This book will primarily focus on the sustainability

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Unformatted text preview: for all three components of sustainability. Sustainable development requires managing all three types of capital (social, economic, and environmental) so that all three increase or remain constant in size. This book will primarily focus on the sustainability of human societies, especially at the small scale of families and communities. That is what we are most familiar with, and it is where we have the most influence and can take personal action. However, we cannot maintain human society without also preserving our supporting ecosystems and their biological diversity, because we depend on those ecosystems to provide our food, water, air, and medicines. In short, ecosystems provide many life-support functions that we take for granted. Without those ecosystems, we would likely perish. Fortunately, most of the solutions for preserving human society also help to preserve our supporting ecosystems. Unsustainable practices that our society should abolish in order to become sustainable include: Table 1.3: Examples of unsustainable practices • Use of disposable products • Use of inefficient products • Deficit spending • Reliance on nonrenewable resources such as oil • Overuse of renewable resources such as water • Polluting the air, water, or soil by using synthetic chemicals • Planning development without considering environmental impacts ...
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