What does "sustainable" even mean?

A quick google search will define sustainable as "able to be maintained at a certain rate or level."But why have environmentalists adapted the word as a front runner for their vocabulary?

It's pretty simple really. We're in a critical time as residents of planet earth. Our planet is warming, fast. We are already seeing catastrophic events that will send our complex ecosystems toppling. The destruction of rainforests, wildfires, coral reef bleaching events, and the melting of arctic glaciers are not just cataclysmic events, they are the events that have and will continue to send ecosystems reeling.

Our planet is gasping for breath. It needs a break, a chance to heal itself from the damage we have caused. But we won't ease up. We make more cars, buy more clothes, need more products. Materialism just might be our demise. Unless we can adapt sustainability. We need the Earth to maintain the temperature it is at right now. It might even be nice if it cooled off a bit. We should be doing everything we possibly can to slow down the warming in the Earth's atmosphere. So what can we do that may not be positive, but we can be sure that it isn't negative?

This is where a sustainable lifestyle comes in. To lead a sustainable life is to do things without negative consequence. Pick an apple off of a local tree, eat it, and then compost it. Now think about how you can apply this to your daily life. Are your actions causing consequences? It's all too easy to turn a blind eye, but lean in. Really reflect on your day to day practices. Follow your trash, do you like where it ends up?

"Look after the land and the land will look after you, destroy the land and it will destroy you."

– Aboriginal Proverb

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