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Assignment #1 What is Sustainability?

Sustainability is a continuous flowing cycle renewing and rejuvenating itself. If we want life the way we know it to continue on planet Earth it needs to become a priority. The answer to our consuming, resource depleting and waste producing way of life lays in developing sustainable practices and procedures. Sustainability encompasses topics from recycling and reusing materials, to harnessing wind energy to produce electricity or simply as a way to travel. Sustainability is a way to ensure our prolonged existence. We live in a highly unsustainable world that without change will in a sense self-destruct. From air pollution to disposable plates and forks, we are living on a one way street that will eventually reach a dead end. Ervin Laszlo (2004) said “Obviously, you can't keep having more and more people use more and more resources, and have greater and greater inequality in the distribution of those resources, without a breaking point being reached” . Sustainability is our chance to turn around and start using our resources to their fullest and in a renewable manner. We need to start impacting our environment positively in order to ensure survival of man-kind. Whether we like it or not humans live in an obligate symbiotic relationship with the world. That is, the world plays host and humans depend on it for survival. It would be in our best interest to make this obligate symbiotic relationship into a mutualistic one, where both of the involved parties benefit. (Campbell & Reece, 2004, p.1164). In a recent interview Ervin Laszlo (2004) stated “we live on a planet where everything is circular—whatever you do to other people or to nature eventually comes back to you.“ Sustainability involves our ability to correctly evaluate our place in nature. Our goal should be to establish a relationship that ensures long-term survival. In order to reach sustainability we need to stop acting as parasites to our host planet.

The world is full of sustainable ideas and practises. Humans have developed sustainable energy alternatives that involve harnessing renewable resources such as wind, water and solar power. We are experimenting with self-sufficient communities and farming practises. However it is not only the responsibilities of communities and corporations. Individuals are reducing waste out-put by using reusable bags at the grocery store or reusable water bottles. Sustainability will only become a reality after the sustainable efforts out-weigh the selfish decisions made on a daily basis. Sustainability itself needs to be a way a life and should reflect in our attitudes regarding the world. We need to start thinking of ourselves as part of the environment and not as owners of the environment. We need to live sustainable lifestyles in order to continue our existence. Sustainability is hope for the future.

Reference list Campbell, N., Reece, J. (2005). Biology. Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings. Laszlo,E. (2004, Aug-Oct). Will Spring and Summer No Longer Come? What is Enlightenment, issue 26.

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