Over the last several decades the sustainability movement has gained great momentum. Legislation has slowly started to work in favor of sustainability, recycling programs have been enacted in various organizations and sustainability has become an integrated area of study across the globe. Unfortunately, there is still one aspect of the sustainable movement that is incomplete, that is the perception of the driving idea behind it.
Being sustainable tends to be viewed in a regressive manner, as if it will halt our industries and shrink our economy. It is seen as a step backwards. In reality, this could not be further from the truth. To become truly sustainable we must go full throttle into the future. Becoming sustainable does mean changing our direction and just like any movement there will be trade offs. Yet, this does not make it regressive. On the contrary it requires us to heavily invest in green technologies and support legislation on such matters. It requires us to educate the young on renewable technologies and materials as to create a culture of sustainability in newer generations. Becoming sustainable is not stagnation and deceleration, it is acceleration and innovation.
As for the sacrifices, there is no denying that there are many to be made. The trade offs are significant. Yet, I have no doubt that parents would rather use low flow shower heads than tell their children the food is gone. Logically speaking there is no argument here. Give up 10 now so you can receive 100 later. Yet, because of humanity’s tendency to act according to short term gain we are faced with severe problems such as phosphorus shortages, droughts and famines.
We are at the point where we simply cannot ignore the side effects and focus on the progress. To continue our way of life we need to change our ways. We must re-evaluate, re-prioritize and charge towards the sustainable future which we ever so require.