In general we can postulate that sustainability starts, when an action at least doesn't have a negative impact on this world, so it doesn't provoke any damage that could downgrade the actual
living-conditions of life depending on the climate, the eco-system or otherly related parameters.
Desirable would be that our actions even ameliorate those conditions and create a positive impact, so our climate, ecosystem and in general life here on this planet can be even more stable in the future.
When we pose the question why those actual conditions are already a downgrade compared to the two centuries ago and why we are estimating that they even become worse there is a simple answer:
,Consumption!' - a word that describes the use of services or products by individuals. For the typical service or product will be energy needed to deliver it. In addition to this many of them
also include ressources, f.e. : Materials (Metals, lumbers, plastic...), chemicals (for cleaning, further processing, conservation), water or another possible ressource. So basically we can say
that nearly every service/product we can consume will causes an intervention in the environment. It seems logical that each intervention has a high potential to destabilize the regional
ecosystem. It is also easy to imagine that the used energy to proceed the service/product effects emmissions of molecules, atoms, oxidants, radiation or even sound (,windmills'). Finally we also
have to be aware of the waste products: during the fabrication (with a tendency of being poisonous and polluting) and after the fabrication (products no one wanted, disfunctional products or
trash that is directly connected to the packaging or the use of the service/product). Even the fabrication of the energy will provoke waste, despite of the emmissions.
So it is obvious to conclude: each consumption rather harms our ecosystem & climate than helping it.
Even a sustainable product, that can be produced with a neutral or positive energy balance will need ressources which also means an intervention in our environment.
Reflecting on consumption in this way shows there is that one question to ask before we consume:
,Do I really need it?'
,Would I be able to afford the sustainable product instead of the non-sustainable one?'
Just a small list of things we should consider if we need a new version of that or need it at all:
Sweets/food mainly based on sugar.
New clothing every year.
New furniture if the old one still is in a good condition/ can be upcycled/ cleaned.
A journey by flight even if I could travel differently (by train/ car-sharing/ [...]) / if there would be cool places that are closer.
A new version of the same device every 2nd year (smartphone, TV, computer...)
Basically the questions stays:
What is really necessary to have for a good and stable life?
Does it cost much (money/energy/ressources)?
What are the essentials we need?