Sustainability is a 'meme', or an irresistible idea that catches on in society. A big idea such as sustainable or 'sustainable' products http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_products is not just an abstract idea, but it's also a motive and an intention.
More and more people simply want to live in ways that could continue in harmony with the planet, rather than live in ways that cannot continue without also continuing to endanger this planet. It's a simple meme that can be applied to just about anything.
Memes and Changes
The rise of memes in general (both positive, like sustainability, and relatively negative, like the anti-smoking movement or some political ideas) comes on the heels of new social technologies that allow people to share.
That is why on Facebook we often see pictures on top of which people have placed simple messages or captions or quotes — these are commonly called 'meme pics' or something similar, but they're actually just semi-memes, if you like.
Those are ideas that certain people find catchy, or that large numbers share back and forth. This kind of idea and maybe a picture to boot is merely 'viral' — whereas a fully baked meme has already entered the bloodstream of society and everyone suddenly seems to know about it.
So Familiar it Disappears
The only problem with memes is that, like a cliche, people can get so familiar with it, and hear or see it so much from every direction, every day, that they stop thinking about it as much as when it was first encountered.
The other force that influences a newer meme is the mass media. Let's face it: some politicians, pundits and economists do not subscribe to the principle of sustainability, being in favour of the conventional growth-obsessed business logic. Media channels, at certain times and for certain reasons, will censure discourse with pro-sustainable content.
Fun and Memes
The functions of memes may grow into a social reality, or a basic way that people learn. It's just like a normal 'word of mouth' phenomenon, but super-charged by the Web, for instance.
The Web is a neutral creative space in which strong ideas can pass freely, some of which naturally take root in a big way. We find everything on the Web, since it is open and largely uncensored. Webpages for fun like www.classycasinos.co.uk/no-deposit-casino exist alongside webpages for social awareness, like this one. This sort of an open atmosphere is essential for us to benefit and learn from the meme-sharing phenomenon.