Bringing extreme poverty, inequality and climate change to a halt should, for obvious reasons, be firmly at the top of our to-do list. Truthfully though, we all seem more preoccupied with deciphering where the latest iPhone headphone jack is hiding. The thing is, with problems so big, it’s easy to think our small social tinkering has no real effect of the greater engine of the globe: that any efforts of ours disappear in the deluge of everyday evils that are (seemingly) outside of our control.
This week, these efforts – and their true effect – are brought sharply back into focus with the United Nation’s Global Goals Week, which seeks to ‘make famous’ the shared ambitions that have been decided as the most pressing to achieve in order to save our planet by 2030.
The 17 goals, which span areas of poverty, equality, energy consumption and peace, were agreed upon by 193 world leaders on September 25th last year and outline the necessary steps we as a society need to start taking in order to put an end to crippling global setbacks like a lack of quality education and access to clean water.
The goals are admirably far-reaching but and require the joint efforts of governments, the private sector, civil society and the everyday citizen. So what can we actually do to help out? The UN website has cleverly broken down your potential involvement into three perfect world warrior levels (who could opt out of the being a ‘Sofa Superstar’?) and the ways in which you can chip away at these imperative goals, one step at a time.
To reach the status of…
• Say ‘no thanks’ to paper statements and sign up for online ones instead. Does anyone read those things anyway?
• Turn off your appliances when you’re not using them, including computers and charging packs (you can’t watch Netflix while you sleep anyway).
• Have a look – from the sofa, obviously – for companies that support and use sustainable practices: Ethical Clothing Australia is a great one to test your favourite fashion brands against for ethical practices, Earth First is a great resource for beauty brand sustainability and Sustainable Seafood lets you know exactly what you’re putting in your mouth.
• There are far more resources that go into farming animals than plants, so why not try a Meatfree Monday?
• Forgo preheating your oven – do you really need to waste that energy?
• Use cardboard matches instead of lighters, avoiding more plastic ending up in landfill and no additional petroleum.
Neighbourhood Nice Guy
• Think global, shop local. Supporting local businesses is a great way to get access to fresher produce and avoid carbon emissions from trucks that traverse the country. Also, don’t buy more than you need – less is more when it comes to waste.
• You know that handful of serviettes you instinctively pull from a dispenser? Don’t do it. Just take a few less.
• Can’t live without your morning takeaway? Get yourself a reusable cup – the environment and potentially, your back pocket, will thank you.
We’d love to hear which of the goals you’ll choose – and why?