This month, we address the hot-button topic of sustainability. That sounds like a cool, constructive, helpful word, doesn’t it? But what does it mean? Don’t worry, the definition is actually pretty simple. The short form is “conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.” That’s right, it’s just good old conservation—even grandpa and grandma know what that means—but with a new, slicked-up name for a new century.
This new era is full of surprises, too. Conserving animal species no longer means just maintaining a sufficient number of deer to accommodate hunters in the fall, sustainability means avoiding mass extinctions. Conservation doesn’t just apply to the resources in our general region anymore, like Texas oil wells; now it applies to a global supply of petroleum resources that are causing major disruptions in the Earth’s ability to sustain life. Hey, there’s that word again; to sustain life.
So that’s what it’s all about. Everything we do, every decision and every action either makes things better or worse. We all know that littering is bad for the environment, so putting trash in a bin was an improvement. Now, recycling that trash to keep it out of the landfill altogether is even better. Maybe someday soon we’ll be able to use that same trash to make electricity. This concept applies to all human activity.
In our big story, “Sustainable Cityscape,” by Christine MacDonald, you can find out what is possible by reading about heroic efforts in cities across the country. A big part of that equation is the energy sector, and nothing is hotter than solar. Read “The Sun’s Electrifying Future,” by national senior staff writer Linda Sechrist.
If you thought that chiropractic and acupuncture were great alternative paths to wellness, wait until you read about how effective they can be together, in “Dynamic Duo,” by Kathleen Barnes. It seems that there is progress on many fronts these days for attaining and maintain good health and a longer lifespan—you just have to do it.