What is sustainability and why is it important?

By Annabelle

6/10/20232 min read

Like many, I love to travel and learn as much from every experience I'm exposed to; on my most recent holiday I explored the beauty of Cyprus with its breath-taking waterfalls and its rich historical sites. Our world holds so many beautiful memories from the past, why would we be so careless? Is it passive pollution that we aren't aware we cause in our daily life, or our pursuit of self interest at any cost to the environment? Walking along Paphos promenade absorbing its wonderful landscape, cans bobbing in the water, dead fish facing belly up in the beaming sun, the acrid smell of fuel from the hundreds of boats nearby. I don't remember the last time I saw a large body of water without pollution of some kind. Why is this normal? How can people make their life's work knowing they cause this? Do they even know? My yearning for answers and my complicated questions only grow more and more. I feel the need to help society find a solution as the next generation are now responsible.

Our lives are being infiltrated more and more by the abundance of technology. Everywhere you turn, there is something that requires energy to work. These things simply won't disappear, however, we can ensure that we recycle technological waste appropriately and obtain our electricity from a source that won't kill our planet. There seems to be a lack of community effort to tackle social problems as we become increasingly individualistic. The question is, what can we do to change that? Although the planet is something that must be saved for everyone's sake, I have a deep urgency to help those in less fortunate positions and legally reprimand those who profit from this. The main causes for the planet's downfall is due to man's exploitation of its resources. The finite resource of fossil fuels is so popular because of its low cost. Those struggling to afford heating will choose the cheapest option available and those greedy for higher profit margins will cut corners at any cost. Energy sourced from crude oil or coal is used to fuel their car, home and daily life. This isn't their wrongdoing, but us, we can do better. Why can't we make sustainable resources more readily accessible and create laws to stop the exploitation of our environment especially as we find mother nature struggling and showing her pain through the forest fires to rising ocean levels.

Energy security, cost and environment are three important factors that affect the choice and use of energy sources. Energy security gives individuals reliable and sufficient access to energy, especially when there is a high demand like during the pandemic. With cost, there are both the economic and social impacts of energy: production and consumption, for example, has a massive impact on people's affordability, businesses profitability and employment which affect our society as a whole. Furthermore, the environment suffers from the overuse of fossil fuels causing excess greenhouse gas emissions, pollution and dramatic biodiversity loss. A balance between these three factors is needed to ensure a sustainable and equitable energy system for mine and future generations.