The paddock to plate journey of food has dramatically changed in the last 100 years. In many ways food production has become more efficient but at what environmental cost? Overfishing, soil degradation due to land overuse and dramatically increased food miles has created a huge ecological food footprint. This has impacted consumption patterns with food being available year round leading to less conscious consumption in addition to increased food wastage. This food wastage was estimated at 4 billion dollars in Victoria this last year alone and with 20% of this going into landfill. Our recycling plants don't have the capacity to deal with the waste we are producing and many of the recyclable outputs don't have a market to be sold to. My one step is to rewrite the food story by advocating for change and changing my behaviour at each step of the process from production to consumption to disposal. I am going to make more conscious food choices to eat from sustainable sources of fish and meat, and seasonal Australian produce so that my food doesn't have to travel a thousand kilometres to get to my plate! I am also going to buy unpackaged foods from local sources and plan my meals better in order to reduce my food waste. I have also just moved house to where there is a fortnightly collection of organics, so I am going to put my food waste into this to ensure that it is diverted from landfill and recycled into compost which can be reused.
Water is life for people and creatures all over the world. We need it to drink, to create food, clothes, and energy. However, water shortages, pollution and wastage are leading to less of it being available for those who need it to survive. 1 million people per year die from water, sanitation and hygiene related diseases that could be reduced by access to clean water. I pledge to start saving water at home and treat it as the precious resource it is. This includes limiting my showers to two minutes, only putting a dish washer on when it's full of dishes, checking and fixing household tap leaks, checking for toilet leaks once a year and monitoring my water bill.
I'm aiming to consume responsibly in a number of different ways! I plan to try and purchase any clothing, furniture or books I need second hand. I'm also going to cook from what I already have in my pantry (rather than getting takeaway) to reduce food waste.
I pledge to discover and share one at least one new exciting article/fact/news piece a week that highlights a particular sustainability goal. There's so much happening in the world both good and bad and I want to focus on the good. New innovations, initiatives or government action which brings the world one step closer to achieving the SDG’s are meant to be shared. Already participating in many small actions which help reduce waste and electricity I wanted to do something different as my ‘one step.’ I am inspired by what I read, watch and hear and want to do the same for others. Good actions need more recognition! That’s why I want to be a voice that recognises and celebrates progress.
It happens many time that there are a few items lying around us which doesn't have any resell value and anyhow we try to get rid of it irrespective of the given condition of the product. When we get no buyers for such items, the last resort is to just dump those items. Thus in that manner, that item which happens to be in a good condition which could have been used by any other person gets dumped. Keeping this problem in mind, I'm currently developing a website which check for all the product listed as free on different websites which deal in selling used items and present those products on my website. So once the user is on my website, then they can simply browse through free products listed on my website and if they feel that a given product could be of their good use, they can simply select that product which will lead them to the given website accordingly. In this manner, the product listed by the buyer won't go wasted and it would be put to good use. Since my idea deals with utilizing the waste items, I believe Number One Sustainable Development Goal (No Poverty) since it would be helping the people in need.
I will completely cease my purchasing of single-serve plastic bottles e.g. flavoured almond milk, flavoured soy milk. These will be substituted with bottles containg 3+ serves of the beverage (less plastic per serve), or aluminium cans.
The fast-paced world we live in today can easily tempt us with convenient unhealthy food options for busy people on the go. Appealing advertising and cheap prices often persuade people, especially students, into thinking that they are not as unhealthy as they seem. I pledge to reduce my purchasing of processed foods and focus on healthy fruits and vegetables as well as reducing my meat consumption. This positive change in diet will not only benefit my health and wellbeing but my overall impact on the environment. I will try to purchase from local stores and markets as much as possible to support their economic growth. I will aim to educate myself on healthy food options and ways to communicate what I have learnt to others.
Living in a world of high carbon emissions, fast fashion and accumulating waste can be exhausting! I pledge to start making a bigger impact on my lifestyle by adopting carbon reducing techniques. I will utilise public transport more as an alternative to driving my car as it is a lot more accessible than we think and can be seen as another social opportunity when catching the bus/train with friends. I plan to not purchase any new items (clothes, books, homewares etc) that are not essential this year to reduce the popularisation of fast fashion and encourage a 'swap culture' where I share items with friends. If I do have to make a purchase, I will chose to invest in items that will last longer despite being more expensive as they are more environmentally friendly alternatives. These small changes will ensure I can become a responsible consumer in this fast-paced world.
Despite being well aware of the impacts of single use plastic, I often find myself in situations using these items due to convenience and simply being stuck in old ways. Living in a household with three other people who share the task of grocery runs and preparing meals, it can be difficult to have a unified approach in plastic usage. I pledge to consciously reduce the use of excessive plastic individually and as a household by refusing to use plastic bags when purchasing items and bringing reusable bags with me. I will endeavour to use reusable containers when storing food and stop using zip lock bags and cling wrap. I will invest in a reusable straw, cutlery, drink bottle and keep cup and get into a routine of bringing them in my bag everywhere I go. I believe these small, inexpensive changes to my lifestyle will create a big impact by reducing the amount of single use plastic polluting our environment and going to landfill.
I gave up coffee because coffee beans require a lot of water to grow and the coffee beans are processed using a lot water which is called the 'wet process'. Also, coffee pods are very unhealthy to the environment since they're made out of plastic and aluminium. As a substitute, I started drinking organic. Since it's organic there's less harm in the disposal process and no chemicals are used.
I try to consume products that are made in Australia simply because they have less carbon footprints because their supply chains are shorter. This also encourages production in Australia boosting the local economy.
My mum and I have recently invested in a worm farm and compost bin, to recycle our family's food scraps and other organic wastes that turn into natural fertiliser products for our veggie garden. I pledge to continue collecting my family's scraps for this purpose, to achieve food waste sustainability.
I have started collecting coffee cups off the street and that my family uses so that they can be recycled through the Simply Cups initiative at 7/11 stores. I have also started consuming all my take-away coffees in a Keep Cup.
I have started collected all soft-plastic packaging my family uses and have been taking them to Coles REDcycle recycling bins to recycle them. To reduce my overall plastic consumption, I have also started to wrap my foods in Beeswax wraps.