In terms of the green movement, sustainability is the characteristic of longevity. To be sustainable as a species we must be able to consume renewable resources at a rate at which they will not become exhausted; to be responsible with our resources. In the human experiment sustainability is maintaining our current level of satisfaction without causing detriment to future generations and their quality of life.
Sustainable – (definition) 1. Capable of being sustained. 2. Capable of being continued with minimal long-term effect on the environment.
To add to the following answer, I will briefly explain sustainability in a design sense. For developments to be considered sustainable, the planning, construction and materials must follow principles that will conserve energy and waste. This is a responsible practice that allows the usual building process to evolve into a green industry.
In terms of sustainable development, there are 3 key areas of sustainable focus: environmental, social, and economic. These are also known as the triple bottom line. This means for any sustainable development to be considered sustainable, one must take into account the resources used in each of these categories and how these areas will be both negatively and positively affected both in the short and long-term time frames. The goal would be for development to enhance the environment, culture and society, and economic outlook of the area it is in.
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