Sustainability is expressed as meeting present environmental, social, and economic needs without compromising these factors for future generations A practice cannot be said to be 'sustainable for X years/generations.' The use of any span of time disqualifies the activity. Sustainability is for perpetuity.
Sustainability also means greater efficiency in resource use, ultimately giving benefits to economic growth and overcoming poverty, as well as health and quality of life.
Sustainable design and sustainable development are critical factors to sustainable living. Sustainable design encompasses the development of appropriate technology, which is a staple of sustainable living practices. Sustainable development in turn is the use of these technologies in infrastructure. Sustainable architecture (see Green building) and agriculture are the most common examples of this practice.
. The Full Belly Project
(FBP), has designed a Universal Nut Sheller (UNS) that are distributing throughout West Africa and Haiti
. The UNS shells large amounts of nuts in a fraction of the time that it would take a single person.
Our Engr215 Introduction to Design class from Humboldt State University was divided into seven teams, each consisting of four members. Each team was given one of three assignments:
- Create a smaller version of the UNS to be marketed in the US in order to fund FBP's efforts abroad.
- Find a way to make a UNS out of cheaper, lighter and more sustainable materials for the countries of West Africa.
- Find a way to make molds out of recycled plastic bags for the working parts of the UNS using extremely limited resources in Haiti.
Our team worked on the first of these assignments by redesigning the UNS to be marketable in the United States.
The Hexayurt is a refugee shelter system that uses an approach based on "autonomous building" to provide not just a shelter, but a comprehensive family support unit which includes drinking water purification, composting toilets, fuel-efficient stoves and solar electric lighting. 8/15/07 Update: Winner of the Treehugger Participate! contest for Burning Man.