Sustainability is expressed as meeting present environmental, social, and economic needs without compromising these factors for future generations A practice cannot be said to be 'sustainable for X years/generations.' The use of any span of time disqualifies the activity. Sustainability is for perpetuity.
Sustainability also means greater efficiency in resource use, ultimately giving benefits to economic growth and overcoming poverty, as well as health and quality of life.
Sustainable design and sustainable development are critical factors to sustainable living. Sustainable design encompasses the development of appropriate technology, which is a staple of sustainable living practices. Sustainable development in turn is the use of these technologies in infrastructure. Sustainable architecture (see Green building) and agriculture are the most common examples of this practice.
The solar resource
. Solar energy is the source of all energy
on earth, available to us in a number of derivatives. Plant matter for example, which relies on solar energy for nutrition, experiences natural compression and decomposition over millions of years to form the the fossil fuels
we use today for electrical generation and transportation. Other examples of this can be seen in use of biomass
for fuel or the harvesting of wind energy
which is reliant on solar heated air for the formation of currents.
We are also able to utilize the solar resource directly. Solar thermal technologies take advantage of this resource to heat a working fluid that can transfer energy to an air stream or water for domestic or commercial use. Solar Photovoltaic or PV devices exploit various materials (principally Silicon) that experience sub-atomic variations when exposed to solar energy in order to induce an electric current. Both solar PV and thermal technologies provide a useful source of energy with little to no moving parts, no pollution and very little embodied energy.
A scary earthen oven that uses three layers to maximize efficiency, and all three types of heat to maximize the flavor.