Hundreds of years ago, Easter Island, off the coast of Chili, in the Pacific, had trees. They were systematically cut down to provide tools, and fire for the islanders who never realized that eventually they would be gone entirely without the use of reforestation.
That was what happened, and the result of the destruction of the flora of Easter Island eventually lead to the collapse of their civilization.
A sustainable environment is one that is produced when people continue to appreciate the natural resources of their planet, and do everything in their power to preserve what they have and add to it if at all possible.
Natural resources are not easily reproduced. In fact, it takes millions of years to produce some of our most important commodities. Coal and oil are the most obvious examples. And, while according to experts, there is plenty to go around right now, if we are looking down the road many generations from now, we need to start conserving in the present.
While water covers more of our planet than land, it is one natural resource that we have neglected in the past. Pollution has and continues to, affect the quality of water around the globe. In a world where potable water is at a premium, this is a serious issue.
More and more people are becoming aware that the products they use daily in their homes and businesses can contribute to the depletion of certain natural resources. Sustainable alternatives are ones that can be grown quickly and are in no danger of becoming depleted. Bamboo, hemp, sea grass, cork, and other products are all examples of products that are totally sustainable.
Deforestation has left an impact on the world in the past centuries, but is being somewhat curtailed due to the public attention it has received. Countries around the globe are now being encouraged to reforest areas and to be more responsible in their methods of using trees.
Marsh lands, and wildlife areas that would once have been turned into housing developments or strip malls, are now being turned into wildlife preserves to encourage and protect wildlife species that were once on their way to becoming extinct.
While we may never have a totally sustainable world, we are making progress in bringing the problem to the attention of many people, and we are taking steps to slow down the causes of waste and depletion.