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Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Our attempts to increase productivity and our careless use of resources have been endangering our planet. Fossil fuels are damaging the environment. Water, already in short supply, is being polluted. Many people are suffering from hunger. As consumers, we need to reduce our levels of waste in terms of energy, water and food. We need to reduce our global footprint and be responsible stewards in our daily living, as individuals, corporations and nations.

A few facts and figures from the UN website:

  • Each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes worth around $1 trillion – ends up rotting in the bins of consumers and retailers, or spoiling due to poor transportation and harvesting practices.
  • If people worldwide switched to energy-efficient light bulbs the world would save US$120 billion annually.
  • Should the global population reach 9.6 billion by 2050, the equivalent of almost three planets could be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles.
    Sustainable consumption and production can contribute substantially to poverty alleviation and the transition towards low-carbon and green economies.

Read
Amos 8:4-6 – A word of challenge to the rich ‘Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land,’…..

2 Corinthians 8: 13-15 – An appeal to the church ‘Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

Pray
God, our provider, we thank you for our food, our water and all that makes our life worth living.
Help us to be responsible in our stewardship, using our resources wisely,
taking only that which we need, and sharing what we can with others.
Help us to ‘earn all we can, save all we can and give all we can’.
Help us to ‘live simply so that others can simply live’.
For the sake of your precious creation, Amen.

Respond
Try to reduce waste: of water, food and energy.
Avoid using single-use plastic: bags, bottles and straws.
Think before you buy: clothes and other items that use excessive amounts of water to produce.
Buy local produce and reduce the need for transporting goods vast distances.
Check out 10 impactful actions you can take to help tackle the climate crisis Act Now | United Nations

To find out more about Goal 12 and other Sustainable Development Goals visit: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment

The World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women supports the Sustainable Development Goals.