17 Actions You Can Take Right Now for the SDGs

April 22, 2016
Editor @17Goals

For the past 46 years, April 22 has been celebrated around the world as Earth Day— a day that reminds us to appreciate, and live sustainably on this precious planet we all share. This year, April 22 is also the day that our world leaders convene to sign the Paris Agreement, which will guide nations in their joint action to limit global climate change— a critical milestone on our way to achieving Sustainable Development Goal #13.

So what can the rest of us do on this day, and in our everyday lives, to help lead the world in the right direction?

You don’t have to be a world leader or the CEO of a multinational corporation to take action for the SDGs. There are many powerful actions you can take this very moment. Here are some starting points.

1.  Volunteer to help eliminate poverty.

STARTING POINT: https://www.oxfam.org/en/countries/volunteer-us

2. Get to know the Hunger Project and connect with a local team.

STARTING POINT: http://www.thp.org/who-we-are/contact-us/connect-with-hunger-project/

3. Raise awareness about the global diabetes epidemic on World Diabetes Day (Nov 14).

STARTING POINT: http://www.idf.org/wdd-index/

4. Inform your local educational institutions about the UNESCO Global Action Plan on Education for Sustainable Development, and urge them to get involved.

STARTING POINT: http://en.unesco.org/gap

… and then become a member of the other Global Action Plan (an NGO member of 17Goals).

STARTING POINT: http://www.globalactionplan.com/

5. Learn about Time Poverty: The Gender Gap No One’s Talking About.  

STARTING POINT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7SLIYh3MGw

…then get some tips on how to become a 50/50 partner.

STARTING POINT: http://leanin.org/tips/50-50

6. Urge your local leaders to cooperate on fresh water.

STARTING POINT: https://support.worldwildlife.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=825&_ga=1.244655180.892542453.1457303023

7. Find out where your electricity company gets its energy. If it’s not from renewable resources, find out if you can you switch to a “green” program within that company, or to a company that does source its electricity from renewable energy.

STARTING POINT: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/what_you_can_do/buy-green-power.html#.Vxiif2NzqlI

8. Inform your local authorities about the Global Green Growth Knowledge Platform, where they can find new, more sustainable ways to pursue economic development.

STARTING POINT: http://www.greengrowthknowledge.org/

9. Watch this impressive video series on the Circular Economy (made by the World Economic Forum) then share it with an economic decision-maker — like a CEO or political leader — and with a local business and school.

STARTING POINT: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/8-videos-that-explain-the-circular-economy

10. Help promote solutions to global inequality. Read this article on “Eight Ways to Reduce Global Inequality” to get some ideas.

STARTING POINT: http://inequality.org/8-ways-reduce-global-inequality/

11. Find out which person or department in your local city or community government is the biggest champion of sustainability, and tell them you support them. If they need ideas, point them to ICLEI.

STARTING POINT: http://www.iclei.org/

12. Choose to buy organic, sustainably and locally produced food as much as possible.

STARTING POINT: http://www.fao.org/organicag/oa-faq/oa-faq6/en/

13. Eat a vegetarian diet at least once a week. Watch and contemplate: What if the World Went Vegetarian?

STARTING POINT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANUoAdXfA60

14. Eat sustainable seafood— both at home and in restaurants.

STARTING POINT: http://wwf.panda.org/how_you_can_help/live_green/out_shopping/seafood_guides/

15. Consume paper that’s as close to 100% recycled as possible, and is certified for sustainable forest management, like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).

STARTING POINT: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/31/recycled-or-fsc-certified-paper

16. Familiarize yourself with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

STARTING POINT: http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

17. If you live in a country that provides donor aid to poorer countries, write a letter to your newspaper to explain why you support doing that, and why the SDGs make aid to developing countries more important than ever.

STARTING POINT: http://www.my.undp.org/content/malaysia/en/home/presscenter/articles/2015/08/04/sdg-goal-17-enabling-a-sustainable-future-through-the-joint-action-of-countries-and-communities-a-revitalized-global-partnership-for-sustainable-development.html

ACT, SHARE, AND INSPIRE #SDGMove
Actions speak louder and spread faster when you share them. If you’re doing something for the SDGs, tell others about it.

 

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