What is The Sustainability Pledge?
The Sustainability Pledge is a list of actions for individuals to commit to in order to minimize negative environmental impacts and promote sustainability.
We believe that the path to sustainability has to come not only from corporations and governments, but also individuals. By committing to a list of individual actions, we can accelerate change through consumer choices.
How was the pledge created?
We created the list by combining the most effective actions an individual can take to reduce environmental impact with additional actions to address all aspects of our lives.
Who can pledge?
Everyone can pledge. We believe that all individuals can make meaningful changes in their lives to promote sustainability.
How did The Sustainability Pledge get started?
The Sustainability Pledge was created by Joseph Hwang with help from a friend.
A Guide to the Pledge
Here is our helpful starting guide, independent of the pledge. This is our suggestion on how to start. As pledgers, we should strive to achieve all the actions and more, even if it means changing our lifestyle drastically and sacrificing some of the things we enjoy.
- I will choose the most environmentally friendly mode of daily transportation
- I will minimize air travel
- I will adopt a plant-based diet
- I will consider having fewer biological children
- I will reject excessive consumerism
- I will make my home and work areas as eco-friendly as possible
- I will reject environmentally harmful products, services, and industries
- I will participate in my community and government in developing sustainable policies
Why? Daily transportation is one of the highest contributors to individual greenhouse gas emissions.
How? Choose the least environmentally taxing mode of daily transportation even if it means compromising time or convenience. For example, walk or ride a bicycle on short distance trips. Utilize public transportation if it is available. If driving is mandatory, drive hybrid or electric automobiles, and practice carbon minimizing strategies such as carpooling.
Why? Long distance air travel produces high amounts of carbon emissions.
How? Avoid or limit air travel by reducing the number of unnecessary long distance trips. Consider lower carbon footprint travel options when available.
Why? Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, biodiversity loss, methane production, soil degradation and more. Eating a plant-based diet reduces those environmental effects.
How? Drastically reduce or eliminate animal products, especially red meat. If possible, extend the effort to pets by opting out of dog or cat ownership. Or limit the number of pets to one and choose a smaller pet over a larger one.
Why? Our planet is incapable of meeting the increasing consumption of natural resources that the population demands. Having one fewer child is the most effective individual action in limiting consumption and reducing climate change impact.
How? Consider having fewer biological children. Adoption is encouraged.
Why? Excessive consumerism fuels unsustainable industrial pollution and consumption of natural resources.
How? Buy only what you absolutely need. Apply eco-friendly practices such as purchasing longer-lasting or secondhand products, and taking good care of your items.
Why? Residential and commercial living spaces contribute a significant amount of negative environmental impacts.
How? Transition all aspects of your living spaces to be more eco-friendly. This applies to furnishings, household items, energy use, landscaping, and more. Improve sustainable habits like reusing and recycling. Start and promote green initiatives at work.
Why? Many products, services, and industries cause more harm to the environment than alternate less damaging solutions.
How? Eliminate or minimize consumption of environmentally harmful products, services, and industries. For example, reject processed foods that contain highly unsustainable ingredients such as palm oil, avoid products sprayed with synthetic pesticides, limit car washes using high amounts of chemicals, and minimize participation in the highly resource-intensive fashion industry.
Why? The transition to sustainability will require change in all levels of society from individuals to governments.
How? Join and be active in a club or organization. Use your voting power to promote sustainability. Encourage friends and family to transition to a more sustainable lifestyle.
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