Sustainability is the belief and practice that all of society must work together to preserve the earth's resources and ecosystems. According to the Brundtland Declaration of 1987, "sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Also see Sustainability in Practice for examples of businesses and organizations doing their part to reduce use of resources.

Sustainability begins within: Through each individuals actions it can move outward.

Examples of sustainability include: smart well planned growth (e.g. bike-able, walkable communities), reducing waste, reusing and recycling.

Things the average person can do:

  • Reuse grocery bags (take them back the next time you go and reuse them, line a waste can with them, etc)
  • Don't buy bottled water; instead use reusable, leach free, bottles (such as Chico based Klean Kanteen)
  • Conserve Water
  • Using durable grocery totes such as Chico Bags or your favorite brand
    • A note on durable grocery bags: bagging is easier with bags that are free standing, the draw back is that they are a bit more bulky than the Chico Bag (a local company though the bags are made in China).
  • Eat locally grown food e.g. Saturday Farmer's Market, Wednesday Farmer's Market and Thursday Night Market
  • Recycle your gently used clothing at Recycle with Style Consignment Boutique
  • Plant your own veggie garden
  • Start a compost pile.
  • Make your yard waterwise (plant plants that are adapted to our climate and precipitation regime)
  • Ensure that community growth plans take into account where the water for the yards/industry/basic human needs is going to come from (participate in the planning process)
  • Don't buy overly packaged products
  • Buy efficient appliances. The ACEEE publishes a guide. Energy Star rating is also a good indicator.
  • Don't export the environmental costs of every day products to other countries (buy products produced in countries that have strong environmental ethics such as the US, Canada, EU)
  • Freecycle

Other resources

See also