Sustainability has become a hot topic across the globe – and it should be. One survey found that nearly 8/10 individuals consider sustainability to be important. Many people are willing to pay more money for sustainable products or cut back on resources damaging to the environment.
While contributing to a sustainable planet is crucial, it’s also important that we focus sustainable efforts on human lives, too.
There are so many resources going to waste every day that could improve the lives of millions of people across the globe, and even in our own country. The average American family can waste 180 gallons of water per week. Food and textile waste are at an all-time high. Affordable housing is becoming a rarity for those in need.
So, what can be done to help our fellow humans? What can you do to make sustaining human lives a priority, especially for shelter, food, and water?
Affordable housing was initially made available thanks to Congress in the 1950s-1960s. It hasn’t only helped those in need. It’s been beneficial to the general economy, as well. Some of those benefits include:
- More money spent in local communities
- Fewer evictions/reduced homeless population
- More job opportunities
- Healthier micro-economies
- Better investment opportunities
Unfortunately, people are using all of the affordable housing options available. As a result, more people are living on the street, and resources are being wasted. Buildings are going into ruin, and everything from sewer to electrical systems isn’t being used the way it should be.
Spurring affordable housing is necessary to get people into homes. One of the best ways to do that is to encourage lenders to offer flexible loan options. Emerging cities can do their part by creating trusts, relaxing zoning laws, and revitalizing neighborhoods.
If you want to do your part, get involved in your local government. That doesn’t mean you need to run for office (but that always helps!). But, make your voice known. Attend meetings, form committees, and drive attention to the affordable housing crisis in your area. Make sure your community officials know that it’s not only impacting those who don’t have homes. It’s impacting the sustainability of your community and economy.
Food and Water Insecurity
Food and water scarcity is a problem globally, and you might not think there’s much you can do about it as an individual. But, if everyone made a few small changes in their habits, it would make a big difference.
One of the best things you can do is decrease food and water waste in your own home. Easy ways to decrease the amount of food you throw away or don’t use include:
- Reducing the amount you purchase
- Reusing and repurposing scraps
- Composting leftover food scraps
- Freezing, canning, and preserving
Growing your own food is another great way to limit waste and do something sustainable for the planet, all at once. Do your homework on starting your own garden or sustainable farm, focusing on growing fruits, vegetables, and herbs for your family. Doing so will make you less dependent on mass growing facilities.
When it comes to water waste, it’s as simple as paying attention to your usage. Take shorter showers. Only use your dishwasher when you have a full load to do. Make sure your home is leak-free by using technology to inspect your pipes. Small changes could end up saving hundreds of gallons of water each month.
Food, water, and shelter are the necessities of life. It’s hard to picture it in your own backyard when you think about people struggling to sustain themselves due to a lack of those needs. But, these struggles are happening all over.
Of course, governments, major corporations, and global organizations can make the biggest difference in sustaining human lives on a large scale. But, it’s up to each individual to do their part, as well. If you have a heart for your fellow man and understand the importance of ensuring everyone has their basic needs fulfilled, start putting some of these sustainable ideas into practice.
Author: Noah Rue