A series of ideas to differentiate between the concepts of sustainable and sustainable.
We live in a world which has a great variety of resources, which, however, human beings have been exploiting to a greater and greater extent and often without worrying about whether such exploitation may end up causing damage to nature or whether these resources may be depleted.
Fortunately, with the passage of time , awareness has grown that the resources present in nature are limited, as well as that we must look for ways to supply ourselves that do not waste our world and that can be sustained over time. This has generated the concern to look for ways of doing, economies, resources or infrastructure that are sustainable and sustainable. These two concepts, very frequent and widely used today, are often used synonymously and in fact have much in common.
However, the meaning of each of them has certain nuances that make them not completely refer to the same reality. That is why in order to better use both words, throughout this article we are going to comment on the main differences between sustainable and sustainable, with concepts to know how to differentiate them.
Sustainable vs Sustainable: defining both concepts
In order to analyze the differences between sustainable and sustainable, it is advisable to make a brief definition of each of the terms, in order to see their similarities and perhaps visualize some differentiating nuances.
Sustainable is understood as the quality that indicates the ability to maintain and remain for a prolonged period of time, without causing damage to the environment or depleting the resources of the environment. As a general rule, it is used in concepts such as development, exploitation and use of resources, requiring a balance between the economic, social and environmental aspects for sustainability. The concept also implies the non-use of resources at rates higher than those required by nature for their creation.
The term sustainable refers to the quality of being able to support or defend, generally referring to ideas and arguments, by itself. In general, it implies defense through reason and logic, and tends to refer to ideas and arguments, although it is also used to speak of a regulated development that allows the satisfaction of current needs without putting those of the future at risk. It implies self-sufficiency, since it does not require anything other than itself and the different elements that are part of the sustainable element itself to remain unaltered.
Main differences between sustainable and sustainable
Sustainable and sustainable are as we have seen very similar concepts whose differences are minimal. In fact, there are large discrepancies as to whether they can be used interchangeably or differ from each other, and are often considered complete synonyms. But apart from this, it is possible to find a series of nuances (although not excessively powerful) in which they differ. Among them we can consider the following.
1. What do you mean?
Although they are usually used as complete synonyms and at the lexical level technically this would not be wrong, some differences can be observed with respect to the areas in which each concept is applied.
Generally the term sustainable is used to talk about processes such as the development or maintenance of an economy, collection of resources, social functioning or activity, while sustainable is usually used in relation to ideas, arguments, approaches, points of view or concepts (for example in a trial or debate).
However, it must be borne in mind that there are regional differences in this regard . In Spain, the term linked to development is generally sustainable, while in Latin America there is a tendency to use sustainable more often in this area.
2. Exogenous vs Endogenous
A second difference between sustainable and sustainable refers to the fact that the idea of sustainability implies the existence of an external something that is capable of sustaining and supporting the unaltered state of that which is sustainable. It may be about the implementation of policies or human activity itself with a view to preserving the current state of things, for example. The idea of sustainability would therefore imply a certain exogeneity, since what is sustained requires an effort or the involvement of external elements.
On the other hand, when we talk about something sustainable we are talking about something that, although it requires something to maintain it (sustainable comes from sustento, in Spanish), this element is internal or endogenous.
In other words, in this case there would be no need for something external to intervene to achieve maintenance of the current state : an idea or argument is sustainable because it is capable of justifying itself, just as an environment can be if it does not need anything. that it is not part of itself to remain unaltered.
3. Structure vs maintenance
One of the differences between sustainable and sustainable is that as a general rule, the sustainable concept only indicates that at a structural level what it refers to is capable of being maintained, while that of sustainable also includes the idea that this quality requires something that keep it (even if it’s internal).
4. Temporal approach
Another small nuance that as a general rule is not taken into account is the time duration that each concept implies. Although in both cases we are talking about something with the capacity to be maintained over time, generally sustainable usually indicates a present state or a capacity for immutability, while the idea of sustainable has a more focused nuance towards the state that will have what it will have. what is concerned in the future.
- Baeyens, G .; Martinez, ML (2007). Coastal Dunes: Ecology and Conservation. Springer. p. 282.
- Huesemann, MH and Huesemann, JA (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia ISBN 0-86571-704-4.