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15 Examples of Sustainability

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Sustainability is the prioritization of quality of life and environmental protection in government policy, business strategy and personal action. The following are examples of sustainability.

Environmental Justice

Ending the situation where the poor suffer unhealthy environmental conditions that the rich escape.

Economic Opportunity

Sustainability isn't viewed as a prioritization of the environment over communities. People need to thrive and pursue a high quality of life. Sustainability requires solutions that are win-win for people and planet.

Air Quality

Discontinuing and modifying processes that put particles and gases into the air. This would address air pollution and climate change.

Water Quality

Ending practices that pollute water sources with things such as plastic, chemicals and agricultural runoff.


Using resources such as energy, water and materials in an efficient manner. This doesn't mean that resources as minimized but rather that you maximize value for a unit of a resource.


Reducing the consumption of resources where this doesn't produce much value. For example, questioning the need to drive a heavy vehicle everywhere.


Structuring an economy, society and culture for reuse of things. At the cultural level this includes things like repair cafes. At the economic level this could include tax incentives for used goods and industry regulations that ensure goods can be repaired or disassembled and reused.

Circular Economy

An economic system that reuses or recycles all goods and other things such as buildings and infrastructure. This can be based on two principles: extended producer responsibility and waste is food.


Exercising responsible stewardship over the natural world whereby we don't destroy ecosystems in pursuit of resources and land. This includes elements such as nature conservation -- the moral duty to prevent human caused extinctions of species.


Building societies, cities and communities to endure stresses such as disasters or supply chain disruptions. For example, an area that produces much of its own energy and food may be somewhat resilient to supply chain disruptions.


Sustainability includes the sense that excessive consumption, environmental destruction or environmental risk must be prevented. Excessive consumption mostly relates to wealth such as a single individual with a gigantic environmental footprint. Limits to risk and destruction relate to the actions of large organizations such as governments and corporations.

Precautionary Principle

The precautionary principle is the principle that products and emissions be proven safe before being released. This places the onus of proof on the producer and prevents the common situation where something that is almost certainly harming people and planet isn't pulled from the market because there is a small amount of uncertainty surrounding a large body of proof.

Right to Know

The right to know about hazards that you are exposed to such as particles in air that are introduced from a specific source.


Systems, processes and practices that are supporting the livelihood of billions of people can't be instantly replaced at a point in time. As such, sustainability involves pragmatism and the sense that things must quickly get better but that there is a transition phase whereby current practices may be required until there is some reasonable replacement.

Cultured Living

Giving people the rights, freedoms, public services, working conditions and wages required to live a cultured life above the harsh austerity of basic survival.
Overview: Sustainability
The prioritization of quality of life and environmental protection in government policy, business strategy and personal action.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about sustainability.
Adaptive Reuse
Broken Window Fallacy
Carbon Concrete
Cascading Failure
Circular Economy
Clean Air Zone
Clean Label
Climate Engineering
CO2 Per Capita
Coal Power
Comparative Risk
Creeping Normality
Cultural Lag
Cycle Highway
Deep Water Cooling
Disaster Preparedness
District Heating
Do No Harm
Do Nothing Farming
Dollar Voting
Economic Bad
Electric Boat
Embodied Energy
Environmental Issues
Environmental Justice
Environmental Problems
Existential Risk
Farm Robots
Fertilizer Tree
Fire Ecology
Food Sovereignty
Forest Dieback
Fruit Bagging
Global Change
Global Issues
Global Warming
Green Facade
Green Facades
Green Industry
Green Roof
Green Walls
Happiness Economics
Happiness Index
High-Speed Rail
Holocene Extinction
Human Scale
Jevons Paradox
Keyhole Garden
Keystone Species
Land Footprint
Light Pollution
Living Street
Market Failure
Material Diversity
Missing Market
Moral Hazard
Natural Capital
Natural Resources
Nearly Car Free
Noise Pollution
Ocean Plastic Cleanup
Outside Context Problem
Particulate Matter
Passive Design
Point Of No Return
Precautionary Principle
Product Transparency
Quality Of Life
Race To The Bottom
Rainwater Harvesting
Repair Cafe
Resilient Cities
Right To Know
Safety By Design
Slow Design
Slow Movement
Smart Glass
Social Responsibility
Soft Engineering
Soil Carbon
Space Junk
Sunlight Transport
Sustainable Design
Sustainable Economics
Sustainable Lighting
Sustainable Materials
Tactical Urbanism
Uneconomic Growth
Urban Density
Urban Design
Urban Heat Island
Urban Reforestation
Waste Is Food
Water Security
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Sustainable Design

A list of sustainable design practices.

Circular Economy

A list of techniques for a circular economy.


A list of conservation techniques.

Environmental Issues

A few examples of environmental issues.

Green Infrastructure

An overview of green infrastructure with examples.

Precautionary Principle

An overview of the precautionary principle.


A list of reuse techniques.

Slow Movement

An overview of the slow movement.


An overview of farming with examples.

Product Transparency

An overview of product transparency.

Sustainable Urban Design

A list of sustainable urban design techniques.
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