Blog post

Ensuring sustainable consumption: one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Masters Creative Writing student, Medha Godbole, encourages us to think and be responsible.

By Medha Godbole - 16 March 2023

Sustainable and responsible consumption is one of the global goals established by the UN in 2015. The goal encourages recycling, reusing and minimising unsustainable business and lifestyle practices.  We can contribute in various ways at university or at home by applying these quick and easy hacks for responsible and sustainable consumption.

Rice husk rocks

Have you have seen the University of Derby branded husk cup? It was designed by a University of Derby student as a part of a previous Derby Goes Green campaign. Using a reusable cup will automatically help reduce waste. Plus, your hot drink will often be cheaper as many outlets offer a discount if you bring your own reusable mug. Win-win situation, right?

A husk cup for Go Green Week

Tissue issue

Tissues are part of our daily routine. However, we can try to avoid using the usual one wherever and whenever possible. There is a range of eco-friendly tissues available. Alternatively, you can purchase reusable cloth tissues that you wash and reuse.  When eating outside, take a damp flannel that you can reuse and wash. When you’re taking napkins from eateries, try taking the bare minimum. All this helps reduce the amount of waste.

Eat everything you've got (on your plate)

Coming from India, I’ve always been told since childhood to avoid wasting food as far as possible. Love food and hate waste. You can ensure that food is not wasted by eating it the next day for example. Further, when we buy food from the Uni cafes or even outside, particularly when it is a buffet type arrangement, it might be a good idea to avoid piling up the food. All of us know our capacity and can choose accordingly so that food isn’t wasted.

A dish of food

Freshly made or home-made food

Takeaways are great. But home-cooked food is even better for two main reasons – less processing, artificial chemicals and ingredients, and packaging to deal with. It boils down to reducing the waste. So why not decide days to cook (provided that you have the resources), and eat better? If you are not a cooking enthusiast like me, call friends to your place and request them to cook with you! Even if you’re no gourmet chef, cooking something simple can be a fun, social experience.

Moreover, supermarkets have some great budget meals and recipes. You could have a super club for friends with each bring an ingredient or a dish. It could be more interesting if the dish is not revealed until the time of the meal.

Show rubbish its right place

If you ask those who are working towards supporting the environment, they will surely say there is no shame in picking up a wrapper and throwing it in the bin. Using the right bins for the rubbish is also essential. Separating bi-degradable and general waste is critical for sustainable development and improving the quality of the environment we live in. When getting rid of rubbish, it is a good idea to check whether it should go in a recyclable waste bin or not You could also take more proactive steps by organising a litter pick in your residential area or atyour university. 

What do you do at your level as a part of sustainable consumption? I try to implement all of these practices in my life every day. Mostly I am mindful of what and how I am eating and consuming.

Person picking up litter from the floor

What do you do at your level as a part of sustainable consumption? I try to implement all of these practices in my life every day. Mostly I am mindful of what and how I am eating and consuming.

As we move towards fully embracing sustainability , it's worth knowing and understanding the Sustainable Development Goals. Responsible consumption is just one aspect among many others. It encompasses all the aspects of our lives from food to travel, to industry and wildlife preservation. So, it becomes even more important to know how they can be applied to our future career and life.

About the author

Medha Godbole standing infront of flowers

Medha Godbole
Masters Student in Creative Writing with Publishing

I am an international student from India pursuing a Masters in Creative Writing with Publishing. I also work as a Communications Ambassador to create content. Apart from writing, I love playing and watching cricket, watching films and listening to Indian classical and semi-classical and Western classical music. Sipping tea or chatting with my closest friends gets me going.