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Why it's important

We all need food, water, shelter, and a way to make a living. Every other problem and fix in the world is second to those needs. You can't ask a group of people to embrace new technologies to lower their impact on the world when they are barely able to eat. To make an impact on the biggest problems we face, we first have to take care of everyone's basic needs.

We first have to take care of everyone's basic needs.
Every animal on this planet, humans included, will do what they have to to meet their basic needs. Meeting the basic needs of the world is priority number one when trying to change anything.Credit: NASA
Food, water, and shelter are the basics for more or less every animal on this planet. Food and water are essentials to keep our bodies running. Shelter is necessary to protect ourselves from weather conditions. Without these things, we can not survive, so people will do whatever it takes to meet these basic needs. If you're starving, you don't care about the environmental impact of your decision to get food, you just care that you got to eat. Unfortunately, how we meet these needs is very important from a sustainability standpoint. What food we eat and how we grow it, where we get our water from, and what we use to build our shelters are all decisions that have a large impact on energy usage and the natural spaces around us.

We have decided to include money issues in basic needs because for most of the world, some form of currency is how you manage to acquire the other basic needs. A sustainable income source is often the means for accessing the other basic needs and so is a basic need itself. All around the world, there are those who either have no way of making money or have no means of saving or borrowing money to be able to meet their needs over the course of the year. Getting basic financial tools to the world will allow them to either directly invest in sustainable decisions or be more secure in their other basic needs and therefore indirectly allow them to be more environmentally friendly people. For more information on the importance of money, check out the Microfinance section.
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