Sustainability became a household word for me when I took an environmental science class as a freshman at Penn State. However, I know many people who would scrunch their face in confusion by the word.
At first, I only understood sustainability in an environmental sense. Four years ago, I would define the word as “exploiting natural resources in a way that we can survive but that the natural resources can replenish so that generations to come can also exploit natural resources.” Currently, we are extracting natural resources in a way that would require resources of 1.5 planets if we were to continue to live the way that we do. I panicked at the thought of having to convince billions of people that we had to change our behavior.