Problem 10 - The Absence of Plain-Spoken Sustainability

stone shed in gardens near Corniglia, in the Cinque Terre of Italy

   This post is part of the serialization of the first chapter of the Original Green [Unlocking the Mystery of True Sustainability].


   You can read the term “sustainability” in almost every newspaper or magazine you pick up. And everywhere you go, the word seems to be on everyone’s lips. But what does it really mean?

   To the thousands of companies who are currently working on proving that their products are the most sustainable thing you could buy, sustainability is not much more than marketing fluff. The problem is, most companies aren’t changing their products to be greener; they’re just changing their sales pitches so they can tell you how green they already are.

   This is a practice known as “greenwashing,” which is a huge disservice to us all. Sustainability ought to have a strong meaning, and for the purposes of this blog, it does. Whenever you read the word here, you can count on it having the common-sense, plain-spoken definition, which is: “keeping things going in a healthy manner far into an uncertain future.” If it doesn’t last, it’s not sustainable.


~ Steve Mouzon


© The Guild Foundation 2013