We should avoid calling too many things sustainable so that the word does not loose its meaning, which I assume is what you mean by relevant. Right now, “sustainable” is a hot topic word, and the media and advertisers are taking advantage of the word to help their industries. Something that is called “sustainable” should actually be sustainable.
In reality, it is hard to know what is sustainable because there will always be something that we are missing. So, super conservative use of the word might not be good either. We should be careful about the way we phrase things. For example, I might say something or some practice is more sustainable, but I might refrain from outright saying it IS sustainable. People may not really notice that difference in passing since it has become a fad to include the word in marketing. What is important is that people do look into the details, which most people won’t. But until a standardized, accepted definition is put into the lawbooks, people will get away with throwing the word around even though it carries a lot of weight. The same thing has happened to “organic,” though there is effort in trying to keep that under control. Perhaps the something similar will happen with “sustainable,” though it would be scary if they do not define it well.
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