What is Sustainability?
What does it mean to live a sustainable, ethical lifestyle? Bloggers, writers, and retailers throw these words around so often that they’ve become buzzwords. Even the sustainable lifestyle community is divided on what sustainability is. So how do you figure out which is the “right” definition?
Well, first we can look at their definitions. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word sustainable means either:
- “of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged sustainable techniques sustainable agriculture”
- “of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods sustainable society”
We’ll be focusing more on the latter, but both work for defining a sustainable lifestyle. Next we can look at the word ethical. According to Merriam Webster dictionary, ethical means:
- “of or relating to ethics: ethical theories”
- “involving or expressing moral approval or disapproval: ethical judgments”
- “conforming to accepted standards of conduct: ethical behavior”
According to Merriam Webster, the definition of ethical is a little vague. Especially because what society deems as ethical codes of conduct varies between country to country and even state to state. And while “sustainable” has a more concrete definition, people still debate the specifics, such as with the ongoing climate discussions.
So What Defines a Sustainable Lifestyle?
Unfortunately, there’s no set way to live a sustainable life. Some sustainable lifestyle bloggers go the whole nine yards and grow their own produce, sew their own clothes, and make household items. Others focus on the food or clothing. Some can complain that we don’t live enough of a sustainable life, and others think we’re doing the best we can.
So how should you live a sustainable life? Honestly, it depends on what you can do. Not everyone can afford to switch to a completely sustainable routine. Growing and harvesting food, making clothes, and creating household items take time and energy. These are parts of an admirable and ideal sustainable lifestyle, but full time jobs and looking after pets or children take priority in today’s Western society.
That’s what I’ve set out to do with this blog: show those with time and monetary limits how to live more sustainably. Even a simple change can make a big impact on your lifestyle and help make the bigger moves towards sustainability more feasible in the future.
So what does sustainability mean to you? Let me know in the comments!
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