Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Sustainability One may often hear sustainable development, sustainable community, sustainable industry, and sustainable agriculture and wonder what these terms mean. Sustainability is related to the quality of life in a community, whether the economic, social, and environmental systems that make up the community are providing a healthy, productive, meaningful life for all community residents, present and future (Hart, 1). Sustainability also is the act of living sustainable at an individual level and as a society. Our actions cannot jeopardize the ability of future generations to meet their needs. A Native American defines sustainability in that we must always take into account the effects of our actions on the next seven generations (Stevens).

Then the question "How has the quality of life in your community changed over the last 20 years or 40 years" is asked for each of the three indicators for sustainability. For instance, "How has your community changed economically?" Are there fewer or more jobs available, is there more or less poverty, and it harder for people to find homes they can afford? Also, in terms of the social goal, Is there more or less crime, are people volunteering more, and are there fewer or more people running for public office or working on community boards? Lastly, as your community changed environmentally, has the air and water gotten better or worse? (Hart, 1).

Basics Principles of Sustainability we as a society should follow include the following: 1. Respect and care for the community 2. Improve the quality of human life 3. Conserve Earth's vitality and diversity 4. Minimize the depletion of non-renewable resources 5. Keep within the Earth's carrying capacity 6. Change personal attitudes and practices 7. Enable communities to care for their environments 8. Provide national framework for integrating development and conservation 9. Create a...