Dec 13, 2008

Savings - A Step towards Sustainable Living

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former".

Albert Einstein

It’s difficult to answer the question “How much is enough?” However, according to Redefining Progress,

at present rates of consumption, we would need 1.39 Earths, to insure that future generations are at least as well off as we are now.

It further argues that humanity’s ecological footprint has breached the limits of environmental sustainability. Nature has been utilized beyond its capacity to renew and regenerate indefinitely.

In a similar Vein, a report of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Environment Outlook GEO-4, the most comprehensive survey of environment, released in the year 2007, has warned that the consumption levels are fast depleting earth’s resources as regeneration has been outpaced by what humans are burning up. The resources needed to sustain present levels of consumption have reached such alarming levels that on a per capita basis we are consuming one third more resources than the world can afford to use.

We need to realize that possessions and material wealth are necessary for having a comfortable life, but pursuit of possessions should not become an end in itself. Furthermore, as individuals everybody has a moral and social obligation to contribute towards environment and sustainable development.

Simply because someone is having plenty of money does not mean that he can waste it because – ultimately - it comes to wasting earth’s precious resources which are finite. Being wasteful is terrible for the environment because it depletes our already scarce resources. The recent unprecedented rise in prices of goods particularly food & commodities has shown how finite the earth’s resources are. Just imagine what’s going to happen to the earth’s resources the day India, China, and other developing nations raise their consumption rates and living standards equivalent to the US.

I am sure you would like to know, if everybody starts consuming less, won’t the GDP growth rate start falling instead of rising, affecting the continuous economic growth of the mankind. The answer is definitely ‘no’ because GDP is a flawed measure of progress of a nation. If you are curious to know more about it, please click here.

There is direct and positive correlation between saving money and saving the finite resources of the planet earth. We should show concern for the environmental consequences of our mass consumption lifestyles. We need to be much more appreciative of what we have, and use our resources much more carefully and efficiently. We ought to realize that conserving and saving a little bit can ultimately help the planet and its inhabitants; thus, ensuring that our civilization is truly sustainable over time. Therefore, we should look for more meaningful and fulfilling ways of life, which are also simple and more sustainable.

10 Reasons Why You Need a Savings Plan
We should be sensible about how we spend and on what we spend our money. Just because we might have enough money doesn’t mean that we have to spend it. On the other hand, saving money should not be just for the sake of having more money. Instead, we need to think about our wasteful habits, and realize that being frugal and using resources efficiently can have an impact on the world and others’ lives. Living with less decreases the impact of our consumption upon the earth and frees resources for others.

In a nutshell, life is not only about making choices, but living with the consequences of those choices. So let’s start consuming less, avoiding waste, and saving more; thus, secure not only our own financial future but also make a contribution towards sustainable living, leaving something for our future generations and eventually avoid falling prey to The Tragedy of the Commons an essay by Garrett Hardin (1968) which shows that how we human beings – by acting rationally – try to outdo each other in exploiting and destroying the commonly held resources.

Also see:

1. 5 Ways to Simplify Your Life

2. Why do We make Fatal Money Mistakes

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