Lusty About Sustainability

Updated: Jan 18

✦ Planet Earth is hurting.

We only need to look at the spate of unpredictable but wildly disruptive weather patterns of late to witness that as a fact. Widespread flooding and devastating annual bushfires have, unfortunately, become frequent in Australia, the USA, China, much of SouthEast Asia and parts of Europe.

Summers are getting hotter and longer, with droughts subsequently increasing in parts of the world that have historically always struggled. Major hurricanes and typhoons have become more frequent and violent, most recently witnessed with Hurricane Ida that devastated large parts of the southern and eastern US. The ice caps are melting at an alarming rate which poses a huge threat to humankind due to increasing sea levels.

The world’s eco-system is in turmoil and many believe this is the effect of climate change.

We are also fully aware that the Earth’s natural resources are not infinite. Yet we continue to dig deep into her core, mining for precious metals, minerals and gases and razing absurd areas of the rainforest to the ground. That is why the mining industries are aligning themselves with ESG: Environment, Social, Governance. Investors in these mining companies are increasingly applying non-financial factors as part of their analysis process to identify material risks and growth opportunities. ​

  • Environment: Discussions on the efforts of organisations to conserve the natural world.

  • Social: The considerations of people and relationships.

  • Governance: Company ethics and corporate responsibilities.

It’s now or never

A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) effectively announced “a code red” warning. It is now or never, the report intimated, in regards to taking decisive and immediate action on climate change and the planet’s future. It stated that humans have pumped around 2,400 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere since 1850, creating concentrations of the gas that have not been seen on Earth in the last 2 million years.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out we as a species and our planet are in a serious bind and something needs to be done. There are countless think-tanks and meetings at government level that attempt to identify a solution and a roadmap for recovery but much is just talk and no action.

So what can we on an individual, family or business owner basis do to contribute positively to helping Earth at least try and heal?

One word provides much, if not all, of the answer: Sustainability.

It is a buzzword word that, understandably, has become much more common in recent years. Even large investment banks and financial institutions have been heavily focused on green and sustainable investment platforms for years now. And you know if the guys on Wall Street are backing it then it has to be big!

Gen Z in the driver’s seat

There, of course, no positives to take from the COVID-19 pandemic although, as Forbes magazine so adroitly observed, “For more than a year you could sense the collective sigh of the universe as factories shut down, the skies turned blue over Beijing for the first time in decades, and once-clogged highways were emptied as we adapted to working and learning from our homes. We’ve [since] learned to do less, spend less, and waste less and no cohort has been as profoundly influenced as Gen Z. The pandemic didn’t start the sustainability revolution, but it has put it into hyperdrive, and Gen Z is in the driver’s seat.”

For Generation Z (those born since 1997) and millennials sustainability is a huge deal, something that is important enough to define their lifestyle and them as a person. A recent UK survey revealed that 90% of Gen Z consumers have made changes to be more sustainable in their daily lives and they would be willing to spend 10% more to acquire sustainable products. They are also likely to make purchasing decisions based on values and principles that are personal, social, and environmental.

This might signal bad news for the deluge of cheap goods that have flooded global markets from environmentally unfriendly factories across China, or inhumane sweat-shops in the likes of Bangladesh but it is good news for the planet.

Ethical choices

Gen Z’s advocacy of a more sustainable world is also reflected in business with countless examples of new enterprises driven by ethical choices. This is something that Brilliant-Online strongly supports and is always happy to promote, particularly on a local scale.

That is why Brilliant-Online does not print our magazines for distribution. We are paperless and friendly to the earth. Saving paper saves trees. So every Brilliant Magazine you read helps keep Mother Earth safe and growing. In any given year, we estimate our tree-hugging publishing community saves over 3.8M trees! That means lots of fresh oxygen getting pumped into the air for everyone to enjoy.

Recent articles have seen us learn more about some wonderful local businesses who are driven by sustainability; Leanne Butler and Cardia Forsyth of Grow Sustainable Living at Toms Creek, passionate about sustainable living and eating via practices such as beekeeping, permaculture, and creating plant-based food at their workshops and making organic food available to the masses.

My Blue Tea specialises in plant-based superfoods with an onus on empowering women via their Farm to Consumer and Soil to Plate initiatives while working closely with farmers with a view to long-term environmental, business and community sustainability.

We met Craig Gove and Jacob Young at