Sustainability is our capacity to live in balance and harmony with the world around us. Oxford Dictionary defines it as "the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level."
Historically, we humans have not been super fantastic at this. We tend to believe that MORE (money, weapons, land, “stuff”) equals security and power and therefore happiness – but the fact is, there’s always a point beyond which MORE becomes a more of a liability than a boon.
The obvious examples being imperialism and capitalism – and how the relentless pursuit of unchecked growth has resulted in climate change and led to conditions that are terrible for the environment on which we depend for our very survival. Not to mention the gross imbalance of wealth, where a shrinking number of people hold an exponentially growing percentage of all the world’s money and resources, and the social strife that results from that.
That’s why sustainability needs to be a key pillar of Our Awesome Future, if we want to live in harmony with each other and with the natural world. And that's something ALL of us should want. Because (say it with me, folks) the safer, healthier, and happier, all of us are, THE SAFER, HEALTHIER, AND HAPPIER ALL OF US ARE.
So. What does Awesome Sustainability look like?
Ideally, it means achieving net-zero emissions, eliminating pollution, and creating a circular economy where everything is reused and recycled and our impact on the planet is as minimal as possible. It also means living in greater harmony with each other and the natural world around us.
For example: imagine replacing 30% of city streets with wooded trails for ebikes and other micromobility options and bringing the forest back into the city, so more of your travel was surrounded by nature? Not only would the trees pull CO2 out of the environment, they’d help keep our cities cooler and air cleaner – AND have a huge impact on people’s wellbeing.
Here are some of the Awesome Sustainability topics to consider as we create our shared vision of what our future could look like. Which ideas would you love to incorporate in YOUR Awesome Future?
- Circular economy
- Recycle & reuse everything
- Sustainable industries
- Sustainable cities
- Sustainable resource use
If you know of an Awesome Sustainability topic we should be covering, please send us a tip! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.