sdgs for individuals- what can individuals do?

SDGs for Individuals: What can you do to achieve the Sustainable Developmental Goals?

Do the SDGs apply to individuals or are they just Global Goals for countries to follow? Learn all about SDGs for individuals

By Rhea Mansukhani

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs are a series of seventeen goals set up by the United Nations. Also known as Global Goals, they are a strategy for a more sustainable future.

These goals were set up to work together towards the overall peace, harmony and health of all of humanity. To give you a better understanding, these SDGs are focused on some of the areas listed below.

  • Ending poverty.
  • Attaining equality among all people.
  • Better, more optimal utilization of the planet’s resources.
  • Peace and harmony among humanity.
  • Nurturing global relationships.

The plan is to work towards achieving these SDGs by 2030. They are directed towards governing bodies, organizations as well as individuals. However, since they’re for a better planet and populous, it’s safe to say that these goals are for the benefit of all inhabitants of the planet.

SDGs for Individuals

While the SDGs are a global contract, individuals play a key role in dictating the growth and achievement of each Sustainable Developmental Goal by individual nations.

With the current state of the planet, it’s important for everyone to play their part. As individuals, there’s plenty that we can do to contribute towards a sustainable future. However small or large our contribution is, it will make a difference. Let’s talk about which of the 17 SDGs you can act upon as an individual.

Goal 3: Good Health & Well-Being

Improving global health, reducing the mortality rate, increasing life expectancy. These are some aspects that this goal puts the spotlight on. Two sub-goals that call for individual action are:

  1. Bringing down the number of deaths and injuries caused by road accidents.
  2. Better prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

Here are some actions you can take to contribute to these goals:

  1. Your well-being is important. So do not drink & drive.
  2. Follow the traffic rules & avoid speeding
  3. Your vehicle’s well-being is your responsibility. So get it serviced at regular intervals
  4. Do not use prohibited drugs & substances.
  5. Know what the rules and regulations around substance abuse are- stay informed & make others around you alert as well.

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities

It’s no secret that there is a lot of inequality in our current system. Income inequality leads to inequality in opportunities, and unequal growth of economies. It also leads to a huge gap between different the rich and the poor. Here is what you can do to help with this goal:

  1. Be more open to interaction with everyone, irrespective of economic background, status, etc.
  2. When possible, offer opportunities to people with fewer opportunities than you.
  3. Encourage others around you to be kinder, and more open-minded as well.

Goal 12: Sustainable Production & Consumption

We live in a world of excess. Everything is being mass-produced without any heed being paid to the use of resources or waste created. In a world like this, as an individual, our aim should be to reduce any sort of wastage.

This is probably the goal where individuals can make the most impact. Being conscious, and sustainable about our consumption has great value. It does not just ensure valuable items entering your home but also signals producers of what to produce and how. Here is what you can do to contribute to this goal:

  1. Think quality and not quantity when shopping
  2. Buy from businesses that follow sustainable practices. Ask them questions and let them know what sustainable values you would like the brand to embody.
  3. Buy local. This reduces not just your carbon footprint but also the carbon used while production of the product.
  4. Shop second-hand, borrow or rent whenever possible. This will help us move closer to a circular economic model.
  5. Avoid using unsustainable products like plastics, polyesters, or micro-plastics. If unavoidable, then aim to reduce their consumption.

These are 3 goals where individuals can start contributing in. Here is a fun PDF on how you can ‘Save the Planet‘.

Impact of Individual Action

Although life seems to go on, the planet is truly suffering and so are several sections of society. Sustainable Development Goals are a solid plan of action focused on a better planet and a better future for humanity as well as our cohabitants.

If each of us plays our part, we can collectively make a difference. Once you start making changes in your life and speaking with friends and family about these changes, you will slowly see a ripple effect of change. That’s why individual action matters so much because it leads to more action from other individuals too.

Every little step we take makes a big difference. So, start somewhere — it doesn’t matter where. Let’s make the planet great for
all those that live on it!

Rhea is a freelance content writer. She recently began her journey to a sustainable lifestyle and is looking forward to sharing her experiences. She’s a foodie and never misses out on any opportunity to cook & bake for her friends & family. As long as she has great food & a notebook to pen down her thoughts, she is happy.

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