Sustainabile is one of the biggest buzzwords in the green revolution, but what exactly does sustainable mean and what is sustainability?

A sustainable industry is equivalent to perpetual motion. No matter how much you use or take out of the system, the same amount of resource is created. This model of being sustainable can work in some industries with careful thought, where almost all of the variables can be controlled, brining us very close to the ideal sustainable solution.

Although perpetual motion goes against a few thermodynamic laws, sustainability is seen as the holy grail for green projects and greenwashing organisations worldwide. It’s all good as long as they say sustainable somewhere in their blurb, right?

Dictionary Definition

In the dictionary, we get the definition of sustainable as being “2. pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse”, specifying that definition as being for sustainable agriculture and mentions aquaculture as a “sustainable alternative to overfishing”.

The word Sustainable is something we should be wary of when it’s slapped onto something to tout its green credentials. Sure, it’s great to make sure we are not going to deplete the precious resources on this planet, but sustainable doesn’t necessarily translate to eco or environmentally friendly.