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What is Sustainability and Why is it Important?

Sustainability is the minimum condition that the planet needs to continue to maintain all life and systems in the future. It is generally described as the maintenance of environmental, social and economic factors, also known as the triple bottom line. It can be applied to a range of examples, but in recent times focus has been on the need for sustainability in human lifestyles. This includes all facets of human life, from the extraction of natural resources to the production of goods and services that we consume. Ensuring all our actions become more sustainable is crucial for the future of the planet

We are learning that environmental resources are limited and are quite sensitive to everything that we do. We are already experiencing the effects of the actions of generations that came before us. To make sure that ours and future generations will not experience worse, we need to be aware of the ideals and requirements of sustainability.

In the past, the entire human population was quite small and civilizations had very few needs. Natural resources seemed infinite then because the capacity of nature to regenerate was much higher than the rate at which human beings used up resources. However, all natural systems that we as humans rely on for sustenance are generated by the Planet. If we continue to degrade and disrupt these systems the plants and animals that function within them will suffer. This will in turn affect us as humans as we rely on them for the air we breathe, the food we eat and water we drink.

As we ALL become more aware, we need to put what we learn into action. That is the only way we can allow nature to catch up with the rate at which our requirements grow. This does not mean having to stifle human development. On the contrary, it means sustaining the supply of resources so that we can, in turn, sustain human development.

http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/basicinfo.htm#sustainability