Sustainability is, in short, the ability of something to continue and not cause harm. By now, I’m sure you’ve heard this word before (e.g. ‘sustainable living’). You may have even seen it as a concentration in a Business Administration degree program at a college. It’s a fancy word, arguably overused and overrated.
Not so fast.
In everyday life we’re bombarded by businesses promoting their ‘sustainable’ and ‘eco-friendly’ methods. Your napkin may even be “made of 100% recycled materials”! However, you can’t seem to notice the big deal about it when your napkin is, well, a napkin and your coffee cup still works as normal holding your ritual morning coffee.
In a sense, all the ‘green’ methods go on behind the scenes (if at all?) and are used externally as a clever marketing strategy, especially to outside participators.
While this may indeed be somewhat the truth, this isn’t the whole story.
THE BIG PICTURE
These days, especially in developed countries like the United States, consumers are far removed from the process of the making of his/her products. This, unfortunately, results in consumers being somewhat unaware or oblivious to the methods and practices of businesses they interact with, whether good or bad. Rather than putting the blame on the actual consumers, the blame goes on the development of our modern society and culture.
As one example consider farming practices. Traditionally, there were no corporations and you and me would either be growing our own food or getting our food from a nearby farm. There was little question of methods or ethics back then because we were actively involved in sourcing and growing our own food. This topic could practically be a book, but, in short, industry and population growth removed us from this process. As a result, there are ‘closed doors’ and ‘methods’ we do not know the full story behind.
So, the question of sustainability arose out of necessity as a result of the consequences of our modern-society. More to come.