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What Does Sustainability Mean?

by Toni Olukiran

2min read

Sustainable living is an important topic of conversation that many of us as individuals and on a wider collective scale are finally talking about. But what actually is sustainability, and how does it personally affect our lives? Here’s what you need to know. 

What is sustainability?

A definition of sustainable, according to Merriam Webster, is described as ‘relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged’. As a result, sustainability in simple terms is being able to use the resources around us without there being a negative affect on our wellbeing and the planet. Sustainability is all about ‘meeting your needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources. Sustainability is not just environmentalism. Embedded in most definitions of sustainability are also concerns for social equity and economic development’, as explained in the Brutland Commision of 1989. 

Why does it matter?

Sustainability is vital to our wellbeing and the wellbeing of future generations. Without considering whether the resources we use are sustainable, we are in danger of overconsuming vital resources; this leads to destroying the environment, endangering whole ecosystems, and putting communities around the world in danger. 

How can we be more sustainable day-to-day?

Being conscious of what we buy is an easy way of being more sustainable. Going plant-based could be ‘the single biggest way’ of being more sustainable day-to-day. Shopping locally and in season is also a great way to make sure your food doesn’t rack up food miles. Aside from food, your shopping habits concerning clothing can also make a big difference in how sustainable you are. Opting for second-hand clothing is a great way of extending the life of clothing by 2.5 years, according to Threadup. If you are buying new clothes, look for sustainable brands and good quality clothing that you know you’ll be able to wear for years. If you’ve ever borrowed old clothes from your parent’s wardrobes, they should serve as inspiration!

For more information about how a plant-based diet is more sustainable, this is your next read. 

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Toni Olukiran
by Toni Olukiran

Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.

Read more from Toni


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