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Environmental sustainability is undeniably one of the most important issues currently facing mankind. It is now imperative that we establish and maintain a healthy environment, for both our own sake and that of upcoming generations. However, as the issue has regularly taken center stage amidst national debates on protocol and ideology, it has fallen victim to a variety of myths and misconceptions surrounding its purpose, practice, and overall identity.

Here are a few common sustainability myths, debunked.


“Sustainable” and “green” are synonymous

It is no surprise that “sustainable” and “green” are usually lumped together as synonymous terms, given that they are commonly used in the same breath in the environmental community. Still, though, it is important to know the distinction between these terms — subtle as they are. The best rule of thumb is to remember that, while many modern sustainable resources are efficient in utilizing renewable resources and reducing the amount of chemical emission, they are also the “antithesis of natural” in the sense that they are mostly dependant on technology and electricity. This is not to say that one concept takes authority over the other, in terms of usefulness.


“Sustainability is a fad”

With a variety of progressive trends and paradigm shifts rearing their heads across society, it can be easy to dismiss sustainability as a short-lived behavioral fad. However, the unfortunate reality is that, unlike fad diets and exercise crazes, sustainability is steadfast in its prominence and demand for attention; modern scientific findings serve as the only justification it needs. To label sustainability a fad is to dismiss and trivialize a significant issue, downplaying its importance in the process. The maintenance of the environment will “ever remain a remain relevant” in our contemporary capitalist system, regardless of the shape or form it takes.


“Sustainability is not worth the effort anymore”

A troubling, yet prominent sustainability rumor revolves around a single misguided viewpoint: the environment is beyond saving, and therefore sustainability is no longer worth the effort that could be allocated to other issues. This sentiment could not be further from the truth; there are still many facets of the environment that are capable of preserving, and while urgency of these matters now require quick, efficient action, it does not, in any way, indicate that we are fighting a losing battle. Put bluntly, without a habitable environment, all other issues will seize to exist anyway.

The good news is that, thanks to significant advancements in technology and a general upswing in outreach, it has become much easier to lead a sustainable life. We now have access to a countless list of apps, disposal options, and other resources created with the environment in mind, and the convenience associated with them has eliminated nearly all excuses aimed at sustainability’s supposed high-effort commitment.