What is Sustainable Development?
According to www.iisd.org, “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It simply requires us to see the world as a system – where everything is interconnected in some ways. The way we’re behaving today, here and now – could affect others tomorrow, and even years after that. The way we’re consuming resources today and the conducting our businesses will have an effect – either positively or negatively, to our children’s children in the future. You can’t really call it sustainable development when development is focused on the present and the now without regards on tomorrow. Unfortunately, our economy’s path to what they call advancement or innovation gives little regard to the true meaning of sustainable development.
Sustainable Development through Fair Trade
One of the key principles of World Fair Trade Organization focuses on preserving and conserving our environment. They use technologies that reduce energy consumption as well as renewable energy whenever possible. Fair trade products uses raw materials that came from sustainably managed sources, buying locally if available and promoting recycling and upcycling as well. Fair trade produce are farmed and harvested in accordance to certain standards that aims to minimize its environmental impact.
By advocating Fair Trade products, we are supporting the effort to solve poverty and protect and conserve the environment at the same time. Now that’s the very core of sustainable development, right, we meet our needs today without sacrificing future needs. Buying fair trade products means that we’re supporting the men and women of small communities to break through the world market and offer the option for the public to consume consciously.
Reminding ourselves that the future is at stake with the way we’re consuming today will prompt us to make better and smart choices. It’s about time we ditch our impulse buying or shopping behavior. Always ask yourself if it is really a ‘necessity’ and consider the ‘true cost’ of every product you’re buying. Don’t get fooled by lower or cheaper prices, these products oftentimes come with a different ‘price’ that put our environment or perhaps even a child’s life at risk.
Take a closer look at high end products – ask yourself if it’s really worth supporting the brand. Does style overcompensate what is truly ethical? People oftentimes play the ignorance card just so they could justify their choices, so they could feel okay with satisfying their need now. Well, I say, it’s hard to un-know the things that you now know. Your next move is your choice.
We can change the way our world trading economy works today; we can start by making the conscious effort to know and learn our buyer rights, consider available options, and always think of sustainable development.