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50 Daily Actions to Transform the World

In 2015, the United Nations set 17 goals as “the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all”. These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address various issues, such as poverty, health, education, justice, environment, work opportunities, and peace.

Aligned to these goals are 170 daily actions recommended by the UN that we may take at an individual level to help transform the world. We have picked 50 of these actions that we consider the most impactful and feasible ones for many of us. Take a look at them below, and try to implement some of these in your life to play your part in helping the world change for the better!

The 50 Actions

1. Sponsor a child so they can have access to food, education, and health.

2. Volunteer in homeless shelters. Your time can be more valuable than money.

3. At birthday parties offer the option to donate money to your chosen charity in replacement of a birthday gift.

4. Donate non-perishable foods to charities.

5. If you employ workers on minimum wage, help support their other needs like education for their children, or housing supplies.

6. Keep a bag of apples or tinned foods in the car for street beggars.

7. Don’t smoke.

8. Be more active. Go for walks at lunchtime or cycle to work.

9. Eat a healthy diet and drink a lot of water.

10. Heart disease remains the number 1 killer. Educate yourself on the causes and symptoms of heart disease as well as other Non-Communicable Diseases.

11. Educate your kids about the power of education, as many don’t see the tangible benefits.

12. Take education outside the school and keep it fun. Travel. Take kids on day trips to the planetarium or museums.

13. Share your skills with the ones who need them.

14. Encourage schools to provide scholarships for girls.

15. Use mentoring and coaching to help women build their confidence and develop their careers.

Pic2 50 Actions

Photo courtesy GlobalGoals UN

16. Make flexibility and work-life balance a part of the company’s culture.

17. Conserve, conserve, conserve. When ice-cubes are left over from a drink, don’t throw them away. Put them into plants.

18. Fix leaks at home. A leaky faucet can waste more than 11,000 litres per year.

19. Hold fundraising days in schools on World Water Day and Toilet Day and donate the money to your chosen project.

20. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth and while soaping in the shower. 

21. Cover the pan with a lid. It reduces the amount of energy required to boil water by 75%.

22. Turn lights off in rooms that aren’t being used. When you switch your lights off, even for a few seconds, it saves more energy than it takes for the light to start up, regardless of the bulb type.

23. Use energy-efficient lightbulbs and set your household appliances on low-energy settings.

24. Support solar power projects for schools, homes and offices.

25. Provide food for low-earning workers.

26. Provide incentives for hard work. People respond to a reward system.

27. Host a small event for people to donate their unused, working phones, and in turn raise the awareness about the lack of infrastructure for communication services that 1-1.5 billion people still do not have.

28. Invest in domestic technology development research and innovation in developing countries.

29. Encourage children to make friends with kids from different cultures.

30. Sponsor a child to attend school.

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Photo courtesy GlobalGoals UN

31. Build schools, homes and offices to be more accommodating to older persons and people with disabilities.

32. Don’t keep clothes or other items you are not using. Donate them.

33. Arrange school groups to spend 1 hour a week on the beach, along lakes or in parks to pick up the litter and to raise awareness on water pollution.

34. Partner with hotels and restaurants to fast track leftover foods to charities that would otherwise be thrown away.

35. Keep showers short. Don’t fill the bath to the top. Excessive use of water contributes to global water stress.

36. Drive less. Walk, cycle, take public transport or car pool.

37. Take re-usable bags to the store.

38. Maintain your car. A well-maintained car emits fewer toxic fumes.

39. Organize for your school or company to plant new trees every year. Trees give oxygen and take in carbon dioxide.

40. Only buy what you need. 20-50% of the food we buy ends up in a landfill.

41. Use fewer plastic products, which often ends up in oceans causing the death of marine animals.

42. Only use the dishwasher and laundry machine when full.

43. Eat seasonal produce. It tastes better, it is cheaper and it is environmentally friendly.

44. Never buy products made from threatened or endangered species.

45. Recycle used paper and go paperless where possible.

46. Buy recycled products.

47. Participate in your country’s decision-making processes in an informed manner.

48. Stop violence against women. If you see it happening, report it.

49. Demonstrate a peaceful environment at home.

50. Practice teamwork at home. Share activities among all family members and outside the family.

You can download the complete UN brochure enlisting 170 daily actions here.

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