In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share with you the importance of sustainable thinking throughout the world. When I first entered the world of sustainable business, I wrote an article, 10 Reasons to Become Fluent in Sustainability. Years later, the same reasons apply for businesses, but I wanted to update you on additional reasons that inspirNational readers should become fluent in sustainability.
sus·tain·a·bil·i·ty (noun): the capacity to endure; the successful meeting of present social, economic, and environmental needs without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs (derived from the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development); a universal language that successful people speak; the way of the future
10 Reasons to Become Fluent in Sustainability
1. Prepare for the future: A sustainable mindset is a long-term mindset. It broadens your perspective to think about how you impact the community and the environment now and into the future, through your career, your purchasing decisions, and your daily behavior. It encourages you to plan ahead and take the necessary steps to create a sustainable future for yourself and society.
2. Become aware that the world’s resources are limited. We are already seeing the impacts of unsustainable actions of previous generations, such as unusual weather patterns, shifts in the distribution of wealth, and increased pollution that is harming public health. It is important for us to be aware so that we can change our behavior today and protect resources for future generations.
3. Protect your health: By purchasing sustainable products, such as organic food and goods without toxic chemicals, you will prevent illness, ensure the longevity of your immune system, and promote personal and community wellbeing.
4. Be active in the community: Sustainable behavior encourages you to get involved and volunteer in the community. By giving back, you will be contributing to society and your own wellbeing.
5. Cut costs: Energy and waste create costs. By purchasing products that rely on renewable energy or produce less waste, such as electric cars or recycled paper, you will help reduce waste and emissions and therefore reduce costs in the long-term.
6. Be hip: Socially responsible investing is in style (both from a consumer and a business standpoint). It is not a fad, but rather as timeless as a little black dress. The “cool kids” are sustainable; you should be too.
7. Earn tax incentives: Environmentally and socially-responsible activities give individuals and companies income tax credits for investment, production, or consumption, accelerated depreciation for some capital expenses, exemptions from state or local sales taxes, and cash grants (Learn more from Business Insider).
8. Make your mark on the world. Every dollar you spend is your vote for consumerism. By purchasing unsustainable products, you are encouraging the continuation of their production. By purchasing sustainable products, you are making the statement that you value sustainability, such as labor rights, environmental protection, animal welfare, and community development. Dollars are like words, as they communicate to companies and communities where you would like the world to go now and into the future.
9. Collaborate with your peers, favorite companies, local politicians, and community organizations. Sustainabilty is a global language and fosters collaboration across sectors. Sustainable solutions are cross-sector in nature, and need to include the ideas and opinions of several individuals and organizations in order to have a lasting impact.
10. Find your purpose. Sustainability engages people’s roots, what they truly value and how they want to change the world. We all have a cause that matters to us, so the broad, sustainable mindset enables us to prioritize that cause and make a difference.
Do you have other reasons that you think with a sustainable mindset? If so, please share them in the comments below. I hope that Earth Day reminds us all to appreciate and care for all that our planet offers.