How Is Sustainability An Ethical Decision?

Provided by Sarah Cole from PURC

The Principle Of Sustainability: There are numerous definitions of sustainability. Like, the ‘entropy principle’ of sustainability states that life on Earth should not use more energy each day than is supplied by the Sun every single day. Herman Daly proposed these three principles of sustainability: non-renewable resources should not be depleted at rates higher than the development rate of renewable substitutes; renewable resources should not be exploited at a rate higher than their regeneration level; and the absorption and regeneration capacity of the natural environment should not be exceeded. Thus, one central concern of sustainability is resource consumption, especially the consumption of non-renewable resources.

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What Are The Values Required To Adopt The Ethics Of Sustainable Development?

In philosophy, ethics has as its object judgments of appreciation when they apply to the distinction between good and evil. Theoretical, and generally linked to metaphysical research, it differs from applied morality which defines the rules of conduct, the standards to be respected. The fact that in English, “ethics” means morality does not simplify things at a time when language is globalizing.

What Does Environmental Sustainability Actually Mean? 

In ecology, sustainability describes how biological systems remain productive over time. This refers to the balance of a species with the resources of its environment. By extension, it applies to the exploitation of a resource below their renewal limit.

Environmental sustainability refers to the ability to maintain biological aspects in their productivity and diversity over time and, thus, to preserve natural resources by promoting conscious responsibility both ecologically and developmentally. 

How To Work towards It?

The individual and collective action of man has put the planet and the forms of life it contains, to a very severe test. It is also through its action that humanity, which has clearly contributed to environmental degradation, the rapid loss of biodiversity and climate change, will have to find solutions to these problems as soon as possible.

Education, in concert with initiatives from governments, civil society and the private sector, can play a major role in the necessary transformation towards more environmentally sustainable societies. Education builds values ​​and perspectives. It also contributes to the development of skills, concepts and tools that can be used to curb or abolish unsustainable practices.

While education promotes sustainability in many ways, these are not always positive. Education can indeed encourage unsustainable practices such as overconsumption of resources, or exacerbate the loss of relatively sustainable indigenous knowledge and lifestyles. It may be necessary to redefine and transform it so that it has a positive impact.

Small Changes In Your Lifestyle To Become Sustainable: 

Sustainable energy management is a key issue for businesses today. As long-term strategic thinkers, energy entrepreneurs must be closely associated with these practices. They play an important role in orienting their organizations towards more sustainable choices. Energy entrepreneurs support efforts to reduce the energy consumption thanks to their in-depth knowledge of energy costs. They also guide managers towards the right decisions for the use of renewable energy.

Sustainability aims to find the right balance between the financial considerations of a business and its impact on people and the planet. Energy entrepreneurs can have a significant impact on increasing profitability, while reducing the environmental impact of businesses. Too often companies fire on sight approach in their sustainable energy management efforts, rather than deploying a well-structured outlook. This can lead to unsuccessful investments and less carbon saved per euro or dollar invested.

Sustainability considerations are often not addressed until late, when contracts are about to be signed. This is regrettable, because the involvement upstream can lead to wiser choices, with more optimal results in financial and environmental terms.

Making Small Changes In Life:

  1. Bamboo Kitchenware/Bathkit

If you are looking for a warm and natural look for your disposable kitchenware/tableware, bamboo is the solution. This material represents an excellent alternative to plastic since it is a highly renewable resource. Indeed, this plant grows very easily and especially very quickly.

Did you know that bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant in the world? It can be harvested continuously every 3 years without damaging the plant or the environment. Once harvested, it produces new growth without the need for additional planting.

Bamboo also benefits from a very good carbon footprint and its cultivation reduces greenhouse gases. After harvest, each part of the plant is used to make a wide variety of products. Bamboo therefore has many advantages and bamboo kitchenware is the most basic thing to add to your kitchen collection.

  1. Switching To Shampoo Bars
  • The shampoo bars are not packed in plastic. Even the packaging is completely biodegradable. These could be dissolved in water, or can be put on the compost heap.
  • You do not need a conditioner, the shampoo bars contain nourishing oils. That saves even more on plastic and saves some extra money in your wallet!
  • One shampoo bar lasts as long as 3 bottles of regular shampoo. So dirt cheap, for the price you should not leave it! You would be able to wash your hair 80 times with it. In that case, a bar of soap should last 2 months.
  • When you travel, this bar of soap hardly takes any space in comparison with a bottle of shampoo and conditioner! 

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  1. Using Steel Straws

Steel straws have been used for a very long time. Even today, they are recommended by environmental organizations. There are some ecological advantages of a using stainless steel straw:

  • Stainless steel straws are reusable.
  • Stainless steel can be recycled. 
  • The material is unbreakable and durable.
  • It contains no harmful chemicals.
  • Stainless steel straws are dishwasher safe.

What are ethical dilemmas relating to sustainability and how to overcome them? 

Today a piece about sustainable product design focused on the behavior of people. Because wouldn’t it be nice if your things would help you to live as sustainably as possible? Think of products that switch themselves off when you are not using them, products that are standard on the most economical position? A few dilemmas play a role in sustainable design. They ensure that what at first glance seems like a smart idea is sometimes not at all.

At one point, the ecological movement – focused on the desire to protect the Earth – was largely co-opted by the movement for sustainable development – focused on the desire to preserve our comfortable way of life. When did it happen and why? And how is it that nobody noticed it? This change of objective which saw it go from compassion towards all living beings and the Earth to the selfish desire to perpetuate an intrinsically destructive way of life, constitutes a fundamental diversion from the values ​​of ecology. There are 7 ways to fight with sustainable ethical dilemmas:

  1. Carpooling,
  2. Taking the train or bus can be convenient,
  3. Prefer products that are friendly to the planet,
  4. Control the burns,
  5. Recycle,
  6. Reduce food waste,
  7. Reduce your waste in general. 

Author Bio:

Sarah Cole is a sustainable enthusiast. She is a contributor at Pointless Overthinking and discusses ways we can all be a little more eco-friendly. Follow Sarah and her thoughts at PURC.

 

4 thoughts on “How Is Sustainability An Ethical Decision?

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  1. Thank you for this important reminder. As we deal with this pandemic, we can also take this opportunity to re-evaluate what is truly necessary in our daily lives. If we all make smarter, more sustainable choices, we can make a huge impact on our planet. 🕊

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