A life that influences sustainability – Part 5: Aiming for long term sustainability

This series considered how we can implement the concept of sustainability in our daily lives.  As a final conclusion to the series, let’s consider sustainability beyond today and the immediate, short-term.

In referring back to the sustainability framework described earlier in this series, it can be noted that all points of the framework do indeed refer to our entire lifetimes.  This framework should also be extended to include our families and the futures of our families.  For example, Point 3 of the framework noted “Re-think our resource consumption levels to live more sparingly”.   A sustainable life means that our life choices should be influenced by a conscious decision to reduce our resource consumption.  We all replace electronic equipment from time to time.  After many years of good and hard service, the family washing machine broke down.  Now, do you buy the best-priced new washing that you can find?  Or do you rather consider factors such as energy efficiency, water saving and sustainability?  Considering the latter will mean searching for the best environmentally acceptable option, even though it might not be the cheapest device on the market.  This will be a long-term sustainable decision.  If the cost of an electronic device with acceptable levels of resource consumption is too high, consider having your old machine fixed.  This example shows how we can adapt our thinking and decision-making to ensure that we contribute to a more sustainable environment over the long term.

Another important component of a sustainable life is the cultivating of environmental awareness – particularly in the younger generation. Bringing up children in a greener environment and according to a sustainable lifestyle will help them appreciate the value of our natural resources, and the need for the human population to care for our valuable resources.  Teach them to recycle their waste or even to upcycle waste, transforming waste into valuable items with a bit of creativity!

Where we live in proximity to our work and other daily business can also determine whether we live a sustainable lifestyle.  Remember that although we often consider fuel driven transportation as a basic need, fuel remains a finite natural resource.  This commodity may become very scarce for our future generations!  Changing our transportation habits, even if it only means walking at times instead of starting up the car, is already a means of altering our lifestyle to reduce our need for fuel resources.  Living closer to work, getting by with a single family car and using public transport will testify of a lifestyle choice that considers environmental sustainability.

Reflect on your individual lifestyle: cooking, cleaning, energy use, household maintenance and other general ways of getting through a normal day.  Are your lifestyle habits nurturing the environment, giving consideration for finite natural resources?  Consider your stride on this planet when making lifestyle choices.  Ultimately, learning to live a sustainable life will bring you and your family plenty rewards!

Photo credit: Some rights reserved by dan and chrisroll via freedigitalphotos.net

Article written for and published by What’sYourImpact.

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