The UN Sustainable Development Goals are much more than a vision for the years to come. They’re part of a concerted strategy to improve our society and to build a better future.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If not, let me introduce you to one of the boldest set of objectives that are meant to be applied worldwide. The SDGs are a collection of 17 targets set by the United Nations in 2017. They are meant to guarantee equality, economic and social development, peace and wealth for all by 2030, and ensure that no one is left behind.
One of the most important aspects of the SDGs is, however, their complementarity. This implies that, without Gender Equality (Goal 5), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8) cannot be reached. Or, for instance, without Quality Education (Goal 4), Good Health and Well-Being (Goal 3) and Clean Water and Sanitation (Goal 6), it would be hard to envisage Reducing Inequalities (Goal 10). In short, there is no such thing as a goal more important than another, and no ranking that places most urgent and less critical ones. SDGs are like our world – interconnected and complex.
It also means that the SDGs are an intricate part of our daily lives. It might not be obvious to you, but the ordinary choices that you make can help to strengthen the SDGs and make our world a better place. Here are a few ideas about how you could introduce some of the SDGs into your routine:
– If you care about ending poverty and hunger, try to engage with bank foods or make donations to charity institutions. It’s important to avoid wasting food, as it’s one of the causes of hunger worldwide. And, when choosing your supermarket or a grocery store, make sure they have a good waste management.
– It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man. Sexism is everywhere. Try to raise the subject with your friends and family and support the gender equality cause. The results will be beneficial to all.
– If you know of a brand using slave or irregular labor, don’t buy it. Tell your friends about it. The same applies to companies that pollute, engage in corruption and don’t provide decent conditions to their workers.
– How big is your carbon footprint? If we aim to have clean water, protect animal life and avoid climate change, we should opt for cleaner, more sustainable means of transportation, energy sources and habits. There’s a range of products and services available that are environmentally friendly and affordable.
A critical challenge, however, remains that of bringing up the topic at home, or the office, or again school and, why not, pubs and parks? You don’t need to mention the SDG acronym, but you could start asking people about their habits, and share your good ideas? The clock is ticking, we have little time left to change things… But one thing’s for sure: You can help build the kind of future you want!