Trends are everywhere. From trending on the Internet, to home décor and fashion, they seem to be an inescapable part of daily life. While many easy-to-notice trends seem like they have only to do with making your neighbors jealous, sustainability is shaping up to be a multifaceted trend, one that will have a lasting impact on the future.
It’s becoming easier every day to see that sustainability is trending. Canvas bags are available at most grocery stores, and cities everywhere are moving to ban plastic shopping bags. Hydration stations are popping up at college campuses and airports to encourage reusable water bottles, and OZZI machines are beginning to replace disposable take-out food containers. Nissan Leafs, Teslas, and other electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. While these trends are encouraging and exciting, not everything deemed green is necessarily sustainable.
Sustainability is like a stool: a three-legged stool. Confused? Here’s the idea:
The first leg represents the environment, the second the economy, and the third society. Say a project favors the economy more than society and the environment. This creates unbalance, and if all three legs aren’t of equal length, the stool falls over and the project fails. For a green project to succeed, all three factors must be effectively considered.
As the stool metaphor so vividly explains, many of the latest green trends aren’t exactly sustainable. However, that’s not to say that businesses aren’t beginning to take a balanced approach to sustainability seriously.
There is momentum worldwide to shift towards a more sustainable energy sector, and investors are looking for sustainable ways to go about their work. Businesses are beginning to understand that sustainability is synonymous with success. (Perhaps they’ve experienced the unpleasantness of sitting on an uneven stool.)
There are many ways a business can become truly sustainable, including the attainment of B Corp certification. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Whilst remaining a for-profit business, certified B Corps strive to not only serve their shareholders, but also the worldwide community and planet Earth itself. Pedal Forward is a registered B Corporation, as are companies like Patagonia and Warby Parker.
It’s now up to us, the consumers, to support these businesses, commencing the newest trend and making it worth while.
Written by Cody Sargoni, edited by Claire Keturi.