Sustainability: What are we fighting? What are we defending?

Written by Courtney Tierney. Media by Fallyn Paruleski.

When looking up the definition of the word “sustainable“, I found two definitions: “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level” and “able to be upheld or defended”. While both of these definitions are valid, I think that they are also quite different. The first definition seems to be talking about something that needs to be kept up and as it says “maintained”. But, the second definition says something that needs to be “defended”. It seems to me that given these two definitions, sustainability is something that needs to be fought for, as well as upheld and maintained. So what are maintaining? What are we defending? What needs to be sustainable?

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After doing a bit more research into sustainability and what it means, I found many articles on sustainability with the environment (energy and natural resources being the main ones), as well as within the business world. I found that within environmental sustainability, there are many efforts, programs, and such that promote sustainability and that are trying to protect the environment through these programs. The EPA website gives this statement under it’s sustainability section: “EPA efforts in the area of sustainability practices and approaches include labeling green products and promoting green chemistry and engineering, managing materials rather than creating waste, using green infrastructure to manage storm water runoff, and supporting the sustainable design of communities”. This quote, as well as other useful information can be found here. Check it out to find out more information and to see what the government and others are doing!
I find it wonderful that programs are trying to maintain, and defend, and fight for the environment by implementing these different programs and practices. As technology has advanced and culture has grown, it seems that environmental care is something that has been put to the side, and not many people are too concerned with it, even though it is something that we should be aware of and be concerned with. Maybe if people knew WHY it was in need of being sustained, they would feel differently. We need to remember that it is something that needs to be DEFENDED and something that needs to be FOUGHT for, so it’s not always easy, but it’s something that is important, and it is awesome and inspiring to see these different organizations strive to fight for sustainability and for the environment.


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