Sustainability: A Plant With Purpose Core Value
Written by Annelise Jolley on September 23, 2014 in General
This blog series explores the six Core Values of Plant With Purpose: Faith, Collaboration, Stewardship, Sustainability, Empowerment, and Innovation. Over the next few months, we’ll share how these values play out across our international programs and how they inform our approach to community development. Up next: Sustainability.
Sustainable development is that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. – Gro Harlem Brundtland
When I think of the term “sustainability,” one of the first words that comes to mind is generation. This word has two meanings: first, a group of people living around the same time; and second, the production of something.
We often use the word generation to speak about the future – the next generation, future generations, and generational change. We invest in younger generations hoping they will usher in a better world. But the word can also be used as a synonym for creation or production, expressing the birth of something new. Plant With Purpose counts sustainability as one of its core values, and this value applies to both meanings of generation. Any task undertaken in a sustainable way should both care for the generations that follow and generate something good.
At Plant With Purpose, we see sustainability play out across our programs in numerous ways. International staff are dedicated to teaching and training local farmers in sustainable farming techniques. Partnering farmers learn methods like organic composting, soil conservation, reforestation, and agroforestry to heal their land. By caring for the environment they depend on, farmers both generate more food as well as ensure the land will be productive for future generations.
Secundino is a father of three and farmer from the Dominican Republic. Learning sustainable farming techniques helped him generate more crops and income, equipping him to provide for his children. “Plant With Purpose has impacted the environment through creating awareness about the use of environmentally friendly techniques as well as forestry and fruit seedling planting. I also diversified my farm by planting passion fruit and papaya. Now we have food security and I am able to pay for my children’s education,” Secundino says. “My family’s life has been blessed through the agricultural training I received.”
In our U.S. office, the staff also practices sustainability by using our natural resources wisely. This includes limiting electricity use, purchasing environmentally-friendly products, printing on recycled paper, and so on. Of course, there’s always room for improvement. Tips for conserving office resources are welcome!
Finally, our three-part approach to development creates a model that will continue after Plant With Purpose leaves the village. Our goal is to partner with a community for 7 – 10 years, after which time the local families will be able to sustain environmental, economic, and spiritual programs on their own. We seek to share the love of God with each person we work alongside, believing that spiritual transformation is the most effective way to ensure sustainable, long-term change.