Intergenerational Justice Means Sustainability

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]Making a Case for Sufficiency
Sustainable living has been simply defined as living in a manner that utilizes resources in a way that does not diminish their availability for future generations.  This is a tough mandate for most of us in the developed world, given our penchant for an increasing array of products and services that bring us  the “good life”. And this mandate becomes even more difficult during the Christmas season, when friends, family and advertisements urge us to buy, consume, and “shop ’til we drop’ – regardless of the consequences.

Truly sustainable living is a far cry from a ‘business as usual lifestyle’ with the simple injection of green products that attempt to make us feel better about our purchases.  Did you know that, in the past 50 years, the world in general (and the U.S. in particular) has accelerated its consumption of non-renewable resources at a rate unprecedented in history?  Yes – It’s true. Since World War II, the human race has consumed as many goods and services as all previous generations combined!

Today, a growing world demand for resources; the peaking of oil production; the ticking time bomb of global climate change; and the massive loss of species world-wide are signaling the end of the era of limitless consumption.  What if, instead of succumbing to urge to increase our consumption, we

  • Worked to educate ourselves and others about the realities of today?
  • Learned to conserve resources, taking only what we need?
  • Looked at EVERYTHING we do as having consequences, investigating what actions we can take to use what we need, rather than what goods we are able consume – simply because they are readily available?

[/column][column width=”47%” padding=”0″]Consumerism

Long ago, Indigenous people understood our relationship to the earth, based upon a delicate balance between its living parts.

The Great Law of the Iroquois crystallized the sacred responsibility of Indigenous people to consider the interests of the next seven generations whenever decisions were made.  Following this ancient, wise principal today just might bring us into a new era of sustainable and just living.
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