Social Impact of Sustainability


Natural resources are very unevenly distributed just like the population growth. Industrialized countries with relatively high amounts of the vital natural resources have low or even negative population growth, while most developing countries with high fertility rate and population that heavily depends on the resources available in the nature lack sufficient amounts of the key resources. As a result, they are hit by depletion of natural resources the most which is why they are at increased risk of social unrest and wars. Further population growth will create further pressure on non-renewable resources which can cause a serious threat to the global peace.

Unfortunately, the nations with the greatest pressure on natural resources have the highest level of poverty which poses a major obstacle in transition to sustainability. The latter bases on reduced consumption of resources which can be achieved only with environmentally-friendly technologies that are currently very expensive and remain out of reach even to an average consumer in industrialized countries. The key to better sustainability on the global level is therefore alleviation of poverty which will not only reduce the pressure on local ecosystems but will also reduce the fertility rate because the developed nations have a low population growth rate as already mentioned earlier. Earth cannot “survive“ the population growth at the current rate which is why sustainability requires decrease of population growth as well.


The industrialized countries currently do not have problems with lack of resources but it is only a matter of time when depletion of resources will become a problem in the developed world too. For that reason many environmentalists urge the governments and population to sustainable living which promotes a lifestyle that reduces an individual’s carbon footprint, impact on the environment as well as the pressure on natural resources. However, a sustainable lifestyle which includes environmentally-friendly housing, transportation and diet is unaffordable for many people in the industrialized parts of the world as well. Many governments therefore support sustainable living with subsidiaries and tax incentives in order to facilitate the transition to sustainability for individuals with limited financial resources because in a sustainable society, everyone must actively contribute to the efforts to reduce the harmful impact of human activities on the environment.

Although the example of dependence on the local ecosystems in the developing countries implies that the so-called harmony with the nature opens more questions than it answers, only a sustainable living can lead to a synergy between humanity and the environment. The human race has established itself as undisputed master on Earth, however, the nature is still stronger than man and if we want it to remain a friendly place that gives us everything we need for living, we must give something back and use natural resources more responsibly. Sustainable living does not solve all environmental problems but it is without a doubt the best compromise between the Western lifestyle and environmentally conscious way of living because it helps reduce the consumption of resources without affecting the quality of life.