Sustainable living is a practical philosophy whereby we strive to use only renewable (sustainable) resources to safeguard the future for our children. A sustainable society would use only as much energy as it could capture from the sun: reducing its energy demands, using energy more efficiently, and capturing the flow of solar energy more effectively through solar heating, photovoltaic electricity, wind, hydropower, biomass, and so on—the only forms of energy that are renewable, efficient, and environmentally benign.
Sustainable architecture/ Green buildings
Green Building is the construction and renovation of buildings to reduce their impact on the environment. Green buildings have the potential to save 30-40% energy.
The goals of green building include the efficient use of energy, water, and other resources, the protection of occupant health and improvement of employee productivity, and the reduction of waste, pollution, and environmental erosion.
Architecture 2030 Challenge is a voluntary commitment by the global architecture community to achieve drastic reductions in their buildings' CO2 emissions, such that by the year 2030 all new buildings are carbon neutral. We need an immediate, 50% reduction in fossil fuel, greenhouse gas-emitting energy in all new building construction. And since we renovate about as much as we build new, we need a 50% reduction in renovation, as well. If you then increase that reduction by 10% every five years - so that by 2030 all new buildings use no greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuel energy to operate - then you reach a state that's called carbon neutral.
From 2010 to 2015, the total US green building market value is projected to increase from $71.1 billion to $173.5 billion. Green building is a source of economic opportunity and has potential to create 2.5 million American jobs, which is about a 30% increase in jobs within the construction industry.
One of the great applications that can make an old building greener -- ecologically and quite literally -- is the use of living plants as exterior treatments on roofs and walls. Living surfaces help insulate and cool down a building's interior, regulate urban heat island effect, offer air filtration and rain catchment, as well as beautifying the structure.
Sustainable workplace/ Sustainable design
Designers are collaborating with business people to create more productive and sustainable workplaces where employees like to work. Green design recognizes that everyone in the office deserves access to natural light, a view and fresh air. As companies renovate building interiors and replace aging mechanical systems with energy efficient units, open office planning is being adopted for its ability to deliver on environmental objectives.
Opportunities exist for the companies that design office furnishings incorporating green manufacturing and material standards for sustainable design.
Terrace farming consists of building a series of step like benches. These benches are supported by either sod or stone walls. Each level slows the flow of water runoff, slowing the erosion process.
It conserves the soil as it slows rapid surface run-off which would erode the soil as it wipes off the top layer depositing it further down the hill. It creates flat areas on each of the terraces (steps) which is useful when harvesting and using machinery. Lower terraces aren't eroded by rapid surface run-off, and the highest terraces still get water. Or else, this water would run-off straight downhill.
Much of the rice that comes from Vietnam, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries is grown on terraces.
Sustainable tourism is an industry committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. The aim of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development brings a positive experience for the local people, tourism companies and the tourists themselves, but sustainable tourism is not the same as ecotourism.
World Tourism Organization defines sustainable tourism as “tourism which leads to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, biological diversity and life support systems.
Global economists forecast continuing international tourism growth, ranging between 3 and 6 percent annually, depending on the location. As one of the world's largest and fastest growing industries, this continuous growth will place great stress on remaining biologically diverse habitats and indigenous cultures, which are often used to support mass tourism. Tourists who promote sustainable tourism are sensitive to these dangers and seek to protect tourist destinations, and to protect tourism as an industry. Sustainable tourists can reduce the impact of tourism in many ways, including:
- informing themselves of the culture, politics, and economy of the communities visited
- anticipating and respecting local cultures, expectations and assumptions
- contributing to intercultural understanding and tolerance
- supporting the integrity of local cultures by favoring businesses which conserve cultural heritage and traditional values
- supporting local economies by purchasing local goods and participating with small, local businesses
- conserving resources by seeking out businesses that are environmentally conscious, and by using the least possible amount of non-renewable resources
Paperless banking is getting online access through your banking institution's website. You pay your bills, and make account transfers online. You can even ask for a credit increase on your credit card online at some banks.
Local food (also regional food or food patriotism) or the local food movement is a "collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies - one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place" and is considered to be a part of the broader sustainability movement. It is part of the concept of local purchasing and local economies, a preference to buy locally produced goods and services.
On the other hand, growing the food nearby needs either a lot more water or it needs to be grown in a greenhouse with big lights and heater. All of these things will increase the carbon emissions associated with the production of the local food.
Sustainable personal products, grooming and nutraceuticals
Basic ingredients in many cosmetic products have their origin in petroleum. Dermatologists and beauty experts have always pitched against the use of petroleum based materials in cosmetic products. Organic and natural cosmetics have not only surfaced in the market, but are also fast increasing their share in the overall global cosmetic market, which is worth over $270 billion.
According to Nutrition Business Journal, the organic beauty and personal care industry has been growing rapidly, at 15% for the past 15 years. At the end of 2007, US sales of organic personal care products approached $9 billion representing approximately 15% of the personal care market.