An Introduction to Sustainability

Our house is built sustainably, we eat organic, my clothes are from a sustainable brand; Are a few sentences that come up in the conversations of Gen Z individuals today. It would not be wrong on
the part of a few people who feel the word “sustainable” is being overused. But what we often tend to miss out is that the over usage is happening verbally; well that is not what was intended. We have progressed as a race on the path of sustainable living, the past decade has been eventful! There is so much more development and variety, that many times we are spoilt of choice while choosing sustainable products/services. A common misconception exists between the link of the words “eco-friendly” and “sustainable”. The two are perceived to be the same and used interchangeably. Well, there does exist a difference between the two. The word “ecofriendly” does not encompass all the factors that the word “sustainable” does. In other words, sustainability differs in the aspect that it considers the future generations’ well-being. Hence, it becomes important to understand and implement sustainable practices into our day-to-day activities.

The term “sustainable” was first mentioned by the United Nations Stockholm Conference in 1972, followed by the development of the Sustainability Goals in 1987 by the Brundtland Commission; With the motive to secure the future for the generations to come. That said, the concept began a slow-paced growth in the twentieth century. It was primarily viewed as an expensive affair. Due to the advent of mass production, increased economic inequalities, the sustainable course took a backseat. The reason for this being the difficulty to allocate resources to research and development of sustainable products, practices and services. The minimal research that was
carried out resulted in expensive outcomes, creating a myth that sustainability is synonymous to expense, making the majority of the middle-class stay a step or two away from it.

It was only in the early 2000 that people started recognizing the need for a stable and sustainable development. The reports about climate change, depleting natural resources, etc., led the Governments and various authorities across the globe to pay attention to the very need to give back to the Earth. One way to do this – Development of a Sustainable Lifestyle. Great progress is seen today in the field, with the enhanced learning opportunities paving way for research;
sustainable choices for the common man have become affordable. The enhanced regulations and incentives from the authorities to push companies and households sustainable is beginning to create the spark. Currently, corporates have a division to manage the company’s Sustainability initiatives. A combined force can move great weights, the efforts of several individuals small and big are reaping benefits in one way or the other. At the end of the day, sustainable living is sure to deliver a win-win situation in terms of protecting the environment and creating a healthy and a thriving atmosphere for all the Earth’s beings.

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