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Question:

Discuss about the Aspects of Sustainable Living and Relevant Innovations that Ensure Sustainability.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Sustainable living is where one reduces their use of natural resources and depletion of them by making sure that they always replace what they have put it to good use as best they can. Sometimes it is boycotting products that companies that are not conscious of the practice of sustainable living manufacture. Sometimes it means changing how you do things so that you start becoming more of an active part of the cycle of life.Things like global warming, climate change, destruction of ozone layer and depletion of resources are rapidly occurring, and they have severe effects on animal and human life. Hence people have an opportunity to adopt sustainable living to prevent such occurrences by changing their lifestyles (Conserve Energy Future, n.d.) Sustainable Living is quite important, especially in today's society.It is important because as humans we need to maintain the quality of our lives, how different the earth is and improving the planet’s ecosystem. There many signs now that sustainability is of absolute importance to start practicing like pretty soon fossil oils will run out, some animals will soon be extinct, and lumber will be scarce. All of this should make people want to start sustainability, and this will start from our homes. It will spread to the community and the rest of the world. The aim of this literature review is to discuss in depth some two aspects of sustainable living and also examine innovations that can be done to encourage sustainable living (Mason, 2017)

 

Aspects of sustainable living

There are different aspects of sustainable living, and they include the environmental aspect which recognizes the need to protect and preserve the biophysical systems that give sustenance to the earth. It sees the importance of the environment about sustainable living. This aspect encourages people to protect the existing ecosystem and also make it better by doing a lot of things that are eco-friendly and green conscious for the earth to survive. As of the moment, the earth is straining to sustain the world’s population because people are getting more than they should be (Seniorsecondary.tki.org.nz, 2015). Thus this aspect shows that initiatives should be taken to protect the environment. Some of the ways we can protect the environment and ensure sustainable living are by recycling, growing trees, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring that nonperishable goods are disposed of in the right manner and also using solar energy (Delong, 2014)

The second aspect is the economic issue. It acknowledges the human interaction with the environment in the use resources to manufacture products which give and addition to the value of their lives. It recognizes that using resources and disposing of waste must occur in our activities. It encourages a fair business system that shares benefits and costs equally and also encourages innovation which will all lead to better sustainable living in future (Seniorsecondary.tki.org.nz, 2015)

Relevant innovations that ensure sustainability

In this study, we shall examine the different changes that we can do so as to ensure that there is sustainable living and it succeeds. These innovations are techniques which experts in the field of sustainability have carried out studies on and have made sure that they are practical and can be used for the intended purpose successfully. These innovations include the following but are not limited to these. First of all, there are methods that we can apply to living in a sustainable way at home. For example reducing waste by using cloth towels and diapers instead of the disposable versions and drinking filtered water instead of bottled water. There are many small ways we can reduce wastage in our everyday lives hence promoting sustainable living if we adopt these ways. Reusing items is also important, and we can do it in many diverse ways. It’s not only using things that are old it also includes repurposing products that we could have thrown away like using empty ice-cream tins as storage containers. Recycling is also another way to live sustainably at home.(H., 2016)

 


Another method is to growing your food. It is a way to contribute to a better ecosystem; this can be done anywhere by anyone, for example, you can have a big farm and grow all kinds of produce and live almost independently on what you grow. You might have a small garden here you just grow a few things to supplement your meals.(Biologicaldiversity.org, 2014)  Both these ways will lead to people having the ability to live sustainably, after growing the food we can make a compost pile with the leftover and hence produce fertilizer and biogas for use. All of this will contribute substantially to reduce costs.(H., 2016)

Another innovation is companies seeing complying as a win. Companies should start following the regulations set and conform to them no matter how strict they are. It is a step to sustainability when the companies abide by the set rules. There are different Environmental regulations in the various countries, regions, and states. Additionally, companies also have voluntary code that they feel they have to abide by like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Forest Stewardship Council law and other legislation that non-governmental organizations dealing with sustainability have drawn up over the past few years. The standards are mostly strict, but the mostly come from a right place to ensure that these companies encourage sustainable living, it fosters innovations (Mont, Neuvonen and Lähteenoja, 2014)

We should build a capacity to be corporative and collaborative. Innovations can be made today that follow set regulations if the different players in the industry choose to work together to produces these innovations and at the same time they follow the set rules. It will lead to sustainable living these products are made efficiently and to the right standards. The companies should also take advantage of their global nature to carry out experiments. Multinational corporations have an advantage because they can study with sustainable practices at home and all over the world. Developing nations are now environmentally conscious and encourage these big companies to introduce sustainable innovations in their countries. It is quite easy to sponsor these innovative products in the emerging markets from the developing countries (Nidolumu, Prahalad and Rangaswami, 2009).

The other innovation is by making value chains sustainable. When companies have started to follow the rules they start engaging and being active in environmental issues. They then put most of their focus on coming up with ways to reduce the consumption of sources of energy like coal, natural gas, and petroleum which are not renewable (Nidolumu, Prahalad and Rangaswami, 2009). Furthermore, they have the drive to improve more things in their companies like the manufacturing aspect to improve efficiency. They then collaborate with suppliers to find and utilize environmentally friendly raw materials and products and also reduction of waste produced. Most companies initially do this to improve public perception, but after a while, they realize that they have made cost reduction and thus adopt the practice permanently(Ciegis, Ramanauskiene, and Martinkus, 2015).

 


Operations are another way to be innovatively sustainable. Operational innovations are essential in coming up with sustainable supply chains and also increasing energy efficiency. By increasing energy efficiency it will reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Some companies encourage their employees that it’s nice to work from home due to at times to environmental issues. By doing this, it will reduce the time used to travel and increase more time to do work. It will hence lead to an increase in productivity (Huang and Quibria, 2015).

Returns are where companies have concerns about cutting wastage hence making them have an interest in reviewing the returns from their products. The United States the profitability of companies is reduced by returns on an average of 4% yearly. Companies reuse some the products that had lost value instead of scrapping them off altogether. It will not only turn the business into a profitable on, but this will see a stat in the trend of reusing and hence it will encourage sustainable living. All this will result in a better environment and reduction of waste (Baedeker, Liedtke and Welfens, 2017)

When there are environment-conscious value chains, it does not only benefit the consumers it also adds profits to the company. Hence it encourages more stores to be set up. It will result in a chain reaction which will lead to spreading in sustainable living and coming up with sustainable designs for products and services. When companies carry out research, most are always shocked to learn that their products are not friendly to the environment. Studies also show most consumers view sustainability as major gauges when making decisions on what to buy. The other customers also see if there is any benefit to the environment by the product they intend to buy, companies must then come up with products that meet these criteria to meet the standards of consumers hence encouraging sustainability (Lorek, and Spangenberg, 2014).

 

Conclusion

After considering the findings of the above research on sustainable living, I have come to the following conclusions; there is a great need to live sustainably in the current state of our earth. With time and how we are using our resources pretty soon, the earth will be in crisis. Thus we should adopt the above innovations and much more to preserve our land. By sustainable living, we will avoid any crisis.

 

References

Biologicaldiversity.org. (2014). 12 Ways to Live More Sustainably. [online] Available at: https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/sustainability/live_more_sustainably.html [Accessed 6 Apr. 2017].

Seniorsecondary.tki.org.nz. (2015). Aspects of sustainability / Key concepts / Education for Sustainability / Social Sciences / Home - Senior Secondary. [online] Available at: https://seniorsecondary.tki.org.nz/Social-sciences/Education-for-sustainability/Key-concepts/Aspects-of-sustainability [Accessed 6 Apr. 2017]

Baedeker, C., Liedtke, C. and Welfens, M.J., 2017. Green economy as a framework for product-service systems development: the role of sustainable living labs. In Living Labs (pp. 35-52). Springer International Publishing.

Ciegis, R., Ramanauskiene, J.,and Martinkus, B., 2015. The concept of sustainable development and its use for sustainability scenarios. Engineering Economics, 62(2).

Delong, L. (2014). Three Aspects of Sustainable Living! - Prepper Broadcasting |Network. [online] Prepper Broadcasting |Network. Available at: https://prepperbroadcasting.com/preppers/three-aspects-sustainable-living/ [Accessed 5 Apr. 2017].

H., M. (2016). Why is Sustainability Important? - The Permaculture Research Institute. [online] The Permaculture Research Institute. Available at: https://permaculturenews.org/2016/01/07/why-is-sustainability-important/ [Accessed 5 Apr. 2017].

Huang, Y. and Quibria, M. (2015). The global partnership for sustainable development. Natural Resources Forum, 39(3-4), pp.157-174.

Lorek, S. and Spangenberg, J.H., 2014. Sustainable consumption within a sustainable economy–beyond green growth and green economies. Journal of cleaner production, 63, pp.33-44.

Mason, M. (2017). What Is Sustainability and Why Is It Important?. [online] Environmentalscience.org. Available at: https://www.environmentalscience.org/sustainability [Accessed 6 Apr. 2017].

Mont, O., Neuvonen, A.,and Lähteenoja, S., 2014. Sustainable lifestyles 2050: stakeholder visions, emerging practices, and future research.Journal of Cleaner Production, 63, pp.24-32

Nidolumu, R., Prahalad, C.,and Rangaswami, M. (2009). Why Sustainability Is Now the Key Driver of Innovation. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2009/09/why-sustainability-is-now-the-key-driver-of-innovation [Accessed 6 Apr. 2017].

Conserve Energy Future. (n.d.). What is Sustainable Living and 15 Easy Ways for Sustainable Living? - Conserve Energy Future. [online] Available at: https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/15-ideas-for-sustainable-living.php [Accessed 6 Apr. 2017].

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