From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sustainable living might best be defined as a lifestyle that could, hypothetically, be sustained without exhausting any natural resources. The term can be applied to individuals or societies. Its adherents most often hold true sustainability as a goal or guide, and make lifestyle tradeoffs favoring sustainability where practical.
Most often these tradeoffs involve transport, housing, energy, and diet. Lester R. Brown concisely summaries the situation as "sustaining progress depends on shifting from a fossil fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economy to a renewable energy-based, diversified transport, reuse/recycle economy"
Sustainable living is a sub-division of sustainability where the prerequisites of a modern, industrialized society are left unexercised by choice for a variety of reasons. The practices and motives overlap somewhat between the movements. Sustainable living in urban areas requires a sustainable urban infrastructure.
Self-sufficiency is the principle of consuming only those things produced by oneself or one's family. It is generally a stricter lifestyle than a sustainable lifestyle in that an effort is made to limit trade with others regardless of the sustainability of such trade.
Permaculture is a design philosophy that emphasises sustainability in land use and landscaping, as well as fields such as architecture and economics (for example, encouraging the spread of Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS)). In terms of agriculture, food production and building materials, permaculture emphasises use of well-adapted plant materials that require few inputs, especially trees and other edible and useful perennials.
Some people are opposed to mechanization and technology for any reason. Adherents of sustainable living, in contrast, are willing to accept appropriate technology.
Henry David Thoreau's work Walden represents the earliest literature that specifically addresses the sustainable lifestyle in simple living.
The Luddites raised issues of appropriate technology as early as the 1800s.
The publication of Living the Good Life by Helen Nearing (1904 – 1995) and Scott Nearing (1883 – 1983) in 1954 is the modern-day beginning of the sustainability movement. The book fostered the back to the land movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As the back to the landers realized the difficulty of copying the Nearings' lifestyle, they returned to more conventional lifestyles yet incorporated self-sufficiency where they could.
The publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in 1962 was another major milestone in the sustainability movement, as well as the writings of American essayist, novelist and farmer, Wendell Berry.
- Albert Bartlett
- Conscious Consuming
- Economic vegetarianism
- Environmental ethics
- Environmental studies
- Intentional living
- One Planet Living
- Simple living
- Sustainable agriculture
- Sustainable community
- Jim Merkel Radical Simplicity : Small Footprints on a Finite Earth, New Society Publishers, 2003, ISBN 0-86571-473-8
- Marijke Wilhelmus, "Eco-Tripping Around the World: Part I", Seed Magazine" (04/04/2006)
- One Planet Living
- GreenfootResource for creating a greener, more sustainable life. Swap ideas and tips with the online community.
- Worldchanging Big, award-winning sustainability blog.
- SustainLane - Online resource for healthy, sustainable living, that benchmarks the most sustainable US cities.
- www.pangeapartnership.org - The Pangea Partnership: Eco-building workshops in the developing world
- Sustainable Households - Site for New Zealanders who seek practical information on lower-impact lifestyles or 'sustainable living'
- Campus Center for Appropriate Technology - Students Seeking Solutions - Humboldt State University
- Sustainable Living Foundation - A community based not-for-profit organisation committed to promoting, celebrating and practicing the principles of sustainable living. - Melbourne, Australia