Here is how you can take action in support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals


Things you can do from your couch

  • Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use, including your computer.
  • Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile. No paper, no need for forest destruction.
  • Share, don't just like. If you see an interesting social media post about women's rights or climate change, share it so friends in your network see it too.
  • Speak up! Ask your local and national authorities to engage in initiatives that do not harm people or the planet.
  • Don't print. See something online you need to remember? Write it down in a notebook or even better on a digital post-it note and spare the paper.
  • Turn off the lights. Your TV or computer screen provides a cosy glow, so turn off other lights if you don't need them.
  • Do a bit of online research and buy only from companies that you know have sustainable practices and don't harm the environment.
  • Report online bullies. If you notice harassment on a message board or in a chat room, flag that person.
  • Stay informed. Follow your local news and stay in touch with the Global Goals online or on social media at @GlobalGoalsUN.
  • Tell us about your actions to achieve the Global Goals by using the hashtag #globalgoals on social networks.
  • Offset your carbon emissions. You can calculate your carbon footprint and purchase climate credit from Climate Neutral Now.

Things you can do at home

  • Air dry. Let your hair and clothes dry naturally instead of running a machine. When you wash your clothes, make sure the load is full.
  • Take short showers. Bathtubs require many more litres of water than a five- to 10-minute shower.
  • Eat less meat, poultry and fish. More resources are used to produce meat than plants.
  • Freeze fresh produce and leftovers if you don't have the chance to eat them before they go bad. You can also do this with take-away or delivered food, if you know you will not feel like eating it the next day. You will save food and money.
  • Compost-composting food scraps can reduce climate impact while also recycling nutrients.
  • Recycling paper, plastic, glass and aluminium keeps landfills from growing.
  • Buy minimally packaged goods.
  • Avoid pre-heating the oven. Unless you need a precise baking temperature, start heating your food right when you turn on the oven.
  • Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency.
  • Adjust your thermostat, lower in winter, higher in summer.
  • Replace old appliances with energy efficient models and light bulbs.
  • If you have the option, install solar panels on your house. This will also reduce your electricity bill.
  • Get a rug. Carpets and rugs keep your house warm and your thermostat low.
  • Don't rinse. If you use a dishwasher, stop rinsing your plates before you run the machine.
  • Choose a better nappy option. Use cloth nappies for your baby or a new, environmentally-responsible disposable brand.
  • Shovel snow manually. Avoid the noisy, exhaust-churning snow blower and get some exercise.
  • Use cardboard matches. They don't require any petroleum, unlike plastic gas-filled lighters.

Things you can do outside your house

  • Shop local. Supporting neighbourhood businesses keeps people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving long distances.
  • Shop Smart - plan meals, use shopping lists and avoid impulse buys. Don't succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need, particularly for perishable items. Though these may be less expensive per kilo, they can be more expensive overall if much of that food is discarded.
  • Buy Funny Fruit - many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or colour are not "right". Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmers' market or elsewhere, uses food that might otherwise go to waste.
  • When ordering seafood at a restaurant always ask: "Do you serve sustainable seafood?"
  • Let your favourite businesses know that ocean-friendly seafood's on your shopping list. There are now many apps like this one that will tell you what is safe to consume.
  • Bike, walk or take public transport. Save the car trips for when you've got a big group.
  • Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop.
  • Bring your own bag when you shop. Pass on the plastic bags and start carrying your own reusable ones.
  • Take fewer napkins. You don't need a handful of napkins to eat your takeout. Take just what you need.
  • Shop vintage. Brand-new isn't necessarily best. See what you can find in second-hand shops.
  • Maintain your car. A well-tuned car will emit fewer toxic fumes.
  • Donate what you don't use. Local charities will give your gently used clothes, books and furniture a new life.
  • Vaccinate yourself and your kids. Protecting your family from disease also aids public health.
  • Take advantage of your right to elect the leaders in your country and local community.

These are only a few of the things you can do. Find out more here:  http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment