What Is the Definition of "Sustainable"?

It is relatively easy to come up with a "sustainable" definition in terms of what the phrase actually means. If something is sustainable, you can maintain it over a period of time without causing substantial ecological or environmental damage. The term does not always denote preservation of our natural environment, but this is the most common understanding today.

Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is commonly described as the process of keeping our natural environment pristine and as close to its natural state as humanly possible. Therefore the notion seeks to advocate the premise that as a global community, we should seek to use our natural resources at a rate that makes it possible for them to be naturally replenished. People who support this idea might use sustainable fabrics and non-toxic cleaning products. They might also choose to recycle.

A Sustainable Environment: What Can You Do?

If you want to live out the previous "sustainable" definition, you can consider several practices. Insulate your home to preserve energy. Turn off your lights when you are not using them and try to recycle everything you can, including shoes and clothes. You can also share your car with others, take public transportation or walk. Instead of putting your television on standby, switch it off at the mains.

You can also make homemade cleaning products and homemade soap instead of buying packaged products that could harm the environment. Use recycled paper where possible and wash your clothes in warm or cold water instead of hot.

Instead of buying things like rugs and curtains, you can make your own with natural fibers, such as organic wool and sisal. To save on packaging, try to purchase loose fruits and vegetables instead of those that come prepackaged.

There are hundreds of things you can do if you want to help preserve the environment and sustain natural resources. You might also consider generation part of your electricity from solar power.

Solar Power

Solar power is the generation of energy such as electricity from sunlight. There are two main types of solar power. Photovoltaics works by using solar panels. The other type of solar power is an indirect form called "concentrating solar power" (CSP), which uses the power of sunlight to boil water, which in turn produces electricity.

You can use these methods in the home, although they are expensive to set up. After time, they could help save you money and live out the "sustainable" definition described above. 

Solar Power Plants

A number of solar power plants already utilize the power of the sun to generate power for large towns and cities, such as Waldpolenz Solar Park in Germany and the Moura Photovoltaic Power Farm in Portugal.