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What is Sustainability?

Image by Flickr/Linda Cronin

The Environmental Protection Agency explains that sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit the fulfillment of the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Sustainability is important to making sure that we have, and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. Piedmont Center for Sustainability sees sustainable living as a continuum where things as simple as recycling are just as important as living “off the grid.” Sustainable living is not an all or nothing deal, we can all make gradual changes to reduce our carbon footprint. It should not be an inconvenience, but should rather improve each individual’s quality of life. It is about balancing our current needs for energy and resources with the desire to ensure that future generations have the same opportunities as we have for enjoying what our environment has to offer.