The definition of sustainability focuses on meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to thrive. The concept of sustainability is composed of three pillars: economic, environmental and social—also known informally as profits, planet and people.
The world typically adds 51 tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere every year according to the book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” by Bill Gates. In order to stop global warming and climate change, we need to stop adding greenhouse gases to our atmosphere. Through innovation, large corporations and governments can help to prevent a climate disaster.
But what can we as individuals do to help improve the environment so that future generations have a safe and healthy planet? There are simple changes, such as using your own eco-friendly water bottle instead of a single plastic bottle that takes approximately 450 years(!) to biodegrade.
We can choose to bike or walk to nearby destinations instead of driving. We can limit our animal consumption by going plant-based. According to Jonathan Safran Foer in his book, “We Are the Weather,” “It will be impossible to defuse the ticking time bomb without reducing our consumption of animal products.”
These and other great suggestions on ways we can impact our world and improve our future planet are in the resources and books listed below.
There are also some excellent online resources to consult, including Global Reference on the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (GREENR).
GREENR focuses on the study of sustainability and the environment. It provides news, background information, video, commentaries, primary source documents and statistics in relevant topic areas such as energy systems, healthcare, food, climate change, population, economic development and more.
We are lucky to have wonderful local resources as well, such as the Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes which is one of the greenest buildings in the world. And Sustainable Pittsburgh’s mission is to empower decision-making that builds a fundamentally equitable, resilient, healthy and prosperous region.
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Journalist and educator Little discusses the ways our food systems might change in the future due to climate change and other factors. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.
Food Is the Solution: What to Eat to Save the World: 80+ Recipes for a Greener Planet and a Healthier You
Prescott shows how people could incorporate more plants into their diet to help solve major environmental issues.
This books gives practical tips on ways to avoid using plastic in your home and in your everyday lives.
Practical gardening tricks to upcycle everyday items and promote green living and values in your own backyard. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.