“Sustainable Lifestyles: Putting The Right Foot Forwards.”



“You Can Never Have An Impact On Society If You Have Not Changed Yourself”

Nelson Mandela.

For years, the quality of lifestyle has been considered to be a “hot topic”, but very few can answer why? Why is it so important for us to consider our own carbon footprint in order to be an active part of the circle of life? Many people may have heard of sustainable living but are not exactly sure of what it means this is because “Sustainable Living” incorporates many different aspects of lifestyle choices within the here and now. Sustainable living incorporates the idea of using as few resources as possible to function, becoming aware of environmental damage that we may cause ourselves, and trying to reduce this. By lowering our own carbon footprint we reduce the amount of damage that future generations have to contend with.

More people than ever are expected to join the middle class over the next two decades because of the shift within both economical and political trends. (Action 2020) This therefore, will put enormous pressure on those industries that will feel the strain of the general population having more affluence. Although these demographic changes are overall good for individual wealth, we must ask ourselves what will this do to the demand for already incredibly vulnerable natural resources such as water, wood and oil.

This is a major concern in which many organisations such as Unilever are focused upon and how they can minimalize the damage to raw materials. They argue that their plan is “ to make sustainable living coeco_Friendly.jpgmmonplace”. (Unilever )
This is a fantastic outlook to consider, wouldn’t it be marvellous If we could make sustainable living a habit, a routine in which we just naturally follow? The benefits would be vast and would offer us many more opportunities within a greener society.

Of course Sustainable Living generally refers to having a green outlook by living on the earth as lightly as possible whilst maintaining a conscious effort to waste as little as possible. (Difficult, I know!) Therefore industries that are affected by this change within the next two decades will need to decide which is more important to them: The balance between profit, health or happiness within the company.

The rate of progression would make many industries unstable to produce the increasing amount of resources that are needed which are diminishing at a faster rate than we are producing. This of course is a nasty continuous cycle one of which we must argue what is best action that needs to be taken for human development.

Therefore, we must once again ask the question of who does this revolve around? Does it revolve around those industries making mindful decisions in regards to production or does it revolve around the individual? You and I?

Personally, after much thought I believe it revolves around all of the above and has a central focus on the individual, whether that be through the diet we eat, organically or otherwise, to the transport we use. We are all connected through business, industry and human interaction.

If we all take a second to STOP.


It’s amazing how one simple word can hold so many implications, the connotations speak for themselves. We need to just stop and think about the consequences of our own actions. Where do we wish to be in 20 years? o-CARBON-FOOTPRINT-facebook.jpgIn twenty years the shift in economical trends will alter our lifestyle to one, which we will become accustomed to. My point is this, do we wish this to become a positive future one of which that opens the door to endless possibilities and a clearer carbon footprint or do we wish to have a bleak outlook in which we continue to destroy all our raw materials and ultimately the planet.

In order to create a sustainable routine we must acknowledge that business and the natural environment are very much connected and that in order to gain prosperity we must recognise that both have dependency on each other. We must take action this is for certain. Through practicing minimisation, switching lights off and reduce, reuse and recycle we can all become part of a greener more inviting future. This is not only something in which dreams are made of but with a little effort something that is very much attainable within the next 20 years.

Gareth Gartside


Action2020 (WBCSD):





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