Environmental Sustainability is a phrase thrown around quite a bit over the internet and on Social Media. I sat back and asked myself if I actually know what it means, and the honest answer was, no not really!
After delving into the fountain of knowledge that is Google, I found that Environmental Sustainability is generally talked about in relation to most aspects of our lives – from sourcing sustainable foods, creating environmentally conscious communities and eco homes, renewable energy and low impact furniture and clothing. But what does it actually mean?
When digging around a bit more I found that there are lots of different definitions in use by business, politicians and various green groups, some of these are quite simple and some are more complicated. The idea of sustainable development first came about in the 1987 report ‘Our Common Future’ written for the World Commission on Environment and Development. It identified links between poverty, inequality and environmental degradation and wanted to find ways to lessen the damage to the environment that also supports communities.
The report defined sustainable development as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It therefore follows that environmental sustainability ensures that in meeting our needs for food, water and shelter as well as engaging in enjoyable activities such as leisure and entertainment, we don’t deplete resources that can’t be renewed and we don’t cause damage to our environment.
In recent years the damage caused to our environment and the plants and animals that share our planet has begun to be globally acknowledged. The air we breathe, our rivers and oceans all don’t recognise national or continental boundaries, so we are all responsible for taking care of them in any ways we can. Looking after environmental health is critical to ensuring we and our future generations can live healthy lives on a healthy planet.
We can all make a difference to our environment for us and our future generations by making small changes to everyday things we buy and do on a daily basis. This I firmly believe and I for one will continue to make changes in my life to support the environment as much as I can.