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Sustainability - We need to talk
‘Embrace the zero-waste lifestyle’! ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle!’ ‘Together, let’s join hands and fight climate change!’
In recent times, terms like ‘carbon footprint’ and ‘climate change’ have become buzzwords favored by corporations when they pledge to ‘go green.’ Products are marketed as ‘natural,’ ‘compostable,’ and ‘recyclable,’ even though their components and function render them otherwise. Companies will sponsor fundraisers for forest conservation efforts and coastal cleanups while running roughshod over protected areas and natural resources.
The disconnect is also evident in our personal lives, such as when we wear ‘ethical vegan leather’ made of polyurethane. Some may even argue that living life ‘as normal’ is inherently unsustainable when simple things like consuming meat or using cleaning products add to the cumulative human impact on the earth.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an important framework to make a difference. These may be structured to be as specific and target-oriented as possible–but if you zoom out for the bigger picture, everything is connected. From jobs and food production to culture and history, every event is related to our progress. Once you realize that you are part of a whole, it becomes easier to focus on what you can do in your day-to-day and what concrete steps you can support for collective action.