A sustainable environment is one where resources are conserved effectively. There are three simple rules to optimize sustainability.
Most animals and plants co evolved toward a balance that keeps an immense amount of bio diversity interacting within an environment. What makes it sustainable, is that no one organism, or system, overtakes another. What makes an environment unsustainable, is when one organism, (usually the human beings), take more resources from a location then can be reproduced, or, they add more concentration of waste.
Trash is something invented by human beings that threatens many eco-systems. Plastic waste patches, in the ocean, for example, swirl thousands of miles of floating plastic waste where naturally occurring organisms, marine life and birds, ingest it, or are choked out by it. Another example is over clearing of forests for arable farm land. When more is taken than can be replaced in a timely manner, erosion, run off waste water, lost vegetation, disappearing species, and drought, and fire, is often the result. Plants and animals in an area which depended on forest disappear.
Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, is a textbook example of unsustainable forestry. The people cleared more and more trees to construct the immense Maoi, or giant Iconic, statues of Heads that stare out to sea. Their population crashed when there were no trees left.
Although this is often used as an example, it in no way should imply that modern humans on larger land masses, are protecting resources any more wisely than the Rapa Nui.
Another non sustainable artificially created environment is desertification. In North Africa there is substantial evidence of agriculture from thousands of years ago causing erosion, sand storms, and ultimately desert where productive land once thrived.
This happens today on a larger scale. Although not all desertification is caused by human beings, enough is, that sustainable farm methods have to be introduced, as well as over population, damaging fertilizers, pollution, and extinctions, controlled. Wildfires, more intense storms, and flooding all are increased by creating unsustainable resource extraction.
Sustainability is a result of human beings looking at Nature’s conservation principles. There are natural laws of Economy, on which all human Economics, and conservation of any resource should follow. These three simple rules are as follows:
1 There is no waste. No garbage, no trash, toxins or pollutions are generated in nature. Waste products are designed by nature to become food for other organisms, and eventually minerals, water, and soil components. Recycling is nature’s rule.
2. Too much of any one thing is a bad thing. Whether it be too many people, too much over use of one product, too many straws drawing down the water table, or too much mono culture which stifles diversity, over-use threatens sustainability. Nature co evolves systems toward a correcting balance.
3. Living in connection with other systems is living in alignment with them. When people grow food locally, have to know the seasons, weather, where to find fuel, shelter, meat, or clean air, soil, or water, they are more in touch with feeling sustainability through senses, and living cooperation. When people lock themselves away from nature and disconnect from sources of air, water, soil, and food, they come to believe these things exist for one species only, as if by design.
Therefore, sustainability has much to do with our senses, our ability to realize we are part of natural systems, and there is a huge web of interdependence, more so than a food chain. Bio-diversity is key for life to continue on Planet Earth, and sustainability is being tested by increased CO2, pollution, over-population, garbage, war, drought, famine and its accompanying epidemics.