Sustainability never ending story or sustainability to the infinity

Learning Sustainability

Hello everyone, fist of all thank you for following up Art With Me/Care With Me this means two things at least. First you love Tulum, second you Care about nature and community. So, welcome to the tribe. As you may know Art With Me exist to inspire people to live in a more sustainable way, using arts in search for an Eco-Culture.

With the intention of leading by example we are exploring and learning the sustainability path facing the challenges of Tulum reality, past and present. With this blog we will be discussing ideas, concepts, models, technologies, actions among other topics around sustainable development, social change and culture. This is the first article in the form of a teaser, we hope you like it.

It has been suggested that "the term 'sustainability' should be viewed as humanity's target goal of human-Planet equilibrium, while 'sustainable development' refers to the holistic approach and temporal processes that lead us to the end point of sustainability". So you can’t be 100% sustainable as there is always room to improve the performance and reduce the ecological footprint, but the whole point is the journey. When you start the processes in your business or in your personal life, it is a point of no return and a one-way road.


Basics and History

The sustainable development concept came out to the public with the famous publication Our Common Future (1987), the report from the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), also known as the Brundtland Report as a follow up to The Limits to Growth (1972). This was the first publication based on science using computer model to simulate the consequence of interactions between the earth and human systems based on five variables: population, food production, industrialization, pollution, and consumption of nonrenewable natural resources.  The Limits to Growth lead the UN General Assembly to realize that not just there was a heavy deterioration of the human environment and natural resources but the trend was scary enough to think about the future in the up coming century so the mission to the former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland was to but together a team of experts to focus on environmental and developmental problems and solutions; to propose long-term (the year 2000 and beyond) environmental strategies for achieving sustainable development; to define shared perceptions of long-term environmental issues and of the appropriate efforts needed to deal successfully with the problems of protecting and enhancing the environment as aspirational goals for the world community. This requires greater co-operation among developing countries and between countries at different stages of economic and social development looking for balance of the interrelationships between people, resources, environment and development.

So the concept by the book says: Sustainable development can be defined as a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations

This is a story that involves the spirit of the awareness on human-ecosystems/biosphere equilibrium/respect/gratefulness and the ignorance or the illusion at the materialism that lead the neoclassical economics and neoliberalism politics. So the concept has been, and still is, subject to criticism, including the question of what is to be sustained in sustainable development….the economic growth? It has been argued that there is no such thing as a sustainable use of a non-renewable resource, since any positive rate of exploitation will eventually lead to the exhaustion of earth's finite stock; this perspective renders the Industrial Revolution as a whole unsustainable. It has also been argued that the meaning of the concept has opportunistically been stretched from 'conservation management' to 'economic development', and that the Brundtland Report promoted nothing but a business as usual strategy for world development, with an ambiguous and insubstantial concept attached as a public relations slogan or worst…green wash.

So after all we can keep the discussion if it is not too good or not too bad, but it has been the mainstream paradigm that provides an action plan for the positive side of things for the ones that Care about Mother Nature.  The fist action plan was set in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil UN where more than 178 countries adopted Agenda 21, a comprehensive plan of action to build a global partnership for sustainable development to improve human lives and protect the environment. From there all the Member States unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration at the Millennium Summit in September 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York. The Summit led to the elaboration of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce extreme poverty by 2015.

In 2012, twenty year after the Earth Summit (Rio+20) and at three years to meet the MDGs

A new document come out "The Future We Want" a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to build upon the MDGs and to establish the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. The process culminated in the subsequent adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with 17 SDGs at its core. Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with its 17 SDGs was adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York in September 2015 and by December 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change were established.

So as I said before this entire framework is not too good and not too bad. It is reality, past and present depending on the level of action we set our future ….our Common Future, and the Future We Want. Transforming our world by 2030 depends on Innovation, regenerative business and individual actions to reduce our ecological footprint.

Transforming our World

We encourage you to  take actions on the following topics:

1. Radical improvements in energy efficiency at home

Air conditioning, energy-efficient kitchen appliances

2. Transportation

Take Public Transit, Carpool, Bike…skate!

Flights: Economy class carbon footprint is three times lower than First class

3. Adopt a Planetary Healthy Diet

Reduce your animal protein consumption, especially red meat, no more than two day a week. Vegetarian diets have a low carbon footprint.

4. Consume Less Overall (reduce, reuse, recycle)

Reduce shopping, and cut the trend on having the ultimate mobile, laptop, tablet every year use them until they die…and send it to a recycling center.


Ok, ok but what about Tulum and Art With Me?

We are exploring and learning the sustainability path facing the challenges of Tulum like lack of infrastructure, lack of planning/bad planning, skyrocket prices on land and operations, both sides of corruption to mention few. So don’t miss our next article, we will talk about measuring performance for sustainability and specific actions in Tulum.

Art With Me *GNP exists to inspire people to live in a more sustainable way, using arts in search for an Eco-Culture, trying to develop a model of blue economy because business as usual are no longer an option.

We wish you many inspirations and look forward to jointly changing the way we do business!

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