Sustainable is a lofty word. In today's language, it means more than its dictionary definition. It has a green meaning. An Earth-first meaning. A deeper meaning.

Let's take a look at some of the most meaningful synonyms for sustainable that you can use in your next essay, article, blog entry, scholarly work or social media post.

First—what does sustainable mean? Look it up on and you'll find anything from references to eco-friendly living to "bearable."

Such as: "keeping a sustainable pace while jogging."

That's not likely what you mean.

You want the environmental meaning of sustainable. The eco-friendly synonym for this powerful word.

Frankly, you want something you can write in its place so you're not repeating the "s" word over and over again. Sustainable! Sustainability!

OK. Let's get started:

We can link to for its meaning and the listed synonyms for sustainable. The top entries are:

  • Continuous
  • Continual
  • Viable

Of the three, I'd choose viable as the best synonym for sustainable. But we can do better by going deeper into the synonyms. Next up:

  • Feasible
  • Unceasing
  • Green

Green! We have a winner, but it's also a bit overused. Let's keep going:

  • Imperishable
  • Livable
  • Renewable

Renewable is obvious, but not all sustainable things are renewable and not all renewable things are sustainable. Livable might actually be the best one here. Let's find a new synonym.

  • Supportable
  • Unending
  • Worthwhile

Most sustainable things are worthwhile—but we've gotten off track here. Supportable? Maybe, but write that sentence and I bet it sounds off. This is why Thesaurus isn't much help with the context of the word sustainable, and the context of its synonyms. 

Here are some top picks for synonyms and phrases suitable for replacing "sustainable" and "sustainability" in an environmental context:

  • Non-consumptive
  • Balanced
  • Symbiotic
  • Ecological
  • Eco-friendly
  • Eco
  • Minimalist
  • Efficient
  • Natural
  • Resource-friendly
  • Zero-waste
  • Low-waste
  • In relationship to/with
  • Low-impact
  • Impact-free
  •  Zero-carbon
  • Low carbon-footprint
  • Light
  • Leave no trace
  • Traceless
  • Traceable
  • Earth-friendly
  • Earth-first
  • Generational
  • Multi-generational
  • Green
  • Climate-friendly
  • Organic
  • Clean

There you have it. Feel free to grab any or all of these synonyms for sustainable and use freely—we're always here to support environmental writers like you.