Suistainable Consumption, a term that we might have heard of or not. One of the UN sustainable development goals, it may sound like a paradox, how can consumption be sustainable, if I am still using resources?
Consumption is natural, whether is consuming water or energy in the form food. What is not natural or acceptable is the fact that our society has been pushed us to consume unquestionably, consume because we can, consume because it makes us feel good. It does not matter whether I really need what I am buying, it does not matter if I will forget about it in a month or less, I am still buying it. We are surrounded by things things we do not need, we have fridges so big that we forget what we stored inside and yet, we keep buying, because (who said it?) it releases stress. We throw away food, we throw away plastic, we throw away things. Without even thinking about it.
It would make sense that this insane consumption would at least have positive results in how we feel, we should be happier, no? Here’s the trick, the answer is actually no. We are becoming so detached from our own environment that we are losing direction. It does not mean that we should regress and live like cavemen without electricity, it means we should find ways to live better in connection with our environment, utilising its resources, yes, but in a clever way. So that the earth can sustain itself.
Starting to think about the impact of our consumption is easy. It comes down to ask ourselves, when at the shop, “do I really need this?”, “how would it make my life different?”, for example. You will understand that most of the things we are about to buy, are needless. At the supermarket, rather than buying everything that is on sale (because, you know, it’s cheap), it would be better to actually think about how much will you eat.
Sustainable consumption is also about trying to invest a little more in something you know it is good. Buying less but better, will help making us appreciate more what we are. For example, spending a bit of more money for BIO products or fairtrade chocolate. We will buy less and do not waste, since we would understand the real value of what we have. It is about paying the actual price, not the price of suffering, exploitation and disruption of the environment.
Sustainable consumption is about trying to avoid, or to reduce to minimum plastic packaging, knowing that in the last 10 years more plastic has been produced than in the last century. Knowing that our oceans and the animals and plants living in it are dying because of that.
Sustainable consumption is trying to eat less meat (challenging yourself to cook without meat if you are not used to it, and realising how delicious food can be) because you know the impact meat production has on the environment. Because you know the horrible treatment of the cows, pigs and chickens in the industrial production of meat.
Sustainable consumption means supporting those enterprises, organisations and brands that are doing good for the planet, is backing up your local economy, is about thinking before doing.
As a conclusion, all the little decisions that YOU take every day, do matter. And it’s up to you to change for better, or to keep doing what you have always been doing. But remember, there is no planet B.
SSA is organising an event related to sustainable consumption, click the link, to learn more!