It is daunting to be confronted with the 17 goals and 169 targets which comprise the SDGs.  „How am I supposed to make sure that sewage is properly processed before it is pumped into the sea?“ is a legitimate question, and obviously a job for municipalities and the government. The subject matter of many of the SDGs is in a sense a „to-do list“ for governments and international organizations. However, it would be wrong to assume that we, as individuals, can contribute little.  The goals become more accessible and manageable when we take a moment to familiarize ourselves with the goal and interpret it from our personal and community standpoint.

Who needs to change?

Until now, SDG actions have been the purview of governments and companies. However, a glaring omission has been made: the Homes. We all have a home, whether it is our own house or apartment, or a rental, whether we live alone, with our family, with a partner or with friends. Our daily decisions and actions have an effect on us, our community and the entire world.

As consumers, we have ample opportunity to make a positive impact. By keeping sustainability in mind when we are shopping, having fun, travelling or in our daily relationships, can we take a step in creating a more sustainable and resilient world.

How are the SDGs organized?

The 17 SDGs are often split into three groups or 5 main themes – despite being a complete package. The 3 groups or pillars of the SDGs are the economic goals, societal goals and environmental goals. The 5 themes are: humanity, the earth, prosperity, peace and cooperation. The themes and pillars are part of a larger whole, so progress is own positively affects the others.

It isn’t always easy to glean which SDGs pertain to the homes, our how homes can work towards and SDG. It is obvious that goal 12: Responsible Consumption is the perfect avenue for action. By being aware of where our money is going we can help the world achieve sustainability.


We don’t only consume to meet our base needs, but also to enrich our lives and to express ourselves. By consuming responsibly we can work on all three pillars of the SDGs. Each time we open our wallet are we taking part in political action where the money we put out could support a company that doesn’t pay proper wages, engages in environmentally un-friendly practices, or we could support a company which takes its social responsibility seriously and makes sure that its production, sourcing and practices are in harmony with society and the environment.

The other goals       

We shouldn’t limit ourselves to the 12th goal. If we take a moment, we can see how we can work towards other goals.


Before you dismiss the SDGs, its good to take a moment and ask yourself a few questions:

Everything matters

The actions which we chose to undertake to further the SDGs need not be expensive nor complicated. Small steps, like no longer using single use plastics can contribute a lot, especially if there are many people taking part. Whenever we change our routine, it may be uncomfortable for a little bit, but after a while we hardly remember what life was like before.

The SDGs strive to make the resources which allow us a high standard of living renewable, profitable and sustainable. They also aim to make them available to as many people as possible. Currently, our exploitation of our resources unsustainable. If nothing changes, we will lose this high standard of living. Sustainability is the first step towards a more peaceful and resilient world.