What Does It Mean To Practice Sustainability?

Practicing sustainability generally refers to taking measures so as to prevent causing further damage to the environment and ecological systems. This involves engaging in activities that will not cause more than minimal long-term negative effects on the environment. From a practical standpoint, below outlines some factors involved in the adoption of sustainability practices.

Social Responsibility

At the base of sustainability is social responsibility. This entails being mindful at all times about how all activities may affect the environment. Secondly, continual measures must be undertaken to protect and preserve environmental resources. This may include:

  • Respecting land, air, water and natural resources.
  • Considering the business supply chain and adjusting activities as necessary.
  • Striving to minimize environmental impact.
  • Motivating employee and community involvement in sustainability.


There is no doubt that air quality affects quality of life and health. Practicing sustainability includes understanding and alleviating human impact on atmosphere. This includes adopting more stringent rules concerning air pollution and levels of toxins such as nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and sulfur oxides. Referred to as global dimming, this heat and cooling imbalance may have contributed to global warming and greenhouse gases. Disruptions in global water cycles with reduced rainfall have occurred as a result of global dimming. Sustainability practices have brought attention to barring toxic substances from the atmosphere to reduce global dimming and elevate air quality.


Similar to air, water is an essential part of maintaining all life forces. Scientists have also revealed that ocean water circulation patterns have a strong influence over weather and climate. In turn, food supply quality for both humans and organisms have been affected. Business and individuals practicing sustainability take responsibility for reducing the toxins released into the water supply and advocate for laws to be expanded, followed and prosecuted when infractions occur.

Land use

Land use adjustments are essential to biosphere operations since urbanization, forest, agriculture, grassland, woodland and pastures have marked effects on water, nitrogen and carbon emissions in the biogeochemical cycle. Businesses that espouse sustainability practices recognize the danger to the ecosystem, as well as human and natural systems. At local levels, major sustainability activities involve the preservation of land, gardens and parks. In addition, responsible companies contribute to green building and city design efforts by developing more responsible manufacturing processes.


The aspects of sustainability that concern the economy relate to specific actions that will not diminish any prospects for future people to enjoy:

  • Adequate levels of consumption
  • Available utilities
  • General standard of living

Sustainability intertwines with economics through the ecological and social consequences of activities that relate to economic pursuits. Sustainability in economics includes a broad interpretation of environmental issues and variables that are part of a multi-dimensional perspective. Social, health related, cultural and financial aspects must be integrated in order for economic sustainability to occur.


The reduction of greenhouse emissions is greatly associated with sustainability practices. Efforts range from tracking carbon passage to commercializing renewable energy. In addition, companies contribute to sustainable efforts by developing transport and technology systems that do not rely upon carbon emissions. Individuals adopt more carbon neutral lifestyles by using services and goods that do not use fossil fuels.

Sustainability networks have aligned to educate the public, businesses and organizations to encourage participation in responsible sustainability practices. In addition, those involved can lead by example to inspire and motivate involvement.

This article was contributed to encourage sustainable practices and sustainable education.