Members of Greenpeace Philippines and climate change advocates march at the Roxas Boulevard in Manila on October 2, 2014, during the kick off the Climate Walk that starts at Kilometer One in Luneta. Climate Walk is a 40-day walk to Tacloban from Manila, dubbed as "A People's Wal for Climate Justice." From the Starting point at "Kilometer Zero" in Rizal Park, Manila, the groups will wakl 1000 kilometers. GREENPEACE PHOTO/NATHANIEL GARCIA

With all the injustices happening everywhere in our planet today, I cannot help but wonder what a sustainable future will really look like or if my 2 nephews, ages 5 and 8, will ever get to experience it in their lifetime.

The last two centuries have shown us that humanity's consumption of critical resources like forests, water, food, and energy have grown over three to five times faster than our global population. The Earth, clearly, is overexploited.

Since I am not an expert on how humanity can address consumption issues or sustainability, I would dare not go deep into the nauseous details of equating it with the continuing existence of inequality today. However I believe it doesn't take a genius to understand these connections with injustice and why we need to act upon them.

Fundamental rights apply to all not some

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security as a guaranteed fundamental right therefore access to safe, healthy, diverse, and organic food are rights that should follow in pursuit of these rights but because of the huge gap between rich and poor, it has been obscured as a privilege reserved only for those who can afford them. And the same also goes for access to sustainably caught fish or to providing communities, the capacity to adapt to the impacts brought by the worsening climate.

Inequality as seen in the context of access to fundamental rights deprived to everyone by the environmental crisis we face reveals to us that the betterment of communities, of everyone, as a fundamental right challenges the environmental movement to choose the side of those in the margins in promoting solutions that are, sadly, currently only available to the rich simply because they have all the means to live sustainably.

The challenge to move forward in the right direction

For those of us who belong to big environmental groups like Greenpeace, this realization challenges us to speak truth to power to people and every group that has the same vision of a green and peaceful future, that solutions should be constituted in the pursuit of justice guaranteeing a real sustainable future that benefits all. Because the truth is, both rich and poor have the right for a sustainable future and to reap its benefits.

On our shoulders fall the great task of working to shape a future where we will no longer have to bulldoze forests, deplete resources, or pollute land, air and water at the expense of people and ecosystems. But first, we need to learn to value a robust quality of life over sheer quantity of things, or to value trees over corporate profit.

We need to address environmental problems as a part of the collective work towards achieving justice. We need to remind everyone including ourselves that the environment is not just something else to worry about. It is connected to all things we already worry about – our children, our health, our homeland and love with all our hearts. Mustering our way to real sustainability means reducing our total consumption not just shifting away to more eco-friendly products that are only accessible to those who can afford it.

The challenge is to make sustainability as fundamental as the rights that it is connected with and to struggle to equally advance a socially just world with a green and peaceful future.