Sustainable development refers to providing for people’s needs now and in the future without damaging future resources. This is an important concept because everything that people do now affects future generations, especially when it comes to building and the harvesting of earth’s resources. Precious minerals that are mined now aren’t going to be available for future use, and the way cities and infrastructure are planned and built now will also affect many generations to come.
If you’re interested in sustainable development and want to take more responsibility for how your own decisions affect future generations, consider some tips for applying this theory in your everyday life.
Look for companies with fair trade practices.
Fair trade refers to paying companies and individuals in developing countries a fair price for their goods and a fair wage for their labor. This fair trade can apply, for example, to fashion designers and manufacturers who pay a fair price for cotton and other materials that are grown and harvested in developing countries. If a company that produces clothing does not engage in fair trade practices, they may be paying pennies on the dollar for the materials they receive.
The fair wage paid for laborers is also part of fair trade. This refers to farms, factories, and other companies who provide a fair, living wage to their workers and who also provide safe working environments. To qualify as a fair trade company, they not only receive a fair price for their goods but must also pay that fair wage to their own workers.
Fair trade practices protect the development of those in underdeveloped countries. By paying a fair price for goods and a fair wage for labor, this money is then put back into their economy and they too have a chance at future growth and development.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
This phrase has been used so often that many people simply ignore it today, but this is one of the simplest yet most effective things you can do to support sustainable development. Reduce your consumption of gasoline by walking, taking public transportation, or carpooling. Have your kids walk or ride their bikes to school and around the neighborhood when safe to do so. Reduce your utilities by investing in energy-saving appliances and shutting things off when not in use.
Reusing and recycling can be done around the home but remember to apply these tips when shopping. Buy used clothing and furniture rather than new so you can help cut down on manufacturing. Fix items around the house rather than buying new. By doing this you protect sustainability and reduce consumption.
Virtually everything you buy can and does affect sustainable development. Make changes by buying locally grown foods as this will mean less transportation to truck in items and in turn, less use of fuel. Buy recyclable batteries and light bulbs with a longer life, and choose naturally sustainable materials when you want to remodel your house. Bamboo grows very quickly and is a good choice for wood floors, and concrete can be used for countertops if it’s stained or painted to look attractive.
Consider how much paper you use around the house when it comes to paper towels and napkins and switch to washable cloths, and forego plastic bags which need to be manufactured and shipped to stores. Always opt for energy-efficient appliances and electronic devices when purchasing something new.
If you are more aware of how your choices affect sustainability then you can make better choices for yourself and your family. In turn you can be protecting development and growth for future generations.