What is sustainability and why is it important

Sustainability means achieving a balance between human processes and natural processes. For example, it means not using up natural resources quicker than they are being replaced. By choosing sustainable processes, we protect the environment and ensure that it will continue to support us in the future.


Farming is an important process that relies on the environment. If we use methods that damage the environment, we won’t be able to farm effectively in the future. Therefore, sustainable farming is particularly important.

One example of sustainable farming is crop rotation. This is an ancient method which is used to protect the soil. Different crops use up different nutrients and contribute different nutrients to the soil. By planting crops in an order where one crop replaces the nutrients used up by the previous crop, the soil remains fertile.

Recycling in farming also contributes to sustainability. This is because it reduces waste, and allows us to get more use from natural resources. For example, animal manure can be used as fertiliser, and rainwater can be collected or channelled for crops. Using resources that would otherwise be wasted makes a process more sustainable.


Fossil fuels such as coal and petrol are not sustainable sources of energy. They take many thousands of years to form naturally. We use them up much quicker than nature can restore them. They also release large amounts of polluting gases when we burn them.

Sustainable energy sources don’t deplete natural resources, and don’t cause large amounts of pollution. For example, solar panels and hydro energy are sustainable. Sunlight and water movement are resources we can never use up, and don’t release harmful gases. These are energy sources that don’t cause a lot of damage to the environment. We can continue to use them in the same way for years to come.


Damage to the environment leads to negative effects on humans. For example, air pollution can be harmful to our health, and climate change can be destructive to farming. We rely on the environment, and if we cause damage to it now, we won’t be able to benefit from it in the future.

Sustainability is about harmony with nature. The more sustainable our processes, the more effectively we can benefit from the earth’s resources.



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