Is sustainability a selfish human choice??

Apr 6, 2016 | News

What are our motives for sustainability?

Surely they couldn’t be driven by human selfishness?


I’ve recently spent some time in The Philippines.

Every once in awhile it’s important for me to travel.

It’s helps me take stock and look at the organization we’re creating from an outsider’s point of view.

And of course for those that know the roots of Sustainable Homes Melbourne, travel is where it began!

Each time I travel I learn something different around what sustainability really is…

But what I learnt this time has changed my perception on sustainability forever!

While traveling through the beautiful archipelago, I spotted a guy reading “The World in 2050” by Laurence C. Smith.

I’d only read the book a year ago so I had to say G’day!

He was an American guy named Joe from Seattle, US

Joe was a Bio-mechanical Engineer, specializing in agriculture.

We got chatting then arrived at Port and arranged to meet at a bar later that night.

I arrived at the bar and Joe was sitting, drinking a beer and still reading his book.

We talked for hours about anything and everything currently shaping the world.


Then Joe said something that

Joe made the claim he didn’t call himself an environmentalist anymore.

He said “The whole concept of environmentalism is out the window, people use the world for one reason and one reason only and that’s for economical benefit! If it doesn’t make people money, it won’t last in the world humans have built”

This really got me thinking….

Isn’t sustainability about sustaining the planet for all that is on it??

Not just so people can continue to acquire wealth!?


This one statement changed my perception on what is sustainability forever!

Our preservation begins and ends with what is valuable to us!

The current state of things has us using the earth as a factory floor!

The one factor that decides if a species will endure is whether or not they hold any value…..

I’m talking economic value only!

It has become a preservation of but one species…. Humans!

We have forgotten, we are only one part of an enormous eco-system.

Yet we have become so ignorant to think we can manipulate the world around us with no consequence.

And maybe we can!?

I mean…..

We have machines that create oxygen… Soon we won’t need trees!

We have Desalination plants… Why should we worry if our rivers are polluted or our water table contaminated?

We have Zoos…. Nobody cares to see wild animals anymore…. Do they??

Fact is, each generation is becoming more and more detached from the non-human world.

Our children’s minds are being filled with computer games and television.

How can we blame this disconnect from nature on anything else?

Our understanding of nature is dwindling, while we are distracted with that, that does not matter.

How many species must become extinct?

How much rainforest must we destroy?


How much destruction can we inflict on our oceans before we wake up!?

I use to believe that people shouldn’t have to sacrifice for sustainability….

Now my mind is changed!

Follow us on

You may also like

How much does it cost to renovate or build a home in 2024?

How much does it cost to renovate or build a home in 2024?

If you’re trying to work your way through the costs of building or renovating a home, you’ve no doubt faced the question; what should my budget be? And, how can I keep my renovation on budget? It can be a challenging question, though the worst thing you can do is keep...

Melbourne’s Love Story with Terrace Homes.

Melbourne’s Love Story with Terrace Homes.

Melburnians have a special place in their hearts for the historic Victorian and Edwardian era terraced houses that grace its streets. They are a part of the fabric of the city just like the trams or MCG. These iconic homes are not just relics of the past but serve as...

Sustainable Builders Alliance Launch

Sustainable Builders Alliance Launch

After 3 years, 9 months and 15 days we have finally launched the Sustainable Builders Alliance. - And we’re incredibly proud to do so. Simon, GM of Sustainable Homes Melbourne explains: In 2019 I received an email from a notable Architect based in Melbourne, Steffen...