an outlook for future
Life before the outbreak of Coronavirus was different than how it is currently. People were able to travel, go out to eat or order food online, to the malls for shopping, party and whatnot. This freedom then, however, was taken for granted and often misused. Also, it greatly affected the environment and society. People became accustomed to arbitrary consumption pattern which further leads to over-extraction of resources, wastage of goods and increases pollution.
Life during this pandemic situation has transformed. The loss of freedom, work and shortage of resources has improved people’s habit, if not by choice but due to conditions. The unrequired need for products is on a halt, unnecessary wastage of resources like petrol due to no travels, eating of outside food and wrong disposal of waste material has desisted.
Furthermore, this gave nature a chance to replenish itself. As the air is fresher, rivers and lands are clean and a clear sky visible now. It shows that an undisturbed environment takes no less 21 days to heal itself and recover the loss it goes through daily by humans otherwise.
The COVID-19 disease has also compelled people to stay at home which gives a lot of time for each to rethink about the existent lifestyle and responsibility towards the environment and society. It is important to turn the pages and sustainable living is an outlook that needs to be pursued after the present situation. And that too in development of both levels i.e. production and consumption for the future of the planet. Industries and manufacturers should work on sustainable production if they are not by now.
‘Evolve Foundation’ a social enterprise from Dehradun city by Nupur Agarwal serves as a great example of how to achieve that through acting small. The organization believes in sustainable living and produces plantable stationery like pens, notebooks, etc that once used can be grown into a plant. The product leaves no wastage, zero-carbon footprints behind and instead, contributes to the environment in return.
The pandemic also discerns the necessity to care and have empathy towards others for a good society. ‘Evolve’ has always believed in the same idea and works to empower women by providing them with employment, support farmers and educate their children through Rural Shiksha Programs, overall uplifting a rural family of a village. It should not only inspire but drive others to do something similar in every work.
Each individual should play their part in sustainable consumption by not buying unneeded products, unnecessary wastage and opting for goods that don’t harm the environment and rather add something in exchange. A person aiding an organization working with sustainability is equally a part of the small step for a bigger change.
Try an ‘Evolve’ plantable pen instead of a plastic regular one the next time when it is needed. After its use, discover the meaning of ‘EVOLVE’ when the waste grows into a plant!
What to do for a sustainable living?
Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 12 is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. One can aim to achieve these goals from the community level by following sustainable living personally or at the community level. Here are a few tips below-
- Only buy what you need– don’t go for an extra pair of jeans if you already have enough and reuse old cloth for cleaning instead of buying separately. There are various small ways through which you can fulfill your needs with the resources you have already instead of buying new.
- Buy reclaimed or recycled products– instead of going for a new bookshelf, household goods or any fashion item buy from a resale. There are many websites like Quikr and Olx.
- Go local– Buy from local or small scale producers whose practices you know and trust. Promote local artisans, vendors & farmers to help them as well.
- Change habits– Be concerned & aware of the resources and try to conserve it. For example: save water, grow a plant, reduces wastage of electricity.
- Choose the right products– Make sure the products you buy do not harm the environment or use limited resources. Check the impact of the product on the environment during or after consumption & and then choose wisely. For example: buying a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one, or checking the carbon footprints a product leaves behind after you use it and then switching onto a better option.
- Minimizing carbon emissions– As a business or producer, you should reduce the carbon footprints at all levels of the production process.
- Sustainable sources– Ensure that the supplies you use for producing are abundant, safe & renewable.
- Seek to eliminate waste– A producer should control & reduce the waste accumulated in the whole process. It should be disposed of in a manner to safeguard the environment.
- Monitor the negative impacts– on the natural environment where the production takes place and work to minimize & avoid pollution.