Sustainability: The Three Pillars

Here at Alexie RicRac, I want to discover how to achieve sustainability in every aspect of my life, with a vintage twist of course. I don’t profess to be an expert, rather I learn as I go, from experimenting in my home, through my studies, and through other like-minded people.

What is Sustainability?

Although sustainability means loving and caring for the environment, people are often left in the dark as to how to achieve total sustainability.  It’s a great start to implement environmental practises, but there are two more facets of sustainability that go hand in hand with the environment: social and economic. Together, they are the Three Pillars of Sustainability.

Sustainability: Social, Economic and Environmental Equality

The Three Pillars of Sustainability

It could be said that the contemporary world is one based on consumption, where consumption is the desire to have whatever you like at whatever the cost: New phones, new computers, new clothing, new cars…all just to stay up to date with The Joneses. Trends and fads come and go, but is there really any need to be consistently replacing things?

What happens to all the ‘old’ things? Are they totally dead and devoid of any practical use, or are they just outdated and not cool? More often than not, they’ll sit around the house piling up and collecting dust until one day it’s decided they’ll go out to hard rubbish. Did you know, there are organisations that will take your unwanted goods off of your hands (Green PC will take your old computers and parts; Mobile Muster for your phones; local charities and op shops for household goods, clothing, and bric-a-brac, and so on and so forth). Some of them will collect, while others ask you to drop off, but in the end, getting rid of that unwanted clutter at home will help you to breathe easy and feel a sense of calm.

In that little example there, we’ve already covered the Three Pillars:

  1. Does the item need replacing or repairing, or can you continue to use it? Economic
  2. Can the item be repurposed/reused/recycled?  Environment
  3. Is there a charity or other organisation that can forward your working unwanted goods/salvage parts to service other goods to those in need? Social

It’s a very basic example but it demonstrates just how easy it is to figure out if your goods are still worthy of use by you or someone else.

There are lots of different things to consider when it comes to sustainability – clothing, food, household goods, cars and transport, to name a few. Next time you’re considering that upgrade, have a think about what you can do to help with sustainability efforts.