The way to sustainability
Put simply: environmental sustainability can only occur when the amount of productive land that people demand (ecological footprint) is equal to, or less than, the supply of productive land available (biocapacity).
From this definition above it is clear that the way to sustainability is essentially two-fold:
1. Reduce ecological footprint
The first way to sustainability is for people to demand less resources. This means reducing their ecological footprint which can be achieved in these two ways:
Consume less overall by consuming less per person. Reducing population over time will also help bring total consumption down.
Use resources better by minimising waste, for example, or by using energy-efficient technology and producing for local consumption.
2. Increase bio-capacity
The second fundamental way to sustainability is to supply more resources by improving the bio-productivity of nature in ways that are sustainable and harmless. Producers increase bio-capacity through reforestation, soil management and fisheries management. The productivity of arable land can be increased through management techniques like permaculture, organic farming and improved irrigation.
At home bio-capacity can be increased by people growing their own food, collecting rainwater and having solar panels on their roofs, for example.
In summary, society as a whole needs to use less resources. This will involve a change of mindset and behaviour at both the macro-level of the whole economy and at the micro-level of the household economy.
A new sustainable macro-economy will include a combination of solar, circular, steady-state and localised.
Sustainable household micro-economies will follow these basic sustainability tips.