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Thursday 9 June 2022

Sustainability: a rant.

 Surely something labelled sustainable is made in a way that allows its manufacture to continue in the same manner and place forever.

Fishing which doesn't result in overall fish numbers decreasing might be sustainable, or the use of wood from a tree that will be replaced in its plantation with a similar one.

But then yesterday, in a Culture Vulture catalogue, I came across a soapstone dish which claims to be sustainably mined.

What? Most soapstone is 300 - 400 million years old. Mining it can't be sustainable. Can it?


soapstone carving at the Hoysala temple, Belur, India. Photo by Calvinkrishy

Word To Use Today: sustainable. The Latin word sustinēre means to hold up, from sub-, meaning under, or less, or something like that, plus tenēre, to hold.

Here's a link to the soapstone dish. It's clear from the online entry that the writers of the paper catalogue are well-meaning, even if their meaning has nothing, unfortunately, to do with sustainability.

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