5 Myths About Sustainability

Sustainability can be hard for some people to wrap their mind around, especially with all the misconceptions in the world. You may be considering moving to a more sustainable lifestyle, but these myths may have changed your mind.

1. Nobody knows what sustainability means. 

One of the biggest misconceptions about sustainability is that no one knows the definition. This myth isn’t even close to being true. Each day, more and more businesses are opting for sustainable, eco-friendly practices. In fact, the United Nations helped introduce the word into our lexicon in 1987 with the introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals. The report filed by the United Nations explained that sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 

2. Sustainability is only about the environment.

Sustainability is about a lot more than just the environment. One of the main focuses of the movement is to find ways to improve the health and quality of life for poorer nations so the citizens of those countries can have a standard of living closer to the richer nations. Another goal is to provide equality for women and girls all over the world by implementing suitable employment and education opportunities. Of course, it also focuses on the environment by providing clean water for populations in developing countries, ceasing deforestation and desertification, and tackling climate change.

3. It’s too expensive to practice sustainability.

Sustainable living doesn’t have to be expensive. The costs up front are quite a bit, but over the long-run, people may find that they’re saving money. For example, LED bulbs cost more than compact fluorescent lights, but LED bulbs last longer and use less electricity. On average, the lifespan of an LED bulb is 50,000 hours while fluorescent bulbs only have a lifespan of 8,000 hours. Fluorescent bulbs also cost you twice as much as LED lights to operate. So, though it seems expensive at first to make the switch, it can be worth it in the long run. 

4. Sustainability means lowering your standard of living.

Sustainable living has nothing to do with lowering your standard of living. It doesn’t mean reducing your quality of life, but giving people the equal opportunity to have a better quality of life. Environmental protection isn’t about lowering your standard of living, either. It’s about the mindset of helping keep the environment safe and promoting equality for everyone in the world. Addressing climate change is another huge part of sustainability, which can be accomplished by decreasing carbon emissions through purchasing a hybrid or electric car—neither of which reduce standards of living.

5. New technology is required for sustainability.

New technology isn’t always the answer. Part of sustainability is just addressing the issues and making active steps to change. For example, you can reduce your carbon emissions by taking the bus instead of driving your car. You could also provide small recycling bins next to every trash can in your company’s office, no new technology there! Existing technology can make a huge difference, like getting solar panels for your home or switching to energy-efficient appliances. In some cases, you might be eligible for a tax credit, which can reduce the cost of any eco-friendly devices or appliances. Not only does this save you money, but you're also working with current technology and promoting sustainability.

Last Updated: January 19, 2021