We are lucky to live on a planet blessed with resources, though we are not always efficient with the way we use them. Achieving economic growth and sustainable development requires that we urgently reduce our ecological footprint by changing the way we produce and consume goods and resources.
The efficient management of our shared natural resources, and the way we dispose of toxic waste and pollutants, are important targets to achieve this goal. Encouraging industries, businesses and consumers to recycle and reduce waste is equally important, as is supporting developing countries to move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption by 2030. A large share of the world population is still consuming far too little to meet even their basic needs. Halving the per capita of global food waste at the retailer and consumer levels is also important for creating more efficient production and supply chains. This can help with food security, and shift us towards a more resource efficient economy (UNDP).
We can do our part at home and at Scouts – for example by consuming fewer single-use plastics, recycle and reuse what we can, reduce food waste, and consider buying only sustainably-sourced products. Businesses can also apply these ideas, looking for ways to turn waste into valuable resources.
Examples in action
In March 2020, fourteen Scouts from around Australia joined industry, government and community leads for the Federal Plastic Summit. These Scouts are some of many championing plastic waste reduction at home, school, scouting and their wider community.
Scouts WA embraced the SDGs in the planning, operation and program of the Joey Scout Sleep Out in October 2019. They communicated to participants how sustainable sourcing of food was considered, and ensured any excess went to others in need in their community.
Have you heard about closed-loop systems, or industrial ecology? What about “waste not, want not”? With some careful thought, we can all be part of the solution, turning waste into resources.
Scouts Australia’s youth program team have started developing ideas for how you might engage with each of the Sustainable Development Goals. This card challenges you to contribute to our global goal of Responsible Consumption and Production by considering our own consumption and waste. Every small part counts as we work towards these goals!
Share your efforts
Now that you’ve taken action, share it to inspire others. If you post to social media, please tag Scouts Australia and include the hashtags #Scouts4SDGs #ScoutsAustralia #SDG12 #ResponsibleConsumption, and then head over to scout.org to register your project: https://www.scout.org/node/add/project