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The Breakdown of Sustainability

By Leah Modica

Sustainability is a grey zone for many. It is an ambiguous term that entails various different definitions depending on whom you may ask. Politicians often use it as a crutch term to enhance their environmental proposals. Engineers may tell you the technical blueprint to Sustainability by drowning it in non-layman’s terms. For you, the basis you need to know is: Planet, People, Profit. 

These three P’s are known as the Triple Bottom Line Theory, which is an economic term coined by the business and engineering sectors. Sustainability is not just being eco-friendly. It encompasses every aspect of daily life and how to be beneficial to each of those three aspects. Many suggest that this theory can only be practiced through business, but I strongly believe it is capable of translating into everyday life. Whether you are looking to lead a more sustainable business or would like to do your independent push for green footprints; these three subjects will help you create a sound game plan. Let me dissect these down further:

Planet: This is the most recognizable sector of sustainability. Many confuse this as the only aspect. It can be argued that incorporating the planetary facet should be top priority; and truthfully it should. If you are a business owner, you should start asking yourself questions like, ‘How can your company produce less waste?’  It may seem unattainable to use the generally higher priced green products or to change the set in stone ways of production. The key argument to that is that a company that produces less waste not only saves the environment but saves time and productivity. Producing efficiently is also producing sustainably. Less waste + less production time = a sustaining work flow. This seamlessly transitions into everyday life. If you are from the younger generations, like I am, Reduce, Reuse,and Recycle have been drilled into your subconscious. Why not act on them? Create a sustainable lifestyle by producing less physical waste and time wasted. 

People: This is where things get personal. Not only are you asking the questions about how will your sustainable changes affect the people around you, but how will they affect your own life? Cliche, but in order to do good your mind and body must be good. This translates to companies as well. A company that is in good standings with employees that are whole-heartedly satisfied with their work is just as important as the products and services you produce. Creating less waste in your personal and company life, is how to be more sustainable. This waste means physical, mental and emotional.

Profit: On a community and personal level, you can gain profit through monetary savings, leisure time and peace of mind. Chase these profits, a sustainable life is immensely rewarding.

It is this simple; every change you make should have a positive outcome with benefits to yourself, the community and the planet. From my understanding on sustainability, this is the basis for which you should start analyzing your own and the public changes. You’ve only got one mind, nourish it. We’ve only got one planet, save it. 

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