Our planet is ailing! We are consuming more than we need and as a result the planet is dying, producing our overzealous need. This is what the United Nations is seeking to change through their Sustainable Development Goals.
The idea of Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs emerged as early as the 1992 Earth Summit where world leaders agreed that we need to seek out a sustainable development roadmap to curtail the adverse environmental effects.
However, it took more than 20 years to formally charter the plan. 20 years later, in 2012 world leaders met again for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil and agreed on a political agenda for it.
In these 20 years more icebergs have melted, more species have gone extinct and global temperatures have soared. Courtesy our non sustainable ways of living which depended more on plastic and fossil fuels, adding greenhouse gases to the environment
In 2015, the UN formally announced a Sustainable Development roadmap – a set 17 Sustainable Development Goals that will achieve a sustainable living for all by 2030.
This SDG 2030 plan is a well documented roadmap of targets and goals that seeks to build an equal environment friendly world where poverty, gender bias, environment damage – everything is taken care of. Responsible Consumption & Production is one of the key sustainable development goals set by the UN in their 2030 roadmap.
The 12th Sustainable Development Goal deals with judicious use of things we have and producing as much as we need. Humans are consuming more than they need and driving an overproduction of things that’s harming the planet in both conspicuous and inconspicuous ways. There’s a disparity in consumption as those who have more are using more, driving up the demand and production. This is the root cause of inequality and the environment is getting exploited for it.
SDG12 – Reducing Consumption & Production
So, the goal is to curtail it and make a do with whatever you have. ‘Less is more’ is the mantra of this program where people are made aware how they can fully utilize the resources they have. This goes by the reduce, reuse and recycle where it is showcased how we can make a considerable impact by recycling and reusing products.
- We can conserve natural resources like water, electricity and fossil fuels by switching to eco-friendly products.
- Restricting the use of fossil fuels and concentrating more on renewable resources like water, air, solar power is another yardstick. (US$120 billion will be saved annually by this)
- Using biodegradable products like eco friendly disposable plates (which saves water), compostable bags, plantable stationeries etc is an effective way
- Switching to non toxic chemical free natural products like Ayurvedic health supplements, natural cosmetics etc that reduces carbon emission.
- Using seasonal and local produce to meet our food and nutritional demands is another yardstick.
- Switching to natural food products which reduce the extent of processing and use of chemical products is another effective way.
In this way, small and effective changes in lifestyle can change our demand and consumption issues, making us reach the true potential of things that we use.
Necessity of SDGs for Consumption & Production
The food, water and other resources exploitation of the world has shown why a Sustainable Development Goal regarding consumption and production is crucial.
UN reports highlight that we waste one third of the food produced every year.
Around 1.3 billion tonnes worth 1 trillion dollar ends up rotting due to the demand and supply disparity.
While this food rots hundreds go hungry all over the world . This is further accelerated with our poor transport and harvest practices.
You might think processing and manufacturing is solving the problem but it isn’t. Any kind of processing and manufacturing requires tremendous energy. It requires gallons of water, electricity and other resources.
1kg of chocolate requires more than 17000 litres for processing and manufacturing.
And this isn’t just for food but for all products like the jeans you are wearing, the cosmetics we use , the kitchenware we use – EVERYTHING!
The world is approaching a 9.6 billion population target by 2050. Imagine the environmental burden of producing food, clothes and other essentials for so many people.
And the cost of dumping so much hazardous waste if even half of these people use plastic and chemical induced products. The world will be swamped with plastics, polutable things.
The Way Out
The – way out is using eco-friendly products that reduce consumption and production, and save natural resources like clean water. So a simple act of choosing an eco-friendly areca leaf plate or a bamboo toothbrush or eco-friendly wooden toys instead of plastic and other comfortable alternatives will go a long way in saving the planet by reducing consumption and production.
They are even good for your health. Like the eco friendly wooden toys for your kids will greatly reduce the harmful effects of toxic from conventional toys.
A natural cosmetic or Ayurvedic product won’t just save water in the process of production but make our bodies much more healthy with time.
This is particularly true for India which harbors 18% of the world population but has only 4% of water resources. So, naturally there’s a huge demand and consumption which largely remains unrecycled. In fact India is the 3rd largest emitter of carbon dioxide, making up 6.9% of world emission. Thus, the need to make an eco-friendly switch is extremely crucial for sustaining this densely populated country.
The condition here is so dire that many water crisis laden cities like Chennai have stopped the manufacturing process in certain industries like the liquor industry which requires gallons of water. The acute shortage of water in Chennai during the summer led to this drastic step a few years ago, albeit for a short period of time.
That’s how crucial an eco friendly sustainable lifestyle switch is for reducing our consumption and production.
Pros & Cons of Sustainable Living
However, there are certain pros and cons of this sustainable life which one must be aware of as one makes the switch.
- Like all things good, a sustainable life too requires certain commitments and efforts. So we won’t get an instant result but a slow and steady long term change.
- They might be costlier than our easy conventional choices but they last long making it economical in the long run.
- we need to educate ourselves and be aware of it, to make it work.
- Lastly, the infrastructure and motivation might not be there for green products everywhere. So, we might feel isolated socially but this can make us a changemaker in the society.
- It reduces wastage and preserves things
- We can become more healthy and happier using eco-friendly products.
- This helps reduce our energy consumption, making us more energy efficient.
- We get to save much more in the long run and be more economic.
- We feel more motivated and energetic to do things better.
- Reduces pollution, diseases, natural calamities, making us live longer.
Thus an ecofriendly switch goes a long way in making a sustainable life and a Sustainable Earth which is only possible if we pay heed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
EOLO Market understands this and that’s why we are upholding a sustainable lifestyle where all of us can live an energy efficient life, purchasing things that reduce waste.
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