Sustainability is a topic near and dear to our hearts here at Cans for Life. And we are not alone in this: “Sustainability” is one of the most popular business buzzwords and it is embraced by celebrities, companies and even governments. Still, it remains a rather vague term in most people’s eyes. Which is why we now, after already debunking popular recycling myths, want to give you a better understanding of the matter.

#1 Sustainability Is An Undefined Concept

It isn’t: the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development already defined the term in their 1987 publication ‘Our Common Future’ as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Which basically means “take only what you need to fulfill your very basic necessities.”

Which leads us straight to our next sustainability myth:

#2 Sustainability Is Green

With this definition it is already quite clear, that sustainability is not only focused on environmental protection. The movement has shifted towards a broader approach to the concept in recent years, including a focus on environmental, social and governance sustainability (ESG). Poverty, joblessness, homelessness and gender inequality are now considered as sources for the issue, leading people to be forced into unsustainable practices in order to survive. Seeing the results, like pollution and species extinction as a result of those unsustainable practices, therefore creating a more holistic and inclusive approach.

#3 You Can Only Live a Sustainable Life If You Recycle

Recycling is important. Recycling is also an easy thing to do to change your lifestyle. So reuse, repurpose and recycle. Choose to buy products that use sustainable materials, like metal. But don’t stop there! You can go one step further and get more information on the companies you support with your money. Are they themselves adopting sustainable practices? Are they for example using renewable energy to run their facilities? Are they promoting a healthier workforce? Do they generate a positive social impact? Don’t underestimate the power of your wallet. As a consumer, your choices have the power to transform the market. Your demands can make a difference.

#4 To Truly Live A Sustainable Life, You Have To Lower Your Standards

Don’t be fooled: you don’t have to be a “tree-hugger” living in a tent and not washing yourself to live a sustainable life. You don’t have to lower your standards of living. We now live in a time, where sustainability has become “stylish” and “on trend”. Many companies are working on sustainable options in modern lifestyle solutions, clothing and technology. So take advantage of that.

#5 Living Sustainably Is Too Expensive

Switching to a sustainable lifestyle may require a lot of time and effort upfront but after your initial research is done and you are prepared to tackle your everyday life, there are huge rewards coming your way. After the short-term efforts and investments are done, you’ll see that your unsustainable lifestyle was actually more expensive. And those are only the personal benefits!

Do you still think sustainability is a “hipster” fad or are you also thinking of adopting a sustainable lifestyle?

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