Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual’s or society’s use of the Earth’s natural resources and his/her own resources. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption and diet.
Proponents of sustainable living aim to conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respectful of humanity’s symbiotic relationship with the Earth’s natural ecology and cycles. The practice and general philosophy of ecological living is highly interrelated with the overall principles of sustainable development.
Lester R. Brown, a prominent environmentalist and founder of the Worldwatch Institute and Earth Policy Institute, describes sustainable living in the 21st century as “shifting to a renewable energy-based, reuse/recycle economy with a diversified transport system.”
Sustainable living is fundamentally the application of sustainability to lifestyle choice and decisions. Sustainability itself is expressed as meeting present ecological, societal, and economical needs without compromising these factors for future generations. Sustainable living can therefore be described as living within the innate carrying capacities defined by these factors.
Sustainable design and sustainable development are critical factors to sustainable living. Sustainable design encompasses the development of appropriate technology, which is a staple of sustainable living practices. Sustainable development in turn is the use of these technologies in infrastructure. Sustainable architecture and agriculture are the most common examples of this practice.
Areas in which the principles of sustainability can be applied in great measure include:
- Energy management
- Conserving water
- Water harvesting
- Waste management
- Food management
- Reducing meat consumption
- Natural farming
- Urban gardening
- Food preservation and storage
- Water management
- Indoor home appliances
- Dishwashers & Sinks
- Washing Machines
- Outdoor water usage
- Indoor home appliances
Excerpts from a piece on environmental awareness in the Bhagavatam:
When Soma (moon) saw the sons of the ruler destroying the forests using wind and fire, he advised them thus – You have been declared the ruler of all created beings and it is your duty to promote their growth and welfare. Hence it is not fair for you to bear hostility towards these poor trees. Add no more to the number of trees burnt, helpless as they are, and let the surviving ones enjoy your protection so that there will be abundance for generations to come.