Sustainability Demystified


It’s a big word, and one we hear all the time in the modern world.

But what does it actually mean?

The Cambridge dictionary defines ‘sustainability’ as;

The quality of being able to continue over a period of time.

The quality of causing little or no damage to the environment and therefore able to continue for a long time. [1]

Longevity is therefore key to sustainability. Which makes it big. And can make it seem like an impossible problem, which is difficult to do anything about.

The world we live in is one which constantly throws messages at us. Every day we see melting ice caps and forests on fire. It can be crushing, anxiety inducing and at worst paralysing.

For some time now though, I’ve taken a simple attitude;

Small things add up.

I can’t put out a forest fire, save a species or keep the sea from rising in a day. There are little things which I can control though. Over days, weeks, months and years, these small things add up to big changes.

Sustainability does not have to be a big scary word we can’t do anything about. We all have a role to play, and it is amazing how many things around us we can influence to make that big change.

You can help too. Here is a big list of practical things anyone can do.

  •           Energy saving tricks in the home, such as use of energy saving lightbulbs and turning things off at the socket instead of leaving them on standby.
  •          Turning your thermostat down by one degree, and adding a jumper instead of over-heating in the winter.
  •           Washing your clothes at the lowest temperature possible. 30°C is often hot enough!
  •           Recycling appropriately.
  •           Writing a shopping list for the supermarket, to avoid buying food destined for the bin.
  •           Bulk cooking and storing leftovers in reusable tubs, for quick meals and less waste.
  •           Using reusable water bottles and coffee cups whenever safe to do so.
  •           Starting an at home herb garden, and growing anything else you can at home.
  •           Making plant based food swaps, to whatever degree works for you.
  •           Walking, cycling or taking public transport whenever safe and possible.
  •           Capitalising on the current circumstances and taking a staycation. The UK is absolutely beautiful, no flights needed!

Anyone can be a sustainability hero. Little things add up. Together can make a change.