7 votes

Does responsible living leave more space to unresponsible living?

On the positive side economically you are expanding the market for sustainable products, which will help lower their price and make them more likely to be developed. Another reason to make the effort ...
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  • 89
7 votes

Will bitcoin help us to decentralise our communities and help us live a more sustainably

Another sustainability aspect of bitcoin (and cryptocurrencies in general) is the electricity consumption of mining: "The electricity used to mine bitcoin this year is bigger than the annual usage ...
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7 votes

Is oil actually a renewable and sustainable resource, but we just use much too much of it?

What does renewable mean? Wikipedia defines a renewable resource as (emphasis added): a natural resource which will replenish to replace the portion depleted by usage and consumption, either through ...
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  • 11.3k
5 votes
Accepted

What is the definition of "sustainable"?

There isn't really a single agreed-upon definition of sustainability. Everyone has a basic idea of what it is, but the exact meaning differs from person to person. Most common definition The most ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Is "renewable" a proper term for both solar and hydro power?

There are lots of ways to subcategorise renewables, for example: Indirect + direct solar (wind, wave, hydro, biomass, biogas, PV, CSP, solar thermal, - and what's used up here in all cases is ...
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  • 14.6k
5 votes

Using other peoples resources for basic living

It's reasonable to say that a lifestyle can still be sustainable even if not everybody could live that way. It's like filling a niche in an ecosystem. Obviously we can't all eat discarded/excess meals,...
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5 votes
Accepted

Sustainability of different fabrics

The sustainability of fiber farming Cotton, Bamboo, and Hemp all depend heavily on the cultivation methods being used. That being said we can compare the function stacking ability of these crops. ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Sustainable vs Living off the Grid vs Green

Sustainability = the ability to continue a particular behavior, lifestyle or process indefinitely Living off the grid = living without using public supplies of utilities such as water, electricity ...
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5 votes

How much does 'economic sustainability' translate into 'environmental sustainability'?

Broadly speaking the two are orthogonal. That is, financial sustainability isn't related directly or consistently to environmental sustainability. Specifically, there are examples that swing strongly ...
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  • 3,755
4 votes

How do you identify what is sustainable without reverting to lists and other people's ideas?

The issue with answering this question is that there are inherent assumptions in how one creates a boundary for answering. For example, Voreno's answer suggests comparing two similar products in ...
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4 votes

Will bitcoin help us to decentralise our communities and help us live a more sustainably

they remove the centralised middle man from individuals transactions Indeed. However, this doesn't mean that the resulting system is more sustainable. people will be able to use a more secure ...
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4 votes

Is "renewable" a proper term for both solar and hydro power?

However, in the cases of wind, solar, and geothermal, this isn't so obvious -- nothing is being used up (at least not in a measurable quantity) which would need to be renewed. Furthermore, ...
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  • 3,621
4 votes

Does responsible living leave more space to unresponsible living?

The social signals you send might well be more important than the economic ones. Consumers are not rational. Look at what people spend money and time on - it does not make them happier. We know what ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Does responsible living leave more space to unresponsible living?

Yes, to a certain extent. In economics this is called the 'rebound effect'. The rebound effect is that the effectiveness of a new techology or measure is reduced because it is counter-acted by other ...
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  • 14.1k
3 votes

Can cost be used as a useful measure of a product's sustainability?

Yes and no. Item price doesn't include 'externalized costs' E.g. An item produced in China or under Trump's toothless EPA will likely have greater associated pollution compared to a similar product ...
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3 votes

Will bitcoin help us to decentralise our communities and help us live a more sustainably

No, decentralised currencies won't help society be more sustainable. Removing the role of a Central Bank makes it much harder to cope with macroeconomic changes in circumstances. There's nothing ...
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  • 14.6k
3 votes

Does responsible living leave more space to unresponsible living?

Your life is never worthless if you are setting a good example. You can increase the worth of your efforts by spreading the word, by setting up programmes in your area to help people recycle etc, ...
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  • 405
3 votes

Is "renewable" a proper term for both solar and hydro power?

Actually with wind power it may be possible to overuse them. From the wiki article: "Environmental Impact of Wind Power" Weather and climate change Wind farms may affect weather in their ...
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3 votes

Is sustainable living basically the opposite of industrialisation

Industrialization and globalization don't really want to "do" anything. These are social descriptions to abstract the behavior and actions of people. The problem is that a capitalistic society tends ...
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3 votes

What is the relationship between permaculture and sustainability?

I think this is a very good question which is quite a challenge to permaculture. The answer depends on what it is you are trying to sustain. My understanding of the aims of permaculture is that it ...
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3 votes

Using other peoples resources for basic living

No, it's not sustainable. As per your comment, you're not doing anything economically productive, but you are consuming goods and services. It doesn't matter that those goods and services are free to ...
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  • 14.6k
2 votes

How much does 'economic sustainability' translate into 'environmental sustainability'?

Many free-market advocates would say that the two should be equivalent. One can reasonably argue that they would be equivalent if every consequence of a given action were reflected fairly in its ...
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  • 3,621
2 votes

Will bitcoin help us to decentralise our communities and help us live a more sustainably

Communities are more than what currency they are using, whether Bitcoin or cash or debit/credit cards (considering a debit/credit card as a proxy for cash). Thinking about what makes a currency useful ...
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2 votes

Can cost be used as a useful measure of a product's sustainability?

What are the gotchas in comparing the prices of similar objects to determine sustainability? What do you mean by "sustainable" (an early question here). Some people focus only on short-term ...
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  • 3,755
1 vote

Can cost be used as a useful measure of a product's sustainability?

Personally I'd say no. Too many companies buy cheap & sell high because they understand the psychological impact of exclusivity on certain customers. I worked for a Co who sold identical products ...
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1 vote

What is the definition of "sustainable"?

Sustainable: To continue a practice over a long period with little or no impact on the underlying resource. I don't think that "sustainable" is an absolute. And too many people are using it that ...
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1 vote

How do municipalities calculate reported diversion and recycling rates?

There is no standard for this, but if a city offers its own recycling pickup or works with a small number of pickup companies, it would be simple to track recycling pickup quantities and consider that ...
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1 vote

Using other peoples resources for basic living

There's a term used which may apply to such a lifestyle: freeganism. From Wikipedia: Freeganism is a practice and ideology of limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption ...
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1 vote
Accepted

Using other peoples resources for basic living

I wouldn't focus on negative answers... It's ALL POSSIBLE! Yes it is sustainable... At least for one person as well as you are doing already, dealing with unconscious waste. MAYBE it will be ...
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1 vote

Are there any canonical references of the political aspects of sustainable living?

Dessler and Parson, The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change: A Guide to the Debate (2009, 190p) on climate ? (Sustainability is an even larger topic.) Don't know about "canonical", but ...
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