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Introduction to sustainability

We may not realise it at times, but we are wholly dependent on the natural world for the air we breathe, the food and drink we consume and all the things we make and use in our everyday lives.

As our society places ever increasing demands on these natural resources we need to look at how we are living on our planet to ensure that we minimise any impact we have on our environment.

As things stand, we are polluting the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land that produces our food and it is a situation that cannot continue. We are always going to have some impact on our planet, but by considering alternative, more sustainable ways of doing things then hopefully we can continue to enjoy the lifestyle we choose without causing harm to the natural world that helps to sustain us.

This is what sustainability is about – living in a more considerate way and making informed choices to look after our environment and communities, for now and for future generations. This can be choices about everyday things such as what we eat, how we travel, what we buy and how we spend our spare time for example. As individuals, our actions may seem small, but together we can bring about a positive change.

In Wales there is a new Well-Being of Future Generations Act which makes it a statutory duty for the 44 public bodies in Wales to ‘think about the long-term impact of their decisions, to work better with people, communities and each other, and to prevent persistent problems such as poverty, health inequalities and climate change’. This means acting in a more joined-up way to both tackle, but importantly, prevent issues too.

To read more about the act and its implications for sustainable action in Wales, please see the Future Generations website.