Prerequisites for Sustainability

Essay by mauhan October 2004

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Sustainability is quite literally our key to the future, and has justifiably become a worldwide concern. In an ideal world, we would have development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The result of our concerns include many environmental policies and standards, regulatory and enforcement practices, monitoring, auditing and reporting, and more, all to provide some assurance that our environment is not going to disappear (yet). Nevertheless, the way that the world is living right now will by no means be able to sustain our society for future generations. Ecological footprints, pollution, use of natural resources, and overall waste are beating our planet to a pulp. To reach a sustainable future we need there to be a strategic plan, a code of action, and some simple prerequisites.

The most necessary of these prerequisites is collaboration. The world needs to work as a whole in order for us to fulfill our goal of environmental stability.

Information sharing is key. Together, we need to have a vision of committing to achieving a healthier environment, knowing that the process will consist of a lot of work and change, but will indeed reach a greater goal. Obviously, we now have a mission.

Everyone needs to understand his or her environmental responsibility. There needs to be a code of ethics, not written or stated, but very strongly suggested and assumed. For this to be accomplished, people need to be educated. We need to know what is happening and what to do. There are definitely huge barriers to sustainable lifestyles, but we need to find ways to work through it. People need to understand the problem and understand their role in solving it.

Resource efficiency is a big deal. We need to...