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Opinion: What is sustainability?

I am currently a student at Sierra Nevada College studying the topic of Sustainability. To be in a class setting, learning about worldwide issues we all face, and then brainstorm solutions through sustainable practices is new to me.

The understanding of Sustainability, however, has always been instilled in my understandings from a young age, so it was a huge surprise when I realized not many people know what Sustainability is. I’m here now to change that — welcome to Sustainability 101.

Sustainability in the simplest of terms is living today with commodities we need and want without depleting away resources for the future generations. It is about equality: socially, culturally, and economically.



It’s about thinking further than just today and tomorrow, but for our children, grandchildren, and so on. It’s about being aware of our actions and how they affect other species. And although the environment is one of the pillars supporting Sustainability, it is not the only one.

There are six pillars in total: environmental, economic, political, social, cultural, and activism. With these six pillars comes discussion of what aspects of our current living system is “sustainable” and what can be done to fix the problems we made and face today.



No matter your beliefs on climate change, social or economic inequality, it is clear that we as humans have not yet found a systematic way to live cohesively with each other, our wildlife neighbors and our planet.

When I realized that people do not know what Sustainability is, and its idea of providing all we need today without taking away anything for tomorrow, it became my responsibility to share with the general public what Sustainability is, and its objective to providing all we need today without taking away anything for tomorrow.

Kela Killam

Incline Village


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