By Sydney Benjamin

 

We’ve all heard about things, products, and practices being “sustainable.” We all have this general idea that when something is sustainable, it’s good for the environment. There’s the vague notion that sustainability is “green” and “eco-friendly.” But what does it really mean?

By definition, sustainability is adopting current practices to meet the needs of the present, while also thinking about the needs of future generations. In simple terms, it’s thinking of what kind of future we’ll leave for our children. It’s understanding that our actions aren’t without consequences and will affect people down the line.

Sustainability is understanding that resources are finite and without finding any alternative, affordable means for energy, fossil fuels will continue to burn. They’re called fossil fuels for a reason. One day, those resources will run out.

Sustainability is knowing that our current sources of fuel are also harmful to the Earth. Fossil fuel combustion is extremely detrimental to the planet and greatly affects all life across the globe. From the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the bone-chilling cold of the Arctic ice caps, there is no place on Earth that these practices have not harmfully affected. That’s why Coastalong’s aim is to spread awareness for alternative, cleaner energy sources like solar and wind power.

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Sustainability is the vehicle that drives humanity forward. As a Native American proverb said, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” To live sustainably is not only to help the current state of the planet, but to help its future.

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Sustainability is to live unselfishly and compassionately which is relatively easy to do. Here are some ways to live sustainably:

  • Doing your research and buying products from sustainably sourced companies is a great way to give back to an organization that employs those great practices. When a company says its materials are sourced sustainably, that means that those products are taken from the environment in a safe, conservative way rather than contributing to deforestation.

  • Recycling and composting are great ways to give back to the Earth and reduce the waste.

  • Eating sustainable foods such as fruits and veggies as opposed to meat is another great way to live sustainably as well as more healthy.

  • Conserving water, planting trees, using a refillable water bottle, using reusable bags… the list goes on and on for how to lead a simpler, healthier, and sustainable life! The world is your oyster!

Everyday we make decisions that ultimately impact the environment, the species on our planet, and the climate. Why not make our actions more sustainable?

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