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What does sustainability mean to you?

Wednesday, May. 6, 2009

To me, sustainability means everything that it did the first time I wrote about it for this class, but the recent event of my high school dropping out of the competition (long story to save for my field report) got me thinking about commitment. When they first told Katherine and me that they had decided they were no longer going to participate, I felt as though I hadn’t committed myself enough to making sure they were making progress, but I also felt that they were not committed to the competition the way I originally thought. Their reasons behind the decision made sense as sad as it is, and now, thinking about how this applies to sustainability, I think that there needs to be a level of commitment.

My sister goes to Emory University in Atlanta and she was telling me the other day how “sustainability” is the buzz word at her school currently: their equivalent of the G.R.E.E.N club is using it to promote activities and events, but “sustainable” is also being used to describe everything from economic decisions to new relationships. I thought this was interesting but also I wondered if the increased use and widespread application might result in a kind of “green-washing” of the word and true meaning of “sustainable”. I think that trying to live a more sustainable life cannot be done in a few days or a week. I think it takes the commitment to make small adjustments that can be sustained (hehe) over time, rather than drastically changing the way you live for a week then reverting back to ‘old ways’. The small adjustments can add up over time, and after a while, become habit, not inconvenience. And like Keith says (I also said this in last week’s journal): “If it’s not fun, it’s not sustainable.”

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