32 Open-Ended Questions about Sustainability and How to Answer Them

In the fight against climate change and other social, environmental, and economic problems, sustainability has emerged as a crucial weapon. In the field of sustainability, questions cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.

We’ve chosen to examine some open-ended questions about sustainability and how to respond to them, given how important it is.

You should consider sustainability from your perspective when responding to queries about it, regardless of whether you are speaking for a company, the government, or yourself.

Your justification should be free of conditions and advocate steps we can take to increase sustainability.

Because there is so much information regarding sustainability available online, it is imperative that you do your study before responding.

Therefore, we’ll simplify it in this section and answer any open-ended questions you could have concerning sustainability.

Open-Ended Questions about Sustainability

  • What is sustainability?
  • What makes sustainability crucial?
  • What are the three pillars of sustainability?
  • What are some examples of sustainability?
  • How do you teach sustainability?
  • What are the benefits of sustainability?
  • Is sustainability a challenge?
  • How can you be more sustainable?
  • What are some examples of sustainable living?
  • How can I reduce my food waste?
  • What is sustainable fashion?
  • How can I reduce my energy usage?
  • What are the sustainable development goals?
  • Who created the SDGs?
  • What are some careers in sustainability?
  • Are sustainability jobs in demand?
  • What are the benefits of working in sustainability?
  • What are some ways to promote sustainability at work?
  • Why should businesses care about sustainability?
  • How can I be more sustainable at work?
  • What does a sustainability officer do?
  • What does a sustainability consultant do?
  • Can I study sustainability at university?
  • What is climate change?
  • What are the biggest causes of climate change?
  • What is the impact of climate change?
  • What are fossil fuels?
  • What is renewable energy?
  • What is my carbon footprint?
  • What does greenwash mean?
  • Can sustainable technology help save the world?
  • What can we do as individuals to create a more sustainable future?

1. What is sustainability?

The word sustainability is derived from the verb “to sustain,” which basically means to uphold and preserve anything. The existence of life on earth is what we seek to protect and sustain. With this concept in mind, we might consider sustainability to be a way of living that harms living things or the natural world as little as possible.

2. What makes sustainability crucial?

Protecting the environment is the major objective of sustainability in order to save the suffering of future generations. In the end, the resources we have on this planet are limited, but we’re not currently taking that into account.

Today, we shouldn’t act in a way that harms either humans or other animals, thus it’s critical that we practice sustainability in all aspects of our lives to prevent further, irreparable harm to the planet.

3. What are the three pillars of sustainability?

The environment, the economy, and society are the three pillars of sustainability, which are also its three most important facets. None of these pillars stands alone; they all have an effect on one another, both directly and indirectly.

Because of this, everything needs to be considered when discussing sustainability, including human treatment and working conditions as well as materials and waste.

4. What are some examples of sustainability?

There are countless ways to live sustainably. Green energy is one example; solar electricity, for instance, is a cost-free, abundant resource that doesn’t damage anyone but at the same time helps in the smooth functioning of society.

Another excellent example is the creation, upkeep, and maintenance of green spaces. This is due to the fact that having plants and green areas helps to, among other things, maintain water quality, enhance air quality, and lessen soil erosion.

5. How do you teach sustainability?

Children should be taught about sustainability so that they naturally incorporate good behaviors into their daily lives. Educating children about composting, recycling, caring for plants and animals, and second-hand shopping are a few examples.

People can learn how to live more sustainably in older age because of the abundance of excellent resources, films, and sustainability courses available.

6. What are the benefits of sustainability?

There are innumerable advantages to sustainability, but in order to make this answer more understandable, we’ll focus on its three foundations. By conserving and maintaining Earth’s resources, reducing global warming and extreme weather, and preserving lives, sustainable practices are beneficial to the environment.

By decreasing the wastage of time, energy, and resources and striking a balance between responsibility and growth, it helps the economy. By strengthening local economies and assisting the most vulnerable members of society, it benefits everyone.

7. Is sustainability a challenge?

Making sustainable decisions can be challenging in a culture that rewards excessive spending and unrelenting materialism, not just from major corporations but also from some governments.

However, more organizations and governments than ever are paying attention to sustainability, which makes it simpler to make decisions that are more informed and moral. Even if further research might be needed, there are countless advantages.

8. How can you be more sustainable?

You can take a lot of actions to become more sustainable. There are still solutions available for everyone, albeit what you can do will depend on factors like where you reside and how much time you have.

Additionally, sustainability does not require perfection. Making a few changes and sticking to them is preferable to giving up altogether because you can’t do everything sustainably.

9. What are some examples of sustainable living?

As we’ve already established, everyone’s definition of sustainable living will vary. For some, becoming entirely self-sufficient can mean cultivating your own food, producing your own energy, and constructing your own structures.

Others, however, believe that living sustainably simply means being more conscious of your choices, such as how much you consume, where you shop, and how you treat the environment and other living things.

10. How can I reduce my food waste?

There are numerous techniques to decrease food waste. The first step is to keep an inventory of the food in your refrigerator and cabinets. Making careful to keep older products close to the front and planning meals that utilize all of your food can help you do this.

After that, you may compost any vegetable peels and other odd parts or use a food-sharing app like Olio to share any food that is ready to spoil but that you know you won’t consume.

11. What is sustainable fashion?

Sustainable fashion is available in different forms. As long as you don’t try to resell them for a lot more money later, purchasing used clothing from thrift stores, charities, and applications like Depop is generally sustainable.

It’s also sustainable to take good care of the clothing you already own by repairing or modifying it when it wears out. Sustainable fashion, in terms of brands, uses environmentally friendly materials, is created and manufactured responsibly, and guarantees that everyone involved is compensated properly.

12. How can I reduce my energy usage?

A tremendously beneficial thing you can do is switch to renewable energy, and businesses like Big Clean Switch make these changes easy for you. Installing a smart meter might help you monitor how much energy you consume if you’re satisfied with your service provider.

13. What are the sustainable development goals?

With a target date of 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) were developed in an effort to lay out a set of objectives that would address the world’s most pressing problems. They include objectives for eradicating poverty, making education accessible, defending and conserving life, resolving inequality, and combating climate change.

14. Who created the SDGs?

At the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, the Sustainable Development Goals were established. They replaced the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were established in 2000 as a component of a global campaign to combat poverty and hunger.

15. What are some careers in sustainability?

Depending on your specific passion, there are several occupations in sustainability that you might be interested in. You might choose to work in green technology, renewable energy, animal welfare, or the protection of wildlife; but, you can also work in a regular company and attempt to ensure that sustainable practices are promoted there.

16. Are sustainability jobs in demand?

As the sustainability sector expands quickly, more employment is opening up. The growth of sustainability occupations is primarily driven by young people’s and students’ interest in sustainability. Urban farmers, manufacturers of clean transportation, and workers in recycling facilities are some of the most sought-after professions.

17. What are the benefits of working in sustainability?

Because you are aware of your beneficial impact on the world, working in sustainability may be incredibly fulfilling. Additionally, in order to reflect their ideals, sustainable businesses should pay and treat their employees well.

If they don’t, it will be simpler to hold them accountable. Finally, you will have respectable job stability in this industry because sustainable initiatives are growing.

18. What are some ways to promote sustainability at work?

The best action you can take is to discuss sustainable practices with your coworkers and leadership team. While you don’t have to lecture them, you can still make a difference by presenting them with options, emphasizing the advantages of sustainability, and modeling sustainability yourself.

19. Why should businesses care about sustainability?

Corporate sustainability is crucial because it encourages businesses to adopt more environmentally friendly practices and consider factors other than just their bottom line.

This is especially important because only 100 companies account for more than 70% of emissions, necessitating greater corporate responsibility than is currently being shown.

20. How can I be more sustainable at work?

You might try a number of things to become more sustainable at work. You may try going paperless at work, riding your bike to work, or reducing the amount of single-use plastics you consume, among other sustainable activities. You could even create a green team that focuses on these initiatives.

21. What does a sustainability officer do?

An organization’s stability and environmental impact are analyzed and foreseen by a sustainability officer (or CSO). They are in charge of establishing the company’s environmental policy as well as financial goals and objectives.

22. What does a sustainability consultant do?

Working with various organizations and enterprises to increase their awareness of ethical and sustainable practices is the responsibility of a sustainability consultant. They examine factors like the company’s carbon footprint to gauge the impact it is currently having before coming up with workable remedies.

23. Can I study sustainability at university?

You can, indeed. Sustainability degrees are becoming popular; however, they all differ slightly based on which area of sustainability you want to work in after graduation. There are several possibilities available, including researching climate change, sustainable development, and even sustainable clothing. A course from our catalog is a great place to get started.

24. What is climate change?

Simply put, climate change is the gradual change in weather patterns and global temperatures that is frequently seen. When we talk about climate change today, we typically refer to the rapid rise in temperatures that we’ve witnessed in the last 100 years as a result of human activity, even though it has been for centuries before humanity was formed.

25. What are the biggest causes of climate change?

The primary causes of climate change are several. The major one is burning fossil fuels, as this releases additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and is the main driver of global warming. Deforestation, which releases CO2 and prevents the release of oxygen, is one of the main contributors to climate change, as are several agricultural activities.

26. What is the impact of climate change?

The effects of climate change are tremendously wide-ranging, affecting civilization, our environment, and other living things.

Extreme weather conditions like flooding and droughts that cause forest fires, mass extinctions of animal and plant species, melting ice glaciers that cause rising sea levels, and altered wildlife habitats that can harm many ecosystems are some of the most significant effects of climate change.

27. What are fossil fuels?

Coal, crude oil, and natural gas are the three basic types of fossil fuels. They are known as fossil fuels because they were created from the remains of plants and animals that formerly existed, and because of this, they contain a lot of carbon.

There are many destructive techniques used to extract fossil fuels, including mining, drilling, fracking, and acidizing.

28. What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy produced by energy sources that can be replenished. For instance, the sun and wind are propelled by nature, so we can always rely on them to provide energy so long as the conditions are right.

Despite being used commercially for the first time in 1927, renewable energy has been available for centuries in the form of waterwheels and windmills.

29. What is my carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is essentially a measurement of the total amount of greenhouse gases produced in the atmosphere as a result of your actions, and it can belong to either an individual or a business.

Typically, it is expressed in tonnes of CO2e. One practical method you may try to make a difference and become more sustainable is by lowering your carbon footprint.

30. What does greenwash mean?

Given that greenwashing is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society, you may have heard this phrase recently.

When a business attempts to position itself as environmentally friendly or sustainable without actually taking steps to lessen its influence on the environment or become more ethical, this practice is known as “greenwashing.”

In essence, it’s a dishonest marketing ploy meant to appeal to consumers who wish to make sustainable purchasing decisions.

31. Can sustainable technology help save the world?

When we think about protecting the globe against environmental, economic, and social collapse, technology plays a significant role. We expect that in the near future, even more solutions will emerge as a result of the fact that technologies like renewable energy and electric vehicles are unquestionably game-changing.

However, human behavior and straightforward acts will make all the difference; we cannot solely rely on technology.

32. What can we do as individuals to create a more sustainable future?

There are so many things we can do. In our section on living sustainably, we talked about how changing your eating, dressing, traveling, and banking habits may have a significant impact. Additionally, you can influence policy by participating in nonviolent demonstrations, writing to your MP and local council members, and promoting sustainability on social media.


As I stated in the article’s introduction, adequate study must be conducted before questions about sustainability can be answered. This should be carried out with consideration for the person asking the questions, who might be a youngster, during a job interview or an exam.

However, the essential concept should still be pushed home regardless of the terms you use.


Editor at EnvironmentGo! | providenceamaechi0@gmail.com | + posts

A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.