What does sustainability mean to you?

The word sustainability is tossed around a great deal: economic sustainability, sustainable business, environmental sustainability, sustainable development, sustainable food..the list goes on. The City of Edmonton defines sustainability as “the ability of human society to endure over a prolonged period as an integral part of Earth’s natural systems.” But what does that mean for most Edmontonians?

This is what SustainYEG is all about. The City is seeking feedback about what sustainability means to you and how you contribute to our sustainable city. The information we gather will help us develop messages and materials that resonate with citizens.


Along with reaching citizens via social media or the Edmonton Insight Community, Edmontonians had a chance to run into the SustainYEG street team to give their feedback. The team travelled to different parts of Edmonton and invited people to talk to us about the meaning of sustainability.

Here’s is some of the feedback we received:

“[Sustainability is] a city that is liveable, that can take care of itself, and that’s a community of people who help each other when needed.”

“Sustainability is a fancy word that means that my kids can climb the same tree that I did, ten years from now; it’s our ability to look into the future and move forward without using all the resources that we have.”

“Developing a city with a smaller ecological footprint and being a global leader rather than a global follower.”


We heard concerns about Edmonton’s urban sprawl, energy use, the need for LRT development and more bicycle infrastructure. We also heard about the need to address poverty, homelessness and other social issues.

It’s not too late to give your feedback!

  1. Use #sustainyeg on social media to tell us what makes Edmonton sustainable. Take a photo of something that enables your sustainability efforts, or tell us about the actions you take to be sustainable.
  2. Watch our social media accounts: Twitter, FacebookInstagram. Look out for Trivia Tuesdays, where we will give you a chance to win prizes by testing your knowledge of the City’s sustainability. Throughout the summer, we will also ask for your feedback on what sustainability means to you.

What does sustainability mean to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

For more information about SustainYEG, visit www.edmonton.ca/sustainYEG


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  1. Tamara Senger
    3 years ago

    To me, Sustainability means I take action to help MY future generations have an economically sound and viable, safe place to live. I personally, recycle regularly in my small apartment complex.
    I also volunteer for my community league and for a farmers market because I wanted to learn about my community I live in and I want to learn better ways of eating, food advancements and developments so I can and have developed a healthier way of life for myself and my family.
    I learn, lead, and share information, techniques and choices I’ve made so, other future generations can have a great place to grow and thrive in; just like I had, many years ago, without so much pollution, technological harsh advances and other negative, aggressive impact upon their lives.
    I also make an effort to learn new ways to clean my home with “environmental friendly” cleaners and means by; making and using home-made cleaning recipes. I’ve learned how to recycle, reuse with my children as they grew up to benefit everyone in the household.
    I try to maintain a healthier lifestyle consisting of farm fresh produce, rather than buying foods with so much pesticide and processed features in them. Because I have a permanent disability and have chosen to not give up to evasive surgery with no guarantee of success I have had to take control of my own life and all my challenges I face by seeking out health professionals and have developed my own “at home,” physical fitness routine rather than spend money at a gym or club, because, I live on a fixed budget.
    I have chosen to live within my means, not on credit and have made lifestyle changes to the entire family unit. We became more responsible and more aware of the impact of the past times and generations which were and learned, as a family regarding history and how our world, land, and city came to be what it is today. We all are living much more conscience than we were!
    I strongly feel I want to do everything I can to make other future generations succeed for many more years to come. I want to do all I can to lessen the economic diversity and leave a lasting environmental footprint to enable future generations and, to sustain a better way of life, culture and, human existence here, on earth! To me, global warming and serious harsh environmental changes need to be made “Immediately” to help sustain further generations and make our land a better place to be in, live in and, keep further advancing for future generations to come.
    Mother nature and various advances of our culture and lives has left the earth in terrible shape, we need to act and be strong so others to come will be able to live and adapt to the environment much more easily and start as soon as possible because the consequences are becoming much more seriously damaging for all of us.

    Thank you for this opportunity for me to share my thoughts, insights and opinions, I appreciate it, so very much!

    Tamara Senger – Edmonton, AB. CAN.

  2. Alex
    3 years ago

    Tamara, I think you are right. Global changes are going to need local action from everyone; individuals, families and communities. Diverting waste from landfill into recycling and growing and eating local are 2 great and fairly easy ways to live in a more sustainable way. In Alberta too, we can buy electricity from companies that support renewable energy sources like solar and wind. And perhaps more difficult, we can change the way we move around the city – swapping our cars for transit and bikes when possible.

    To me sustainable living recognizes that many of our resources our finite. They can be used up or made extinct. Continued unchecked consumption of these resources will eventually bring us to a tipping point, and we don’t know what is on the other side. The world will continue to spin, but can we continue to live in it? We do not know. Sustainability is about staying away from these tipping points and finding a balance where consumption does not lead to extinction.


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