2Renewable A resource is renewable if: It can be replenished by natural processes at a rate equal to, or faster than, its rate of consumptionOne must consider if:Energy resources are renewable?Agricultural resources are renewable?Water resources are renewable?
3SustainabilitySustainability is a much more difficult term to define and has many connotations1987 Brundtland Commission* defined sustainability…“to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”*United Nations "Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development." General Assembly Resolution 42/187, 11 December 1987.
4Sustainability Sustainable development Sustainable agriculture The 1987 Brundtland definition is often adapted for a variety of purposesSustainable developmentSustainable agricultureSustainable communitiesSustainable energy
5Three Pillars of Sustainability SocialBearableEquitableSustainableEconomicEcologicalViableThe three pillars of sustainability are social, Ecological and economic.
6Ecological Pillar Management of human consumption EnergyWaterFoodMaterials and wasteEnvironmental managementAir/atmosphereWater (freshwater & oceans)Land use
7Economic PillarAddress decoupling of environmental degradation and economic growth(avoid growth that depletes ecosystem services)Account for value of ecosystem servicesRecognize economic opportunity while integrating with ecological and social concerns
8Social PillarEnable peace, security and social justice to decrease poverty, to allow for equitable resource allocation and to promote human rights and gender equalitySupport human settlements to create self- reliant communities
9Three Pillars of Sustainability EarthLifeEnvironmentSocialSustainableEconomicEcologicalSustainability requires a holistic approach
10SustainabilityQ: Must something be renewable to be considered “sustainable?” A: YES, if a resource is renewable, if it can be replenished at a rate equal to or greater than it is being used, then it is sustainable! Q: Must something be sustainable to be considered “renewable?” A: NO, renewable resources can be exploited, resulting in environmental degradation Q: Are all renewable resources sustainable? A: NO, for example: A large hydro dam may provide renewable power, but it might drastically alter the environment and displace human populations
11Renewable and Sustainable Resources Photos by B. Ballard
12Renewable and Often Sustainable Photos by P. Hofmeyer
13Renewable and Rarely Sustainable Irrigated & fertilized corn field [Source: Wikimedia Commons, accessed 7/18/2013]Large Hydro: Hoover Dam [Source: Wikimedia Commons, accessed 7/18/2013]
14Non-renewable and Not Sustainable Slash-and-burn [Source: Wikimedia Commons, accessed 7/18/2013]Coal extraction [Source: Wikimedia Commons, accessed 7/18/2013]
15SustainabilityAre humans living sustainably? In order to be sustainable, the Earth’s resources must first replenish themselves equal to our consumption rate
16Sustainability Continuum WindSolarWaste biofuelsCrop rotationNo tillNo fertilizationMicro hydroLow enthalpy geothermalDedicated bioenergy cropsCrop rotationSparing use ofFertilizers/pesticidesLarge geothermalLarge HydroDedicated bioenergy cropsMonoculture farmingIntensive pesticidesIntensive herbicidesNatural GasNuclearCoal and OilSlash and burn agricultureMost sustainableLeast sustainable
17Sustainability: What can you do? Two areas in which to improve the sustainability of your lifestyle:Transportation: Reduce/eliminate fossil fuel useDiet: Eat food produced locally
18Sustainable Food Consumption The mean distance for fruits and vegetables to get onto my dinner plate is 1,494 milesThis is not including imported fruits and vegetables like pineapples, artichokes, kiwis, mangoes, and so on.Source: Leopold Center report “Food, Fuel, and Freeways: An Iowa perspective on how far food travels, fuel usage, and greenhouse gas emissions”, June 2001.
19Buy local, eat local, plant a garden and support a local farmer Photos by B. Ballard