How Did The Covid-19 Pandemic Affect Sustainable Consumption Habits

How Did The Covid-19 Pandemic Affect Sustainable Consumption Habits

Plans are already underway to hold sustainable consumption and production as a new mainstream cultural habit, but the Covid-19 pandemic is also underway for almost 2 years by now. The pandemic affected the sustainable consumption cycle which is expected to be mainstreamed by the year 2030. So how would the cycle work now? Will it still progress until it can succeed in 2030 as a new normal? Or does the pandemic delay the result time even more?

In 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 cores of what they call ‘blueprints’, or you could say core belief, for a sustainable development process. These ‘blueprints’ are known as the Sustainable Development Goals AKA SDG for short. The United Nations have set 2030 as the endgame time of SDGs, the time when SDGs can be considered a success with good movements mainstreamed around the world as the new normal culture of life habits, especially in work environments.

SDG has many targets in tackling general life issues, some of them are held to jumpstart and develop the movement of sustainable consumption cycle worldwide. Some of the targets include managing the usage of chemicals and waste responsibly, and removing market distortions that encourage wasteful consumption. Sounds like basic agendas that people, especially working companies nowadays already adopted right? Actually, a lot of companies already adopt these agendas and implement them in their work culture. But you know what other sound these agendas make? Sounds of movements which got disturbed by the obstacles and debris of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In December 2019, millions of Covid-19 cases are found, spreading across the world. These cases cause deaths, separations, and cultural shifts. Yes, we might be thinking ‘How could this huge disease-full phenomenon affects culture?’. Well, in terms of SDG, a lot of the targets involves managing the amount of waste and products used by humanity on a daily (or at least routine) basis. To say that it’s not easy to manage food and essential waste amount during a time of uncertainty where those things are highly needed as a key survival element is clearly an understatement.

Managing waste amount is one of the general targets of SDG
Source: Businessfor2030.org

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres stated in his introduction to the SDG Report 2020 that “Far from undermining the case for the SDGs, the root causes and uneven impacts of COVID-19 demonstrate precisely why we need the 2030 Agenda…”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Source: UNSMIL – UN Missions

This doesn’t just prove the urgency of accomplishing SDG’s targets, especially the consumption section which has the same amount of impact for everyone with no exception, but it also proofs that spreading sustainable consumption habit is something with a major potential to help humanity. The European-based Foundational Economy states in their manifesto that social consumption has a better impact than prioritizing individual consumption. When social consumption is prioritized, the amount of fulfilled needs is equal for every human, no more unbalanced fulfillment leads to unbalanced social group need-fulfillment states.

Read also: Educate People about SDGs 13: The Importance of Climate Change to Save the Earth

The coronavirus pandemic (that is still ongoing) shows how consumption is still unbalanced, some people gets more, some people gets less, and some other people get even less as a result of the unequal need-fulfillment habit which is still adopted by most people around the world. It shows how the world hasn’t been successful in implementing sustainable consumption in this day and age, that’s why the struggle of getting human’s daily needs stand as one of the most significant impacts the pandemic gave to the world.

The struggle also shows how important it is to start implementing sustainable consumption. If we’re playing ‘What if?’, the struggle to get needs when pandemic hits wouldn’t be as hard and challenging as it is now, because everything is up and ready for everyone, so everyone gets their share equally. Unfortunately, that’s not the case (for now), which is why prioritizing social consumption is important to our future as a society.

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