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SDG 11: Safe and inclusive cities and communities

Omar Alkantar's picture

Managing personal waste

My pledge is to improve my management of personal disposable waste, that is to actively and consciously be aware of the manner in which waste from general consumption is disposed of. To strive for a sustainable society where people aren’t living in excess of their needs, reducing consumption is paramount. This is the first and foremost step in achieving this goal, however there will always be some degree of waste or by product, and my pledge aims to address this concern. The first step in this pledge and the one that seems most fundamental to me in our current society, is to become more educated and positively educate others on the complexities of waste disposal. I think there is a grand discrepancy between what is commonly known and what should be known regarding the correct processes to how to manage our waste domestically, and where the waste eventually goes. On average, 1 in 4 recycled items are contaminated and are sent to landfill across Australia, however this isn’t due to apathy. Various studies and qualitative data suggest that there is positive support for the need for proper recycling and waste disposal practices in Australia, and their confusion stems from 1. Lack of information, 2. Lack of clarity regarding the right way to do things. For this reason, I will strive to become adept and well versed with the right way to dispose of recyclable and non-recyclable waste. In the process I aim to be more diligent and aware of what I personally do and strive to support my wider circle of relationships. Coupled with that, currently implementing practical approaches for my household such as; having multiple smaller bins in each room to promote active correct measures, composting waste for home garden patch, whilst reducing landfill bound options. With these steps in place, I hope a trickle-down effect can ensue, where knowledge and careful practices are shared and passed on. Similarly, there will hopefully be an economic benefit along with the environmental contributions, it currently costs $235 per tonne to dispose of waste for local councils, with 315 thousand tonnes sent to landfill in 2020 alone. This will hopefully subvert those costs back to the individual and make the current council managed waste management systems more efficient. This pledge aims to satisfy goals 11 – sustainable cities and communities, 12 responsible consumption and production and 13 Climate action. Current Australian waste management systems are gradually improving following 2018, so too should attitudes of the population as well, to go above and beyond goals set by UN.


Mitchell Golden's picture


Thrifting or Op-shopping is a great way to both help recycle and minimise waste and landfills. The best part about this is that almost anyone can take part, with an abundance of local op shops and thrift stores. Simply drop off old clothing items you would have thrown out, or better yet, peruse the shop itself! There are heaps of items to choose from that look great, are of excellent quality and cost next to nothing! :)


Venura Weerasinghe's picture


Oil is cheaper than coke. Even now at the current elevated prices. This fact surprised me when I first read it and I’m sure it’s not one many people know. Because even though many might know that the climate crisis is an issue they might not know why; including me! I didn’t know why switching to sustainable energy is not realistic right now. Why doing that is not only the solution we need? Because what’s the plan for cement? Most of our emissions come from making things including the cement, steel and plastic we use everyday. And why even after we’ve made sustainable ways of moving things, making things and powering things. We still haven’t solved it. Because we need to revert back the damage we’ve done. As an engineer, I found the best way of solving problem is to first understand it. And so my pledge is education. Educating myself on solutions and their difficulties like I did with energy and how I can implement them but also educating others. Because we need more than just engineers, politicians and investors to make a difference.


Jasmine Vardi's picture

fashion sustainability

I have always been interested in fashion and wanting to look my best when I go out. However, the industry of fast fashion is unethical, toxic for the environment and wasteful. In the past, I have bought clothes from these fast fashion brands without realising and now want to go to Op Shops and other repurposed clothing stores to stay away from fast fashion industries.


Noa Kerwick's picture

What a Waste

In 2020 I became the Youth Member for the electorate of Currumbin appointed to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the Queensland Youth Parliament. One of the many things I did during my tenure was publish an article on Australia's $10 billion food waste issue. Although it's far from being a glamorous topic of conversation, food waste is something I'm actually quite passionate about. For years I've been researching and discussing the multifarious implications of food waste and brainstorming ways in which to mitigate this global phenomenon. In 2018 after being in the first cohort to complete the Macquarie University Incubator's pilot 'Go Start' Program, I participated in the Sydney-Hong Kong Ideation Exchange Program where I spent two-weeks visiting start-ups, universities and businesses in Australia, Hong Kong and China. During this time, I co-created a new start-up called 'Ag-Eye' which sought to utilise drone and smart technology to facilitate farming practices; reducing costs, manpower expenditures and food waste for Australian farmers. In 2019 I wrote my thesis for my major in anthropology at Macquarie University on the benefits of community gardens. Through my six months of participant observation research I found that community gardens had a plethora of mental, physical, environmental and monetary benefits to individuals, families and communities - in particular newly arrived immigrants. My goal with this 'Take One Step' initiative is to continue my journey and challenge students, staff, residential halls and food venues at Monash University to mitigate the amount of food they waste.


Ishjit Singh's picture


With economies like India advancing to middle class economies and increasing consumption levels, it is correct time to direct consumer towards sustainable living practices and products. Seeing a gap in this place, we are setting up an online sustainable living marketplace initially for the Indian Market. Where we are tying up with vendors having organic food material, Cycles, indoor and outdoor plants and planters, reusable sanitary pads and many more such products. Some of Earthgasm's own products are made by up cycling waste wooden products, and we tend to keep a branch which collects such waste products and make beautiful products using it. Currently we have secured partnership with 4 vendors, and our portal is under development. So, in the coming 1 month we will be launching our marketplace for India.


Cathy Chen's picture

Disrupt Dual

Encourage and Teach women and girls, based on their context (e.g. intersecting context), to create memes on social media as a way of empowerment


Jas Raron's picture


My pledge to live more sustainably involves becoming more environmentally friendly by delving in the world of composting food scraps. It is estimated up to half the food waste put in the everyday garbage bin by the average Australian household could have been composted. Composting reduces the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills which can pollute land, groundwater and waterways through the release of toxic greenhouse gas emissions Alarmingly, food breaking down in landfill contributes to the production of methane gas which has x25 more global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Such a large amount of organically-active material in landfills cause over 3% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions annually. Food production, transportation and waste account for 40% of emissions so any composting we do is great way to reduce our overall impact on the environment and make that positive difference to the future of our planet.


Justin Cheung's picture

Ditching the car

In the most recent census conducted in Australia (2016), over 65% of people travelled to work in a private car, whilst only 4.5% rode a bike or walked. Given that emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) have grown more quickly between 2000 and 2010 than in each of the three previous decades, I’ve decided to do something about it. To reduce my carbon footprint, reduce my emissions of greenhouse gases and to limit my contribution to air pollution from vehicle use in urban areas. Therefore, I pledge to cycle to the places within a 20km radius, this includes; going to the shops, the doctors, to work and especially when commuting to the Clayton campus. I will limit the usage of my car to only emergencies and if commuting to further places are required then the use of public transport in conjunction with cycling will be utilized. I will give weekly updates of the places I’ve travelled to using this sustainable method of transportation, along with the positive effect I’ve had on the community. Such as the amount of greenhouse gasses that I’ve saved from emission, along with other detrimental effects that I have limited due to my action My pledge along with my application for greensteps encompasses several sustainable development goals, which involve; goal 3 – good health and wellbeing, goal 9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure, goal 11 – sustainable cities and communities and finally, goal 13 – climate action.


Chloe Jensen's picture

running for vision

I will raise awareness for the inequalities in global health, starting with the Fred Hollows Foundation. I will run 50km over next month and use social media to connect with my community to raise awareness of the need for equal access to healthcare. I really like how this foundation supports Indigenous Australian people as well as people without adequate access to healthcare from around the world. I think sight is something we can often take for granted but it is a lens in which we interpret the world. I chose to advocate for more accessible healthcare for all because simple and inexpensive treatments can help many people minor treat eye problems before it regresses into blindness. To achieve this goal I will endeavour to walk, run and ride my push bike to work and within my immediate area to reduce my carbon footprint. Infographic: sourced from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness



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