“It has been said something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.” Chaos Theory

The Index for a Sustainable Society (ISS) is an index that integrates the most important aspects of quality of life and sustainability of a society. In fact, it indicates how sustainable a society behaves. For instance, on 2006 the Netherlands took the 12th place on the ISS score list with 6.2. And it was established that a sustainable society is a society that meets the needs of the present generation, and it does not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, where each individual has the opportunity to develop himself in freedom, within a well-balanced society and in harmony with its surroundings. Regarding these aspects, this article pointed some facts that pretend to make people aware about sustainability and how to improve our current society.


Regarding Water

  • Running tap water for two minutes is equivalent to 3-5 gallons of water.
  • A 5-minute shower is equivalent to 20-35 gallons of water.                    
  • A full bath is equivalent to approximately 60 gallons of water.
  • An automatic dishwasher uses less hot water than doing dishes by hand.
  • An energy-smart clothes washer can save more water in one year than one person drinks in an entire lifetime.


Regarding Energy

  • It is better to use laptops instead of desktops. They use more than 50% less energy and require less resources and energy to produce.
  • People can maximize the heating and cooling efficiency by keeping blinds and curtains open during the day and closing them at nights to insulate the windows.
  • Desks and chairs can be arranged next to windows to reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day.
  • Every time people open the refrigerator door, up to 30 percent of the cold air can escape.     
  • A heavy coat of dust on a light bulb can block up to half of the light.
  • When people turn on an incandescent light bulb, only 10% of the electricity used is turned into light. The other 90% is wasted as heat.
  • A compact fluorescent light bulb uses 75 percent less energy than a regular bulb and it can last up to four years.
  • Some new refrigerators are energy-smart they use less electricity than a light bulb.


Waste Materials and Recycle

  • Every ton of recycled paper saves almost 400 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill and seventeen trees.
  • In order to produce a ton of paper 17 trees are required approximately.
  • In order to reduce the amount of paper used it is important to print and copy double-sided.
  • People can get cash back by recycling their old electronics such as cell phones, computers, mp3 or batteries.
  • It is recommended to use rechargeable batteries. Otherwise, it is important to dispose of batteries properly because they contain toxic chemicals.
  • Plastic shopping bags create unnecessary waste. It is better to use reusable bags.


   (PointParckUniversity, 2014) (NYU, 2014) (ISS, 2006)


ISS. (2006). The Netherlands,a sustainable society? The Index for a Sustainable Society .

NYU. (2014). Fast Facts. Retrieved 12 9, 2014, from New York University: http://www.nyu.edu/sustainability/about.sustainability/fast.facts.php

PointParckUniversity. (2014). Individuals impact our environment... every day, every action. Retrieved 12 9, 2014, from Point Parck University: http://www.pointpark.edu/About/AdminDepts/ProcurementandBusinessServices/Sustainability/FunFacts



Tatiana Armijos Moya

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