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What is sustainability and why should I care about it?

Creating a sustainable future for the next generation is important to most Kiwis, as it is for most people in the world! Learn more below:

In 2020, we are all aware of climate change and the effects it has on our global environment. In New Zealand, Kiwis are very conscious of the effects of our carbon footprint and the effects of fossil fuels on our environment as we pride ourselves on being ‘clean and green.’

What is sustainability?

Sustainability means creating different ways to use resources so we do not use them up for future generations. Put simply, we shouldn’t use up everything today that people of tomorrow will also need. 

For example, let’s talk about renewable electricity as sustainable. At the moment, electricity mostly relies on oil which is a fossil fuel. This isn’t sustainable as it will run out eventually. So, in the last 50 years or so there have been advancements in renewable energy which is any energy source that can be renewed by nature. So, wind, sun (solar), water (hydro), plants (biomass) or earth (geothermal) can be all used to create electricity. This is more sustainable as it can be renewed by nature (if this is done in a balanced manner).

Why should I care about it?

Sustainability will help our future generations enjoy our planet as much as we have. Being sustainable makes sense. It can improve health, increase safety and save money. It’s an interesting subject that is globally discussed. If you are interested, take the time to read the below:

Gen Less – Learn How To Be Sustainable

Ministry for the Environment – Sustainable development

How can I help?

There are simple things you can do in your everyday life that can help you become more ‘sustainable’:

  • Drive less, and walk/bike more
  • Reduce your waste
  • Recycle everything that can be recycled
  • Support (in volunteer time and donations) places you love the most – beaches, forests, oceans, etc.
  • Start a composting pile
  • Try to buy products that are made within a 30-mile radius of your home
  • Use reusable bags or paper bags at the grocery store
  • Opt for reusable water bottles instead of convenience plastic water bottles

Learning through experience is one of the best ways to understand sustainability and the impact of this on the New Zealand environment. Take a look at these experiences here that could broaden your perspective.

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