Filed under: Energy + Climate, J840 Week 5, Science + Tech, Society + Media | Tags: climate change, global warming, KU, sustainability
My personal definition of sustainability is: Constantly lessening environmental impacts to the point where needs are, and will always be, met.
As I sit here in our office/basement for yet another afternoon of environmental videos and readings, I’m often distracted by our “new” bookshelf, and thinking about what the hell I’m going to do with the coffee table that’s way too big for our living room. But one thing that really stuck with me from the videos & readings was Steffan’s discussion about leapfrogging…and that’s the basis of my definition of sustainability.
Why not bypass older ways of doing things if they are less efficient, more expensive, and polluting, and go directly on to more advanced and/or environmentally friendly ones? It’s sad to think we’re sitting around with solutions to environmental problems going unused, like technology to halt global warming.
Can change happen overnight and the planet be eternally sustainable? Doubt it. The “constantly lessening” part of my definition portrays a realistic approach. It means utilizing all available technology and methods to reduce impact. Maybe we should no longer tolerate the excuse of ignorance .
On a individual level, my definition means lessening your impact every year, if not every month or every day. What really was struck me from Leonard’s discussion was that 99% of consumer goods are thrown out in 6 months. That seems to be one way to measure sustainability progress. And I believe in many ways being more thrifty is also just being smarter.
I used the other remaining hardware from the old desk and scrap wood from a friend to make a new shelf in our storage room. Now I’m thinking about what to with that darn coffee table.
Our recycling of household/building materials is no where near the level or ambitions of Scrapile of Brooklyn as discussed by Seireeni. And I don’t think we’re anywhere near the point of sustainable living to ensure needs will always be met. I don’t know what that point is, but if everyone constantly makes progress maybe we’ll never know…and that’s the point of sustainability, right?
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