce, reuse, and recycle, use cloths or rags instead of paper towels, air-dry your laundry, use reusable grocery bags and straws, start composting, or grow your own food. There are so many ways to support sustainability at home.
Sustainability at Näak
At Näak, we invest much effort in sustainability, defining it as an integral component of our business model. Right now, we are in the process of implementing new environmental goals such as creating a tool to monitor greenhouse gas production to perform carbon offsetting, setting up incentives for employees to use public transport, and creating and integrating a policy for the safe treatment of waste, just to name a few.
From the start, our company has been making great strides in developing innovative ways to offer sustainable and nutrient-dense products that everyone can enjoy!
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