Sustainable Living

Sustainable Living: Meaning and Implication on Environment and People

Introduction

Environmental issues such as global climate change, ozone depletion, and depletion of natural resources are all real, and their repercussions for people and animals might be devastating. With an estimated population of more than 10 billion people by 2050, there will be increasing demand for food and other necessities such as clothing, transport, housing, and other related aims (Lingaraju, 2019). An increasing number of people are finding it difficult to meet their fundamental requirements. Current lifestyle choices are risking the earth in a world that is exhausted of resources and endangered by global biodiversity loss and environmental degradation, among other things. Sustainable living is simply the notion of lessening individual demand on natural resources by ensuring that people replace what they are consuming as much as they can while also reducing pollution (Allen, 2019). Sometimes this is refusing to purchase a product that has been created using processes that are not environmentally friendly, and other times it entails changing the way people make choices in order for them to become more active participants in the cycle of life. It is proposed that people adopt a new way of life that enables them to engage in activities that are oriented toward the future and may assist them in lowering their carbon footprint and negative impacts on the environment by altering their way of living.

The Concept of Sustainable Living

Climate and environmental problems are having an increasingly negative impact on people’s lives. Sustainable living is a key foundation that attempts to reduce individual and societal impact on the environment by trying to implement positive changes that counteract the impact of to the climate and natural environmental. Sustainability, according to Broadbent and Cara (2018), is a way of life that entails reducing one’s environmental effect, such as carbon emissions. As a consequence of the lifestyle change brought about by sustainable living practices, people are urged to minimize their use of Earth’s resources and the damage produced by human-environment interactions.

Image 1: Sustainable living goals and objectives (Source: Doyle, Farrell, & Goodman, 2020)

The ultimate goal of a long-term sustainable living is ecological equilibrium, which may be expressed in more technical terms. “Net zero living” refers to a way of life that is defined by “net zero living” or by achieving “zero energy balance” with the environment (Laakso et al., 2021). It is the degree to which a goal of zero environmental effect may be achieved in its broadest meaning (Manduzai et al., 2021). The environmental, social, and economic components of the building can all be clearly visible on the façade, as seen in Image 1 above. Each of the three circles is related to the others by their respective sub-circles, which are located at the center of the whole composition. Sustainability is not a concept that can be used in all circumstances. It is totally up to every individual to choose how they want to interpret the sustainable living concept and related situations (Manduzai et al., 2021). If you make little alterations to your daily routine and everyday behaviors, such as recycling, it is possible to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. For example, choosing not to consume certain carbonated drinks on the basis of how they choose not to use recyclable packaging is a sustainable living example. Similarly, consuming the same drink and disposing the packaging in a way that makes the environment better is also a way to ensure sustainable living. Ultimately, the long-term goal of sustainable living is to attain some balance between the environment and the people living in it.

Ways to Achieve Sustainable Living

One of the best ways and most practical approaches to sustainable living is through saving on energy consumption. People may contribute to reducing carbon emissions by conserving their energy use. It is possible for individuals and families to save energy at home by turning off standby appliances, decreasing the temperature in their houses, and drying their clothes by hand rather than using a dryer. Another method of attaining sustainable living is by ensuring that reusable alternatives are preferred over single use plastics and other polluting products (Mehmood et al., 2019). Single-use appliances and similar one-time use products, particularly those made of plastic, damage animals and the environment when they wind up in landfills or the ocean. To prevent this, people must look for reusable and environmentally friendly choices rather than disposable ones.

Consuming less is the only way to lead a life that is really environmentally friendly. When we purchase items that we do not truly need or that are not useful to us, we contribute to the creation of a large amount of waste. The first stage is to shift one’s perspective and narrow the attention to just consuming what one really needs. Before you go shopping for new products, make use of what you already have to prevent spending money on unnecessary purchases. Using reusable packaging or reusable snack bags to store food in the refrigerator is healthier for the environment than using plastic storage bags to keep food fresh longer. As an example, if someone is seeking for cleaning cloths, they should go no farther than their own wardrobe and rip up an old shirt from there.

That plastic fruit bags end up in the trash is an unavoidable fact of life. If you look at the list of things that cause environmental damage, plastic is right at the top. When shopping at the grocery store, opt for produce bags or containers rather than plastic bags to limit the quantity of plastic bags you toss away. In the event that you can’t get your hands on anything you want, it’s preferable to buy it wrapped rather than loose. Reduce your usage of single-use plastic bags by bringing your own reusable shopping bags to the store rather than allowing the vendor to pack your items in single-use plastic bags.

Before you throw anything out, look to see if it may be repurposed in some way. Plastic, cardboard, paper, and aluminum cans and bottles, as well as aluminum cans and bottles, can all be recycled at your home. Aside from that, upgrading to more energy-efficient lighting fixtures will help to reduce total energy use. When compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs use much less energy. It is possible to save up to a third of the energy used to light your home or office if you use energy-efficient bulbs in your lighting. Last but not least, water conservation is critical. Water is a limited resource that the majority of the population is completely oblivious of. Because of our wasteful habits, the Earth’s water supply is depleting at an alarmingly rapid pace. Everyone must make a conscious effort to reduce water use around their homes in order to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Theoretical Framework

Sustainability has developed as a critical perspective in corporate management, necessitating the development of a holistic plan that takes into consideration the economic, environmental, and social components of a corporation. Due to an increase in the significance of sustainable development in recent decades, the concepts of sustainability in business have evolved throughout the course of the last 60 years (Chen, 2021). Today, the three most prominent theories that link sustainability to corporations are the corporate social responsibility theory, the stakeholder theory, and the green economics theory.

Conventional knowledge stipulates that the primary goal of a corporation is to provide financial profit for its investors. If business ethics are important in this money-centered worldview, it is because they are concerned with moral dilemmas that arise as the profit race continues to progress. In business, the term “corporate social responsibility” refers to a company’s commitment to assist society while still making a profit (Han & Kim, 2019). A framework for examining how corporations engage with their communities and the rest of the world is known as corporate social responsibility (CSR) or social responsibility. First and foremost, there is a need for the creation of funds. This commitment is mandated by fundamental economics, which may be thought of as the corporate equivalent of the human survival instinct. Small businesses that fail to turn a profit in today’s competitive market environment are bound to failure. There are, of course, certain exceptions. Profits are produced (both by the organizations themselves and by contributions and grants), yet every cent is reinvested back into the purpose for which they were founded. Furthermore, public/private hybrids are not required to earn a profit in order to remain in operation, as previously stated. This kind of organization could handle garbage collection in some places, but it would not (at least theoretically) make anybody wealthy. While profits are not required in the great majority of enterprises, they are vital in certain cases. If they didn’t exist, there would be no company, and there would be no ethical standards in the commercial world.

Furthermore, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a moral commitment to do the right thing even if it isn’t mandated by law. This is the central tenet of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) paradigm, and it is based on a corporate culture that sees the company as a socially responsible citizen, along with the responsibilities it entails (Hayward & Roy, 2019). The similar line of reasoning might be used in a business setting. The inescapable outcome of many industrial facilities’ activities is a harmful waste byproduct of the manufacturing process. Despite the fact that it was not necessary by law for companies to enclose their poisons in double-encased, leak-proof barrels, it was the appropriate thing to do to guarantee that contamination was securely confined. Of course, from a purely financial standpoint, this may not be the best course of action, but from the one of long-term well-being, it may be worth considering.

Economic sustainability lays a greater emphasis on long-term financial stability than on short-term earnings, regardless of the size of the company. Businesses of all sizes must build business strategies that will enable them to engage in regular and sustained activity in accordance with the triple bottom line model. Companies should exercise caution when making investments in dot-coms because of their proclivity for long-term success (Chen, 2021). However, although speculative firms might result in substantial gains, they can also result in a complete loss of all capital invested. Silicon Valley, for example, is teeming with small and emerging businesses. These people will go on to work for companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and other such organizations later in their careers. Business ideas that do not provide immediate wealth but do not result in catastrophic losses are seen as having a high degree of long-term viability.

Conclusion

Sustainability is a process and concept of developing products, commodities, and services that satisfy current needs without compromising future generations’ capacity to meet their own. The environment is a finite natural resource. In addition to environmental concerns, the word “sustainability” may relate to economic development and social responsibility. These include, but are not limited to, the Earth’s transit capacity and ecological health. Sustainability benefits people and the environment by preserving high standards of living and conserving natural resources. Manufacturing, logistics, and customer service are all factors in a company’s long-term existence. Adopting a more eco-friendly and sustainable business approach has several advantages. Raising awareness and recognizing the need of change for both the firm and the environment is the first step in making companies more sustainable. Business owners, managers, and executives may use this software to raise environmental awareness inside their firms. It provides a description of business sustainability, reasons for its importance, a list of major stakeholders, benefits and cons, and suggestions for improving company sustainability. Wisely using and maintaining the environment helps the Earth, our environment, people, and all other living beings.

References

Allen, S. (2019). Leadership and sustainability. Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education, 1067-1073.

Broadbent, S., & Cara, F. (2018). Seeking control in a precarious environment: Sustainable practices as an adaptive strategy to living under uncertainty. Sustainability, 10(5), 1320.

Chen, J. M. (2021). Carbon neutrality: toward a sustainable future. The Innovation, 2(3).

Doyle, J., Farrell, N., & Goodman, M. K. (2020). The cultural politics of climate branding: Project Sunlight, the biopolitics of climate care and the socialisation of the everyday sustainable consumption practices of citizens-consumers. Climatic Change, 163(1), 117-133.

Han, M. J. N., & Kim, M. J. (2019). Green environments and happiness level in housing areas toward a sustainable life. Sustainability, 11(17), 4768.

Hayward, B., & Roy, J. (2019). Sustainable living: bridging the north-south divide in lifestyles and consumption debates. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 44, 157-175.

Laakso, S., Jensen, C. L., Vadovics, E., Apajalahti, E. L., Friis, F., & Szőllőssy, A. (2021). Towards sustainable energy consumption: Challenging heating-related practices in Denmark, Finland, and Hungary. Journal of Cleaner Production, 308, 127220.

Lingaraju, D. R. (2019). Urban agriculture & sustainable living practices-emerging trends. Iconic Res Eng J, 4, 15-17.

Manduzai, A. K., Abbasi, A. M., Khan, S. M., Abdullah, A., Prakofjewa, J., Amini, M. H., … & Pieroni, A. (2021). The importance of keeping alive sustainable foraging practices: Wild vegetables and herbs gathered by afghan refugees living in Mansehra District, Pakistan. Sustainability, 13(3), 1500.

Mehmood, M. U., Chun, D., Han, H., Jeon, G., & Chen, K. (2019). A review of the applications of artificial intelligence and big data to buildings for energy-efficiency and a comfortable indoor living environment. Energy and Buildings, 202, 109383.

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