Sustainability refers to how human beings protect or conserve the natural resources so that they can be kept safe for future use. It demands people to live in harmony with the natural environment to protect it from damage and destruction (Caradonna, 2016). Civilization has significantly affected the human survival chances as the environment has been damaged. At the moment, sustainability is an important aspect that helps the people in the society to know how to live sustainably. The future is all about what we do today and how we make our environment comfortable for future use. This entails good practices that help to ensure that carbon emissions are reduced through the renewing of fuels sources (Thomas, 2016). Environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainability help people to what can be done for sustainable living. Domestic energy consumption and domestic water use are among the sustainable living aspects that humans need to consider as discussed below.
The concept of sustainability is not new because it has been in existence for a long time, and since then, many people have had different opinions about it, yet this has not changed its meaning. According to Aras and Crowther, 2009, sustainability is defined as a balance of some factors that guarantee the continual existence of the planet earth. This involves a careful usage of the existence resources with the target of ensuring that these remedies continue to serve the generations for a longer time thus the continuity of the earth.
Sustainability calls for responsible use of the existing resources so that continuity of life in the land is attained. Sustainable living entails undertaking practices that help reduce the demand for the natural resources. This could be a change in the products consumed and adopting those products that promote sustainability or may also mean a change in how things are done and switch to a way that encourages sustainability (BBC News, 2008). Sustainable living cuts across many aspects which include environmental, cultural, social, and economic among others. Both individuals and organizations are focusing on consideration of these issues that promote sustainable living. Some of these agencies include the United Environmental Programme (UNEP), Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA), and The World Trade Organization (WTO) among others (UNFCC, 2009).
Nowadays, the concept of sustainability has gained a lot of weight and is now a global concern that both individuals and groups of people are working towards improving on sustainability (Ambec & Lanoie, 2008). There is a need for ensuring that the future life on the globe continues. The present resources are, therefore, used carefully with the target of conserving them for use by the next generation.
Domestic Energy Consumption. Energy is an essential item in the mission of sustainability. Controlling energy usage directly affects the well being of the natural resources. People should be willing to make their individual efforts to practice adhere to energy saving practices to conserve energy for sustainability. When these efforts are put together, they can significantly impact on the general energy usage on the planet thus sustainability. Many electrical appliances are used in homes that consume a lot of energy, for example, a television uses around 170 Watts, and this is energy gained from electricity. Therefore, using LED televisions can reduce this amount of energy used leading to sustainability.
To save energy at a personal level, people need to take actions that contribute to responsible energy use in their local environments. Firstly, there is need to upgrade the light bulbs. Regular bulbs consume a lot of power and thus they should be replaced with compact fluorescent ones because they can save energy four times than the regular ones. Also, it is important for people to use the lights responsibly. Lights should be turned on when only when there is the need for light, but they should be turned off all the time when not in use. This practice significantly saves the energy at the domestic level thus sustainability (Mansoori, 2016).
Secondly, people should always turn off electronics and other electric appliances when not in use. Some of these appliances include computers, televisions, music systems, printers, electric kettles, and electric irons among others. When these devices and appliances are turned on for a long time, they use a lot of energy. For example, when a computer is left on for twenty-four hours, it uses up to 1000 kilowatts electricity. This shows that if we leave these items for a long time when turned on, a lot of energy is wasted. It is, therefore, necessary for people to adopt healthy practices of turning off the electric appliances and devices for sustainable living (Patrick, 2008, pp. 5).
Thirdly, people need to take an initiative of considering bio-gradable sources of energy rather than the conventional sources. For example, it is sustainable practice to find the use of the solar energy for lighting and other electric usages rather electric energy or petroleum energy. This is a very critical practice in the environment since solar power is a clean source of power, unlike the other conventional sources. Also, people should make efforts to use alternative or improved sources of heat for sustainability. There is need to adopt the use of improved cooking stoves which save energy and cause little pollution thus contributing to sustainable living (Thomas, 2016).
Domestic Water Consumption. Water is a valuable natural resource which needs to be conserved. Water usage on the planet significantly determines sustainability. People can lack water during drought season if water is not conserved hence affecting their health. Water management or conservation assists to recharge the ground water. Individual efforts should be made for sustainable living. People should, therefore, adopt various practices that promote water conservation and its responsible usage thus sustainability.
People should practice collection and saving of water. Rainwater is readily available during rainy seasons. This water can be used to help improve sustainable living. There is a need for implementing rainwater collection methods such as collection from roofs, containers with removable lids which are put outside in open to collect rainwater among others. This water can be used for watering plants and for the domestic usage. Also, people should responsible and adopt good practices of turning off taps when not in use. Failure to turn off taps wastes a lot of water from the environment, and this is a bad practice that needs to be avoided (Schneider, 2014).
Besides, taking shorter showers can help conserve water. When one takes a shorter shower, little water is spent, and thus conservation and also one saves time to use for other activities. This is a good practice for sustainable living. Also, people should reuse clothes. We can always wear clothes for more than once. The re-use of clothes saves time, the cost of detergents and also water that could have been used to clean them. This idea can be extended to our blanket, bed sheets and other materials in the environment. These practices are necessary since they significantly contribute to water conservation. When all these efforts are put together, and all people adopt sustainable living, we will manage to conserve the natural resources for our future generation (Wichelns, 2010).
However, there are some factors that make people continue using sources of energy that damage the environment. Firstly, many people lack education on the sustainable living. Some people have failed to adopt sustainable living just because they do not have knowledge on the best energy practice to take. Secondly, poverty has contributed to the use of energy sources that damage the environment since many people cannot afford clean energy sources of which the costs are usually higher. This, therefore, shows that addressing these factors can improve sustainable living among the people.
There is no other alternative way for a sustainable environment except through innovation. Nowadays, innovation and technology are considered a change driver in most businesses and industries. Innovation still plays a critical role in sustainability through the creation of the friendlier environment for people to work with and also gives most companies an upper hand with their competitors. Innovations help save the planet earth and the natural environment for future use by the other generations. Changes help businesses to manage waste well, reduce the price of products and even create new products (Weizsacker, 2009).
There are several types of changes that ensure environmental sustainability, for example, solar energy. Solar energy panels convert sunlight to usable solar energy through a semiconductor material, which creates renewable energy for the world. Solar power helps in so many ways; it reduces water pollution as it does not pollute local water sources. It also reduces hazardous waste, unlike traditional energy it does not rely on fuel to produce electricity hence going away with radioactive waste storage and fuel transportation. Another example is waste processing and recycling. Waste processing and recycling help in soil treatment making it fertile for growing crops. Metals that are treated as waste can be processed to come up with other things same to plastic materials. Dealing with waste materials well reduces its effect on the environment and health (Hueseman &Huesemann, 2011).
Sustainability has become an important aspect I the world today, and for this reason, people should try their best to live sustainably (Goodall, 2007). Different innovations to create sustainability have created battles between companies and governments, businesses, and consumer activists, yet all this have to work together to ensure the conservation of the available resources.
It is important for both individuals and organizations to consider sustainability. Four most important parts of sustainability need to be considered to achieve sustainability. These aspects are the domestic consumption, domestic energy consumption, innovation, transportation among others. One's water and energy issues are taken care of, and then the world will be a better place. This is because these are issues that we encounter everywhere, especially in our workplace and back at homes where we spend much of our time. Therefore, this demonstrates that the concept of sustainability is critical since it has direct impacts on the planet.
Ambec, S., & Lanoie, P. (2008). Does it pay to be green? A systematic overview. Academy of Management Perspectives, 22(4), pp. 45-62. https://dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMP.2008.35590353
Aras, G., & Crowther, D. (2009). The durable organization in a time of financial and economic crisis. Economics and Management, 14, pp. 210-216
BBC News (2008). https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/sci_tech/2004/climate_change/default.stm." BBC News, UK. Retrieved on: 2017-05-06
Caradonna, J. L. (2016). Sustainability: A history. S.l: Oxford Univ Press.
Goodall, C. (2007). How to Live a Low-carbon Life. London: Earthscan. ISBN 978-1-84407-426-6.
Huesemann, M.H., and J.A. Huesemann (2011).Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, Chapter 5, "In Search of Solutions II: Efficiency Improvements," New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, Canada.
Mansoori G, Enayati N, Agyarko L, (2016). Energy: Sources, Utilization, Legislation, Sustainability, Illinois as Model State, World Sci. Pub. Co., ISBN 978-981-4704-00-7
Patrick Mitchell (2008). Central Heating, Installation, Maintenance and Repair. Writers Print Shop. pp. 5
Schneider, U. et al. (2014). GPCC’s new land surface precipitation climatology based on quality-controlled in-situ data and its role in quantifying the global water cycle. Theoretical and Applied Climatology.
Thomas, Steve A. (2016). The Nature of Sustainability. Chapbook Press. Grand Rapids, Michigan
UNFCC (2009). "United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change."https://unfccc.int/ Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
Von Weizsacker, E.U., C. Hargroves, M.H. Smith, C. Desha, and P. Stasinopoulos (2009). Factor Five: Transforming the Global Economy through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity, Routledge.
Wichelns, Dennis (2010)."Virtual water and water footprints offer limited insight regarding important policy questions." International Journal of Water Resources Development.
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