Approaches to meeting present and future environmental, social and economic needs.
Sustainability generally refers to practices that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own environmental, social and economic needs.
Continued global climate change seriously threatens the possibility of a sustainable future. Human activities that consume fossil fuels or deplete natural resources contribute to global warming by increasing the amount of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, in the atmosphere.
- Local Environmental Efforts
- Pathways to Sustainable Communities
- What’s Happening in New Jersey?
- Ideas from Other Areas
- Funding Opportunities
- Useful Web Sites
Environmental efforts at the local level can go a long way to reduce harmful emissions and foster sustainability. For example:
- Land use decisions that discourage sprawl development conserve open space and reduce the burden on natural resources caused by commuting, land clearing, construction, road building and maintenance;
- Protecting trees and other vegetation helps absorb carbon emissions and insulate buildings to reduce cooling loads;
- Protecting natural water bodies helps ensure the continued availability of drinking water while reducing the need for energy-intense processing and transportation of drinking water supplies;
- Designing communities with energy efficient, green buildings, easy access to mass transit and safe lanes for walking or biking around town helps reduce reliance on fossil fuels that cause carbon emissions;
- Preventing invasive species from degrading biodiversity and planting native species that require
fewer resources to thrive helps to foster a healthy, resilient ecosystem.