Sustainable Consumption & Production
The United Nations created 17 Sustainable Development goals (SDG) in 2015 in order to address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
I recently created a workshop about SDG #12: Sustainable Consumption & Production.
The workshop focused on three environmental costs of different food products:
- Carbon emissions
- Water usage
- Capacity to feed a growing number of humans
Below, you’ll find graphic representations of these costs for different food products. Hover over the bars in each graph for more detail.
* These numbers were estimated using the average size of farms in the U.S. for plant food products and free-range animal products (442 acres), as well as the average size of farms for animal products (1,000 animals per farm).
At this workshop, several of us voiced the concern about whether or not our actions actually made a difference. Can cutting back on animal products really curb climate change?
It may seem discouraging at times, but many of us also talked about how we had adopted sustainable habits because of our peers. I’m always surprised by the number of people who come up to me to tell me that they’ve been eating more veggies and less meat since meeting me.
I’ve also reflected on my most recent new habits, like shopping at thrift stores and using reusable produce bags. These new habits started because I saw a friend doing them.
While it’s true that our culture can drive us to do what’s considered “normal”, like eating at fast food places, it is also true that our friends can influence us to create a new, more sustainable culture.
If we adopt one new habit and inspire three other people to make a similar change, this in itself is a marvelous victory.
What new habit will you create and how will you overcome any obstacle that might stand in your way?
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