Does sustainability have a direction? Does it have a uniform flow - a beginning, an end? Can anyone radically change the course of sustainability?
The very definition of sustainability has been in transition. It is evolving with the human race. In the times of the early man, the definition of sustainability was survival. In the time of the Black Death (1348) it was survival. In the times of the Industrial Revolution it was growth. Now, simply put, it is the judicious use of our resources for our generation without compromising the needs of the future generations.
In today's world, change, even if it is beneficial, is received with resistance. Majority of the people are happy to go about with their daily routines, and bringing about a change not only brings about a shift in the daily routines but also a shift in the mindset of people. However, it is not impossible to bring about a change.
There are numerous conditions that need to be fulfilled if an individual/group wants to bring about changes in the society. These can range from:
1. Financial/Policy support from government.
2. A dire necessity for improvement (of lifestyle, economy) with an equally stunning solution.
3. It must not radically affect people's cultural/social beliefs.
Another point of concern would be how each country accepts these sustainable transitions. The developed nations - US, UK, and majority of EU are pro change however, the majority of the world comprises of either developing or underdeveloped nations. And bringing about change can be a lot more difficult there.
General Strategies for evaluating viability of a sustainable change/solution
Everywhere we look we can provide answers to problems and suggest improvements. However, to check the viability/necessity of these improvements a simple checklist can be followed.
1. Prioritisation: It is best to look at the broader perspective. If there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed, then the solution provided will be unnecessary at the present time.
2. Time-frame: If the solution provided exceeds the time-frame of obtaining maximum benefit, then it is not a viable solution.
3. Dramatic Change or Gradual Change: There is a dilemma with providing a solution to a problem. Should it be dramatic or should it be gradual? The people who are directly affected will be deciding of the outcome.
4. Weighing the cons: It is safe to say that all changes will have repercussions. If the benefits eclipse the drawbacks then it considered positive, and negative if it is vice-versa.
With the rapid advances made by society, sustainability seems to be the check on reality. It is us who can set the wheels in motion, and with a few rational strategies and a positive outlook we can improve the world not only for us but for the future as well. Lets embark on this journey together.
To make a better world!