Sustainability Words From Other Languages

March 25, 2021

Sustainability Words From Other Languages

There are hundreds of thousands of words and phrases from around the world that we don't quite have an exact translation for in English. Therefore, it's no surprise that so many cultures around the world have words and phrases linked to sustainability that we just don't have in English! We found out about lots of these words from @hellohubbub on Instagram, so thanks to them for sharing. So without further ado, here's some of our favourite sustainability words we don't have in English. 


Zhuǎn Sòng (转送) 

Mandarin Chinese

To pass on a gift that you've received but don't want to stop it from going to waste. Re-gifting with the focus on sustainability and preventing waste.


Kto jada ostatki ten jest piekny i gladki 


"Whoever eat the leftovers will be beautiful." The concept that food should not be wasted, and the person who prevents that waste should be celebrated! 


Kintsugi (金継ぎ)


An ancient Japanese method of visibly fixing broken ceramics using gold. However, it is not only a method of fixing but also a philosophy that breaking and repairing is a part of the history and beauty of an object and should be celebrated rather than hidden. 


Kintsugi image via Nom Living


Fare la scarpetta


Using a piece of bread to mop up all the sauce on your plate after you've finished your meal so as not to waste any food. 


Buen vivir 

South American Spanish 

Comes from “sumak kawsay” in Amazonian Kichwa and has its roots in indigenous communities. Describes a way of doing things that is community focused, ecologically balanced and culturally sensitive. 




Literally means "free air life" or "open air living." The concept of boosting our mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing by being immersed in nature. 



Drogie jest tanie 


Literally meaning "dear is cheap." The concept is that buying something of higher quality may be more expensive at first, but because it will last you for a long time it will be cheaper in the long run. 


Lagom är bäst 


"The right amount is best." Meaning it is important to avoid having too little or too much and to use just the right amount of what you need. 


We think all of these are great philosophies to live by. Have you heard any of these phrases before? Let us know in the comments!

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