Champions of the Global Goals: Kylee Daugherty

Kylee Daugherty July 25, 2016 About YourCause

This article is part of the “Champions of Global Goals Series” where YourCause employees share their connection to the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Kylee holding Global Goal #12There are a lot of factors in how it happened.

Maybe it was the cross-continental bike ride that changed my perspective. Maybe it’s because this is the first year since the age of 18 I’ve lived in one place for longer than 12 months. (And moving THINGS up and down flights of stairs in the Texas summer heat is less than fun.) And maybe it’s all exacerbated by the fact that I married a guy who LITERALLY slept on a yoga mat until he married me.

Either way, it happened. I became a minimalist.

As someone who has a degree in Advertising (read as: artistic promotion of consumerism), I struggle with loving the creative process, innovation, and the amazing ability of humans to create the “new.” I struggle, because while those things are amazing and inspiring, they cannot come at the expense of our environment, our people, and our quality of life.

According to the UN, over 3 billion tons of food is wasted every year while almost 1 billion people go undernourished, and still another 1 billion go hungry.

If people worldwide switched to energy-efficient light bulbs, the world would save $120 billion annually.

The average American now generates 82 pounds of textile waste each year; that is 11 million tons of textile waste from the US alone.

The fact is that our tiny, isolated actions create lifelong and generational habits, and those habits across the planet are destroying the world and people around us.

Increasing sustainable and responsible consumption doesn’t require life-changing actions to make a difference. I still make mistakes. The Target $3 bin trips me up every now and then, I haven’t let go of paper towels yet, and I celebrated my marriage anniversary at a water park. But the difference between now and a few years ago is that I know and feel the impact my choices have on the world, I’ve made significant steps towards living a more conscious life, and I know that my family and I will continue to make changes.

Maybe it was the trip to Haiti where I saw the desperately ravaged farmland turned to dust. Maybe it was the incredible guilt of throwing away unused produce from my fridge one too many times. Maybe it was watching that documentary on the perils of “fast fashion,” and the price unseen humans have to pay to give me that $5 shirt I wear once.

Either way, it happened. I see the problem, and now it’s my responsibility, our responsibility, to do something about it one small action at a time.

Learn more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and see how you can support Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.

Interested in how to live a more sustainable and conscious life? The following resources have helped shape my journey:

The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.

That fast-fashion documentary I mentioned above.

Australian champion of living simply.

A humbling social experiment memoir.

Her book is on my “to-read” list.

Becoming a minimalist in a familial context.