Global Resources for Sustainable Development
In 2015 all 193 countries committed to making the world a better place through the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, a set of 17 goals aiming towards three main achievements by 2030: End Extreme Poverty, Reduce Inequality, Protect Our Planet.
We had the pleasure of interviewing the founder of Teaspoon of Change, d'Arcy, who has been involved in the field of sustainability with his team for 8 years, to hear his insights on this topic!
Q. Where are the most interesting global sustainability presentations or courses? Why?
I've been fortunate to travel to over 90 counties in the past 20 years and have learnt that our actions matter and we can aim to make good choices and actions to have positive impacts. We can do this at a personal and practical level which I call Teaspoons of Change and those individual actions fit into a collective context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is important for me to associate myself with good people doing good things in the world such as Naenka. You can learn more about this at https://teaspoonsofchange.org
Q. What do you think is the core issue of sustainability?
Number one is to believe that our individual actions matter. Once we feel a sense of interconnectedness we can then make better choices connected to positive impacts for people and the planet. Consumers are really starting to demand this so it is not just about business doing something good on the side for sustainability but actually living and acting authentically on sustainability. I also live by the formula: small actions X lots of people = BIG change!
Q. What changes have you made in your life by being exposed to and promoting sustainable development?
It's important to say that me, nor anyone else, is perfect and we shouldn't try to be perfect, it's impossible and a distraction towards making as many good choices as often as possible. I'm not the plastic police! For me and my lifestyle I love living through the lens of sustainability and equality. This means I try to make sustainable and ethical purchases as much as possible, I haven't bought a single-use plastic bottle for over 10 years, I walk, run and cycle as much as possible and choose not to own a car, I have two self sufficient tiny houses off the grid in Australia and New Zealand, I choose a plant-based diet and almost never waste food. While I've been in China for a year and a half all my travel is via train and I prefer hosts than hotels for my presentations and workshops. But again it is not any one of these single actions that 'saves the world' but a lens and passion in life to make good choices as often as possible
Naenka: Do you live in Shanghai? Will you lead your running, swimming and cycling friends to join you in this initiative?
I've been based in Shanghai for the past 18 months and love the sports and athletic community here! I'm connected to a number of running and triathlon groups and competitions here. Sustainability isn't quite at the front of mind here maybe as much as Europe or New Zealand but there is a thirst to aim to do better in this space. With the biggest running group in Shanghai - RunnersHai, we have a Teaspoons of Change charter for how to be a more sustainable and ethical runner (see attachment) Athletics is booming in China and it would be great to see it boom with a sustainable mindset and ambitions!
Q.Do you and your team members have stable jobs? How do you balance work and sustainability initiatives?
For me my mix of athletics and sustainability is very natural and I'm the group head of sustainability and global citizenship for a group of schools. However, I always have time to advise and support the sporting and athletics community to discuss and enact more sustainable practices that shouldn't be seen as 'extra' but integrated and embedded and more of a value-add than an add-on. So far I've had many conversations in the athletics community asking me for more tips and advice on sustainability and how to make those Teaspoons of Change both personally and professionally.
The sustainable development of global resources is a must for all mankind. The power of one person may be small, but if you are willing, it is never too late to start. If you want to join the movement but don't know where to start, you can find directions at teaspoonsofchange.org. Start with the little things around you and take action now!