The 5 Principles of Sustainability - Introduction

Sustainability, or re-designing the way we live to be more mindful of our environment, is the greatest challenge in the History of humankind. What is sustainability though? To find a solution, we need a common framework for every stakeholder to understand the different aspects of the problem. This is the main motivation behind the Five Core Principles of Sustainability, written by Dr. Michael Ben-Eli.

Sustainability can be divided into five sub-domains: the material domain (how do we manage our natural resources?), the economic domain (how do we manage wealth?), the domain of life (how should we interact with the biosphere to respect all living beings?), the social domain (how do we nurture healthy social interactions?), and the spiritual domain (how do we define a universal code of ethics?).

Still according to Dr. Ben-Eli, failing to address one aspect will result in failure: each domain is interdependent. We need an alignment that is robust to change, a "dynamic equilibrium": "the process of interaction between a population and the carrying capacity of its environment such that the population develops to express its full potential without producing irreversible, adverse effects on the carrying capacity of the environment upon which it depends." The five aforementioned domains of sustainability represent those interactions.

The rest of the document describes each principle in detail and the implied operational activities. Even if each principle is only one-page long, there is a lot to discuss and implement. My objective over the following weeks is to address each page and come up with concrete habits to integrate into my daily life.