If you follow me on any of my platforms then you’ve definitely heard me speak about the SDGs. They’re an important part of my brand and conscious choices I make. I truly believe they should be taught in schools and marketed way more towards millennials and gen z. Our generations have the power to make the SDGs happen! Together, we can bring our global community together and successfully fight global injustices. Here, I’m giving you the ultimate crash course on the SDGs, why they matter, and why you definitely should care!
What are the SDGS?
The SDGS are the Sustainable Development Goals. They’re an initiative that was launchd by the United Nations in 2015 to tackle and eradicate human rights issues by 2030. They are 17 of them and sometimes they’re referred to as the Global Goals, but keep in mind, that isn’t the official title.
Cool, so does that have to do with me?
Everything! Is there any cause you care about? Climate change, eduction, human rights, or social justice issues? They all fall under at least one SDG! You’re probably already supporting one or two in your day-to-day life without knowing it, but as an advocate, my goal is to get more people discussing them. It’s a wonderful, uniting, and more importantly, inclusive initiative that everyone can take part in.
The SDGs are not some radical idea, nor are they politically driven. They are simply initiatives to support basic human rights. Clean water, gender equality, access to education, healthcare… I mean, these are pretty basic necessities we should all want for one another, right? I like to believe that all people have it in their heart to wish well for others. It’s easier to be a global citizen, support your community, and be kind. The misdirected anger, ignorance, and unnecessary hatred take a lot more effort, induces stress, and are what cause most of the problems.
A Breakdown of the SDGs
SDG 1 — No Poverty
Although there are a total of 17 goals, the main goal is to eradicate poverty by 2030. This isn’t impossible if we truly unite as one community! Sadly, most people tend to live with an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality and don’t really care (or have time) to focus on issues outside of their own daily stressors.
The best way to reach goal one, is to focus on the following 16. The more successful those are, the closer we get to eradicating poverty.
SDG 2 — Zero Hunger
Besides ending hunger, SDG 2 wants to achieve food security, end all forms of malnutrition, promote sustainable agriculture, and improve nutrition globally. The focus on agriculture is important because so many communities including women, family farmers, and indigenous people rely on the industry.
SDG 3 — Good Health & Well-Being
Less than half the globe has access to health services. Ensuring healthy lives includes reducing the maternal mortality rate, ending preventable deaths of newborns, and ending epidemics such as AIDS and malaria. It also promotes access to sexual and reproductive health services and well-being for people with disabilities.
Sadly, the current COVID-19 pandemic is feared to reverse decades of improvements in the health community.
SDG 4 — Quality Education
Although I advocate hard for all the goals, SDG 4 is one I am extremely partial to. A primary target is to ensure inclusive and quality education for boys and girls EQUALLY. There was already slow improvement prior to COVID-19, but since the pandemic, school closures globally have set back access to education. Remote learning is currently not accessible to 500 million students.
SDG 5 — Gender Equality
The other goal I fight hard for is SDG 5. Achieving gender equality, ending gender discrimination, and empowering all women and girls is proven to boost the economy! SDG 5 also wants to ensure ending violence against women and girls including trafficking, exploitation, FGM, and forced marriages.
SDG 6 — Clean Water & Sanitation
2.2 billion people on earth lack safe drinking water today. 3 billion people don’t even have a place to wash their hands at home. SDG 6 wants to achieve universal access to affordable drinking water and access to sanitation and hygiene. Clean water is a basic human right, but sadly there is a major clean water global crisis. The lack of clean water causes too many problems to count. For example, women and children in many communities are forced to drop out of school and become responsible for collecting water, locking them into a cycle of poverty.
SDG 7 — Affordable & Clean Energy
The lack of energy efficiency slows down infrastructure and technology. SDG 7 wants to ensure access to affordable, sustainable, and modern energy for all communities—especially least developed countries and land-locked developing countries. 789 million people lack electricity, and communities without energy means health facilities like hospitals are unable to provide necessary services.
SDG 8 — Decent Work & Economic Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the world into one of the worst recessions in history. Millions are unemployed, tourism is deteriorating, and the GDP is expected to decline for the time being. SDG 8 aims to improve the economy through diversity, upgrades in tech, access to financial services for growing enterprises, and decent job creation.
SDG 9 — Industry, Innovation, & Infrastructure
Focusing on upgraded technology and encouraging innovation, SDG 9 wants to build resilient infrastructure. This goal is especially important in ensuring inclusive and sustainable living for people with disabilities because it promotes equitable access for all.
SDG 10 — Reduced Inequalities
This goal focuses on the most vulnerable groups including the elderly, women, children, people with disabilities, and refugees. Some targets include ensuring equal opportunity by eliminating discriminatory laws and policies and enhancing representation in decision-making institutions.
SDG 11 — Sustainable Cities & Communities
Air pollution, inaccessible transportation, and unaffordable housing are just a few of the problems SDG 11 is combatting. Making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable will improve living conditions is heavily populated urban (city) communities.
SDG 12 — Responsible Consumption & Production
As an advocate of the conscious fashion movement, SDG 12 is another one I regularly talk about. It hopes to ensure efficient use of natural resources, manage chemicals and wastes in productions in textiles, and reduce food loss and waste in supply chains.
SDG 13 — Climate Action
An urgent call to combat climate action should be one everyone’s agenda! This goal promotes education on the issue, raising awareness, advocating for better policies, and strengthening responses to natural disasters.
SDG 14 — Life Below Water
Hand in hand with climate action, it’s imperative we conserve and sustainably use our marine resources. SDG 14 wants to reduce and improve marine pollution, protect and restore ecosystems, and regulate overfishing. Because of the lack of humanity activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, oceans have had a chance to recuperate.
SDG 15 — Life On Land
Everyone should care about SDG 15 because if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you do live on land. This goal ensures protecting, restoring, and promoting sustainable use of our ecosystems, forests, conservation, deserts, and to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
SDG 16 — Peace & Justice, Strong Institutions
Another extremely important SDG, especially in today’s political climate. SDG 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies and provide access to justice for all. More importantly it promotes building effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions. To ensure these goals, targets include reducing violence in all forms, ending abuse, exploitation, and trafficking, and reducing corruption and bribery.
You watch the news, you know what’s going on in the US with police brutality. If we want progress, it’s imperative to improve systemic issues.
SDG 17 — Partnerships For The Goals
The final SDG focuses on partnerships that help strengthen making the goals happen by 2030. Targets include finance, technology, trade, and systemic issues. In reality, we need to somehow get greedy billion-dollar corporations and persons to stop hoarding the wealth and help the rest of the world.