STEPHANIE BERCHT Staff Writer
The term “sustainability” can be confusing, as it is often related to a broad range of disciplines, usually associated with human development and its effect on the environment.
The buzzword comes from “sustainable development”, which is defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This term was coined in 1987 by Dr. Brundtland, the first appointed chairperson of the UN World Commission on Environment and Development.
However, sustainability is not a new concept. It relates to human development in terms of economy, culture as well as the environment.
The Great Law of the Iroquois long ago stated that “in our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decision on the next seven generations.”
Our way of life that thrives on excessive consumption is unsustainable – that is, we cannot maintain our lifestyle indefinitely because we are quickly depleting the resources that support it and consequently deteriorating the quality of our lives.
The concept of sustainability is to continue development through wise choices in the way we use our natural resources. This includes reassessing where we get our energy from, how we use it and what we use it for, what type of food we eat, how we harvest it, what materials we use – for anything – and how we get all of this as well as what we do with the byproducts from our actions.
It is not just about keeping the Earth green and clean for woodland creatures; we must take care of the environment for our race to continue.
Once humans deplete every resource on this planet, who is really going to suffer? Once we are gone, Earth will bring itself back.
That deserves some respect. And if we want to stick around, we should start showing some of that respect right now.
Keep an eye out because this quarter is going to be filled with events for sustainable inspiration.
Residents living on campus can participate in the ECO-Challenge during February and run for prizes. At Arnold Hall Feb. 4-6 is the Teach-In, a nationwide event where institutions simultaneously promote climate crisis awareness and bring about solutions. SCAD will be showing “Arctic Tales” Feb. 4, having speakers Feb. 5 and interactive workshops Feb. 6. To top it off, BYOF (Bring Your Own Film) is bringing its third annual competition (sign-ups start this week) and this year’s theme is sustainability.
See what you can do for the next seven generations.
Photo by Stephanie Bercht