What's the Definition of Sustainability?

I was getting interviewed the other day and was asked the question what does sustainability mean to you? 

This question forced to me to really think about my personal relationship with sustainability. I know the most broadly accepted definition of sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Defined in 1987, by the World Commission on Environment and Development.

The reason why I lingered on this question for a few seconds longer was because we forget sometimes that we all bring our own ingredients to make up our personal definitions. We may all be on the path to living sustainable lifestyles, but that definition and vision is different for all of us.

With the word sustainable being tossed around a lot these days, it's a good idea to step back and assess your version of sustainability. It could be maintaing and sustaining your current lifestyle, or making radical changes towards reducing your ecological footprint. Think about your values and how you see the future. Once you understand your unique eco path, it becomes easier to exercise your values and integrate them into your everyday life. When you understand why you're doing something, it becomes easier to justify making it a habit. 

Sustainability is a journey and your definition will change as you move through this journey; change is good, change means growth and evolution. Have a vision, this way you can set goals for yourself and check in to make sure you're picking up the skills, tools and experiences that run in line with your ultimate vision and end goals.  

My definition of sustainability

An interaction between beings and ideas that help us live in such a way that we minimize our negative impact on the Earth and all living beings we share it with. A movement that integrates community, dialogue and action through self empowerment and ecologically conscious practices. 

What's your definition of sustainability?

sustainable