In life, some people are goal oriented, others are more care free and take life as it comes. However in terms of Sustainability and Climate change, the ability to have a care free life is not a gift bestowed onto all. Ultimately, those of us in Ireland are blessed in the Game of Life where we can live quite a good life, as many can in the Western World whereas in other regions, millions who are not the cause of the problem we face in Climate Change, yet they're the ones faced with the implications.

Anyway - the Sustainable Development Goals were set up by the UN to ensure we can build on the principle of “leaving no one behind”, emphasising a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all which address the key global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

To focus on how Narcissips aims to contribute to the goals, I want to allude to a couple of scenarios and stories from my own life, in a light-hearted manner. To anyone who reads this, I am sure we can agree to have felt the pain of waking up after a Bank Holiday Sunday to the thump of a headache and reminder of the antics from the night before that make you leap and bound to the kitchen for a couple of Pints of Water to freshen the mind, head and Body.

However, we can make it to the kitchen in less than 10 seconds to access clean water, whereas millions across the world are forced to either risk  cooking, cleaning and drinking with unsanitary water which leads to illness, disease and death across the underdeveloped world. Otherwise, they are forced to walk miles until they reach clean water.

Issues like these are what has lead my own perspective on life and the United Nations Department of Social Affairs developing the Matrix of Goals to help close the divide between the developed and underdeveloped world where our problems for the most part, don't align.

Again, from my own point of view - I am not sure where I would be without access to the good all SUSI grant system which I was able to get to ensure I got into and through my undergraduate degree. I was also extremely lucky to then get selected for a Scholarship to study my chosen Master Degree in Smurfit Graduate Business School, UCD.

This has always highlighted the benefits of kindness, generosity and an approach to life that is focused on giving back and helping others as after all, without others helping me - lord knows... The same goes for Education across the world where females of all ages cannot access education and of course, kids in general.

Most of us can spend 20-30 on coffee a week and this same amount for something trivial to us can help ensure a child gets access to education for a year! Small things like these have made us intertwine and ensure both SDG 4 and 6 which focus on Clean Water and Education are core elements of our Business. Also in a broader theme, SDG 12 focuses on Responsible Consumption which links with our approach to single use objects in Ireland and also ensuring that our Reusables are affordable to entice and motivate change as was the issue and rationale to Narcissips founding in 2018.

Anyway, for more information on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, you can view their website here. I have also included a snapshot of the list of Goals below.

What I would recommend is to take a similar approach to myself - no one is perfect, no one can do it all. Just focus on making the changes that suit our lives to ensure we build good foundations and habits and also don't try do it all as unfortunately, no one can! Often I fear people try to do too much, which leads to burn out, lack of motivation or lack of impact - whereas as as the old metaphor goes, with the ladder against the right wall - you can climb any hurdle. It's better to focus on what we can do 100% rather than spreading ourselves too thin.

The List :)

GOAL 1: No Poverty

GOAL 2: Zero Hunger

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

GOAL 4: Quality Education

GOAL 5: Gender Equality

GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation

GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality

GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

GOAL 13: Climate Action

GOAL 14: Life Below Water

GOAL 15: Life on Land

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Written by Cathal O Reilly

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