Sustainability refers to a quality and system of life that allows people to meet their current needs without compromising the resources available for future generations to meet their future needs. Sustainability rests on the belief that we can coexist with the environment if we work to ensure our actions are not harmful to it. Essentially, it means ensuring that we leave our environment no worse than we found it (and if possible, better). There are generally two different areas where sustainability is referred to—the environment and economics. Environmental sustainability encompasses actions to ensure the health and continuation of ecological systems. Sustainability can also refer to sustainable development
, or the belief that economic growth and environmental protection can go hand in hand. Supporters of sustainable development believe green business practices need not inhibit economic growth, and that green business practices are essential to continued economic growth.
With the world’s population fast approaching seven billion people, it will take more of an effort on our part to reach sustainability. Think about what impact your lifestyle and actions could have on future generations. Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to reduce the negative impact you have on the environment or to help maintain its health.