Updated: Jan 28, 2020
Today's post comes from Julian Kroger, an intern at Stray Cat Studio, focusing on the Portobello Cultural Life & Arts Building. A Junior at Beaver County Christian School and a member of the Beaver Falls community, Julian enjoys playing soccer for BCCS and FC Pittsburgh. He hopes to continue pursuing soccer in college while also studying sustainable development.
Sustainability and Sammies
Sustainability can be described as having three core pillars: economic dependability, social equity, and environmental stability. Each pillar is vital for maintaining a healthy balance and supporting growth between humankind and the Earth.
Not unlike the ingredients in a BLT.
The bacon provides the salt and fatty flavors, giving the sandwich substance. The lettuce adds freshness and texture. Finally, the tomato contributes acidity, balancing with the salt and fat of the bacon.
In the same way, sustainability looks to provide an equilibrium between its three pillars.
At first, seeking a balance between economics, social equity, and the environment may seem like an odd approach. Why not just focus wholly on economic growth? Or why not only look for ways to provide social justice?
Due to interdependence, each pillar can’t simply be viewed individually. For example, unbridled economic growth has been shown in instances such as the Industrial Revolution to disregard effects on the environment. Just like the BLT, if you take away the tomato, the sandwich ceases to be a BLT.
Similarly, focusing too much on caring for the Earth (or adding too much lettuce to the sandwich) may result in our ignoring the needs of social minorities (or decreasing the richness of the bacon).
How does sustainability translate globally?
Globally, this initiative is being tackled by numerous organizations, charities, governments, and agreements. The most universal action taken has been by the United Nations, which created a set of 17 ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDG’s). These goals are a representative group of a larger 169 targets set by the same Heads of State and Government in the UN for the year 2030.
Of course, it would be virtually impossible to achieve each of these goals, in every corner of the earth, by that deadline. Rather, the goals were made as a target list, giving people the blueprint for what humanity as a whole hopes to see for our world in the future.
Similar to the three core pillars of sustainability, each of the 17 goals are interdependent on each other. For instance, providing quality education (SDG 4) is connected to creating innovation in any field (SDG 9). If students are going to school hungry (SDG 2), they will be less alert and able to learn. (More information about the 17 goals can be found here.)
What does any of this have to do with Mycelia Development and Beaver Falls?
Currently, Beaver County is making fair progress in economic growth by way of the new Shell plant which though stimulating growth around the area, including Beaver Falls, could potentially be showing less attention to the environment and social inclusion.
The Portobello Cultural Life & Arts Building, on the other hand, along with a number of other organizations in Beaver Falls and the county, is making a commitment to sustainability in its entirety. The ‘Bello along with being the first certified green commercial building in the county, will also bolster local business and is committed to accessibility for all. This effort is accompanied by support from other organizations, like Neighborhood North (go Mom!) and Riverwise.
Stay tuned as Beaver Falls continues to forge ahead as a leader in sustainability efforts for our community, our country, and our world!