Sustainable Living

Sustainable living might be defined as a lifestyle that could, hypothetically, be sustained without exhausting any natural resources. The term can be applied to individuals or societies. Its adherents most often hold true sustainability as a goal or guide, and make lifestyle tradeoffs favoring sustainability.

Most often these tradeoffs involve transport, housing, energy, and diet. Lester R. Brown concisely summarizes the situation as "sustaining progress depends on shifting from a fossil fuel-based, automobile-centered, economy to a renewable energy-based, diversified transport, reuse/recycle economy".

Sustainable living is a sub-division of sustainability where the prerequisites of a modern, industrialized society are left unexercised by choice for a variety of reasons. The practices and motives overlap somewhat between the movements. Sustainable living in urban areas requires a sustainable urban infrastructure.

Self-sufficiency is the principle of consuming only those things produced by oneself or one's family. It is generally a stricter lifestyle than a sustainable lifestyle in that an effort is made to limit trade with others regardless of the sustainability of such trade.

Permaculture is a design philosophy that emphasises sustainability in land use and landscaping, as well as fields such as architecture and economics (for example, encouraging the spread of Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS)). In terms of agriculture, food production and building materials, permaculture emphasises use of well-adapted plant materials that require few inputs, especially trees, hemp, and other edible and useful perennials.

Some people are opposed to furthering mechanization and technology in society for any reason. Adherents of sustainable living, in contrast, are willing to accept appropriate technology.1

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