Sustainable living is a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources and personal resources. Practitioners of sustainable living often attempt to reduce their carbon footprint by altering methods of transportation, energy consumption, and diet. Proponents of sustainable living aim to conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, in natural balance and respectful of humanity's symbiotic relationship with the Earth's natural ecology and cycles.
The practice and general philosophy of ecological living is highly interrelated with the overall principles of sustainable development.
Lester R. Brown, a prominent environmentalist and founder of the Worldwatch Institute and Earth Policy Institute, describes sustainable living in the twenty-first century as "shifting to a renewable energy–based, reuse/recycle economy with a diversified transport system." In addition to this philosophy, practical eco-village builders like Living Villages maintain that the shift to renewable technologies will only be successful if the resultant built environment is attractive to a local culture and can be maintained and adapted as necessary over the generations.
When needed, sustainable living requires the use of sustainable energy. This involves the use of power in such a way that fulfills the requirements of the present without compromising the requirements of the future. Or, in short, using power sources and in such a way that can be sustained infinitely. This means the energy source must be renewable, and must not harm the environment or the people working under it. The most commonly used renewable sources of energy are: biomass, water, geothermal, wind, and solar. Some building materials might be considered "sustainable" by some definitions and under some conditions. For example, wood might be thought of as sustainable if it is grown using sustainable forest management, processed using sustainable energy. delivered by sustainable transport, etc.: Under different conditions, however, it might not be considered as sustainable. The following materials might be considered as sustainable under certain conditions, based on a Life-cycle assessment :
- Adobe Bamboo
- Cellulose insulation
- Composite wood (when made from reclaimed hardwood sawdust and reclaimed or recycled plastic)
- Compressed earth block
- Insulating concrete forms
- Lime render
- Lumber from Forest Stewardship Council approved sources
- Natural Rubber
- Natural fiber (coir, wool, jute, etc.)
- Organic cotton insulation
- Rammed Earth
- Reclaimed stone
- Reclaimed brick Recycled metal
- Recycled concrete
- Recycled paper
- Soy-based adhesive
- Soy insulation
- Straw Bale
- Structural insulated panel
- (source : Wikipedia)