What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Friday, 1 February 2008

Sustainable living; my definition - by Robb

To sustain means to hold up or bear the weight of. Our lives rely on and demand much of the ecosystem we are a part of. To make them sustainable we must insure that the ecosystem can bear the weight we impose upon it. If not, the ecosystem that supports us will crumble like the support of an overloaded bridge. Every single thing we do in our daily lives has an impact on the support systems we rely on.

In order to practice sustainable living we must examine the minutiae of our lives and determine if the individual activities therein are sustainable. A simple example of this is reliance on fossil fuels. There is a finite supply of fossil fuels, they cannot be renewed. Therefore, use of it, in any form; motor fuel, heating, plastics, paints and solvents, wherever it is used is unsustainable because the finite resource cannot support the use of it, not to mention the damage they cause to the ecosystems which support us. But is it reasonable to expect a complete avoidance of fossil fuel use in our modern lives? Probably not, but careful attention to our personal behaviour will reveal many opportunities to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels in many contexts and thus make our lives more sustainable. Each person will have to decide the degree to which they are willing pursue sustainability in regard to each resource.

These types of decisions must eventually be made about everything we do if we are to practice sustainable living


davemaynard said...

A book which supports the idea of sustainability is "The Paradox of Choice" in which the author makes a case-through numerous field studies and polling data, that the more choices a person has, the less able...even the less interested they become...in making one. People are much more fulfilled by their choice if it's just one among a very few. The foisting of myriads of choices upon us is not only reckless with regards to our planet's health,it may be unnatural to the human psyche as well.

C Robb said...

I'm quite interested in the new field of ecopsychology and understanding how people make decisions which affect their future. I'm not sure what you are suggesting here though. Can you give me an example?

C Robb said...

Does this relate to the idea of simplifying? Perhaps through simplification we can reduce the amount of decisions needed to be made in a day and thus have more mental resources to address the important ones.