Sustainability Essay

3506 Words 15 Pages
Sustainability

Sustainability is a term frequently used by our leaders (and planners) but is often not questioned or defined. The root word sustain implies that it means making something last. However, what does it really mean to sustain something and what is it that we are talking about sustaining-- nature, our environment, our world? These are all very abstract terms themselves. Around the time the term sustainability arose, scientists had discovered a series of threats to our environment and viewed these as a major problem to the endurance of human population. The question then became: "How can we sustain humanity in today's world?" The American Heritage dictionary defines sustain as "supplying with necessities or nourishment," which
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Each component and structuring principle of society must transform the way it currently functions in order to achieve sustainability. This implies that on some level there must be a change in values. Yet in situations where sustainable values are already in place, the system must be re-evaluated or redesigned to ensure they are carried out. I propose that nonprofits, communities and businesses in particular can be direct avenues to facilitate sustainability. This paper will largely discuss how businesses can ensure a positive future if they expands their bottom line by examining the ways in which sustainability can be carried out and practiced. However, I will also cover the roles communities, nonprofits, government and technology play in the sustainable movement.

For decades economists have warned that sustainability was impossible to integrate into how we do business on the grounds that satiation is human nature. Some have even insisted "modern economics conceives the striving to obtain always more to be an essential trait of humans. Voluntary self- restraint by humans is considered to be the exception rather than the rule" (Jàst 88-89). They have argued that capitalism is based inherently on consumer principles. Therefore, until recently the emphasis has been on the consumer to change his or her values in order to push

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