What does sustainable mean?
By Grace Carr, 21/9/2021

Sustainable is the adjective of sustain, that means keeping something can keep something at a certain level. So, we can assume that this term has been placed on products and functions that support the earth rather than negatively affect it. While the word has other meanings, in 2021 the word is a key word when it comes to talking about how we can avoid the depletion of our natural resources and create an ecological balance to help solve the global climate problem. For something to be sustainable it must meet the needs of now and the future for both the planet and the people who inhabit it.

What counts as sustainable? 

It can be a little confusing and overwhelming to just pick up and start living a more sustainable life. There are many products out there that claim to be greener options but aren’t, products that are sustainable but very expensive, and sustainable options not everybody has access too. For instance, those who rent may not have the choice to use sustainable energy sources like solar power or using tank water, and some people can’t afford to make sustainable choices due to income or lack of resources and information. It’s not a change you can make overnight.  

So, what counts as a sustainable product? A simple answer is any product that doesn’t deplete natural resources. Products that are made from recycled materials or reusable products with long lifespans are sustainable.  

Products that aren’t sustainable are things that have singular uses and cannot be recycled or naturally disposed of by composting instead of going into landfill. Anything that goes into the common trash will contribute to landfill, which creates global warming gases and depletes the natural resources of the earth by adding toxic gases and chemicals into the environment.  

Some items can be sustainable but they way we obtain, transport, or use them is not. For example, all fruit and vegetables are sustainable as they can be grown, consumed, and composted, but the way we export them globally has detrimental effects on the environment. The planting, picking, and transporting of fruits and vegetables involves machinery, chemicals and use of gases and fuel that contributes to the global crisis.  

What are the three pillars of sustainability? 

A product’s sustainability can be judged by looking at what it takes and gives back to the world in three areas:, economic, environmental, and social. As mentioned above, some items alone are sustainable by the way we use or obtain them is not.  

Sustainability is not just about the earth, it’s about the future generations that are going to inhabit the planet and how our lifestyles will affect them. While it is drastically important that they have a planet to live on, we should also consider the economic and social effects of our lifestyles. This is why for something to be sustainable it has to be meeting the needs of the present while simultaneously not negatively effecting the future.   



How can I live a more sustainable lifestyle? 

There are plenty of ways to start making your lifestyle more sustainable, but the first step is research! Check out other posts about the effects of landfill, sustainable and affordable swaps and sustainable beauty swaps. We are lucky enough to have a lot of different options when it comes to sustainable products and solutions.  

Some simple solutions include minimising or attempting to eliminate unnecessary waste, using less electricity, trying greener transport options like riding a scooter or a bike, using less plastic and purchasing non-disposable alternatives to things like shopping bags, containers and coffee cups.  

Rosella Street is one of many companies that are environmentally driven and focused on healing the planet. By using Rosella Street you are giving back to the planet in so many ways! For every transaction made we plant a tree that provides resources and oxygen for a community and offsets our carbon footprint. By listing and purchasing items you are contributing to our circular economy instead of putting more waste into the world by buying new or throwing out stuff you no longer need.  

So join the movement today and help us make the world a better place!  

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