How you can help achieve all 17 UN Global Goals and make a better world

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The Global Goals are not luxurious

No poverty or hunger. Human beings literally not starving to death in many parts of the world. Clean water. A toilet. These are not lofty or utopian goals. These are things that should already be. And the UN Global Goals – AKA Sustainable Development Goals, AKA SDGs – are all about giving everybody on Earth equal rights.

“Humanity is waging war on nature. This is senseless and suicidal,” the UN secretary-general, António Guterres said, on releasing the UN report Making Peace With Nature on the three existential threats facing the world today:

  1. The climate crisis,
  2. The devastation of wildlife and nature,
  3. The pollution that causes many millions of early deaths every year.

“The consequences of our recklessness are already apparent in human suffering, towering economic losses, and the accelerating erosion of life on Earth,” added Guterres.

The human hierarchy of needs

Mazlow’s pyramid illustrates that we need to have our most basic needs met before we can go on to achieve our full potential. For billions of people, these basic needs are not being met. So this is where we must begin, collectively, to make a difference.

Mazlow’s pyramid. Let’s start at the bottom and work our way up.

What you can do to help achieve the UN Global Goals

We can achieve all these goals by 2030. If we act fast.

Goal 1End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
What you can do: Donate to NGOs that are acting to end poverty, locally and globally. Only support organisations that don’t pay their own management 6-figure salaries. But no NGO has ever actually solved a problem, so consider new ways of making a difference.
Goal 2End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.
What you can do: Buy local produce and boycott fruit and vegetables that have been flown in from thousands of miles away. Think about the carbon footprint of your Egyptian strawberries.
Goal 3Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages.
What you can do: Start by looking after your health and the health of those around you. Quit smoking. Drink less alcohol.
Goal 4Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
What you can do: Keep learning and don’t send your kids to religious-run schools. Campaign for an end to religion in education. In ‘socially progressive’ Ireland, for example, the Catholic Church still owns and operates 90% of schools, which is a real barrier to equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Goal 5Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
What you can do: Treat everybody equally and don’t stand by when you see women and girls being mistreated. Look at how the world’s leading religions have treated women for centuries and how their misogyny is ingrained in political institutions that bend the knee to fantasy gods and stories from the Bronze Age.
Goal 6Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
What you can do: Don’t waste water. Start by switching off the tap when brushing your teeth. Also when brushing your teeth, understand how lucky you are to have clean, running water indoors.
Goal 7Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
What you can do: Find an organisation that’s setting up sustainable electricity schemes around the world and support their activities.
Goal 8Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
What you can do: Don’t just stand by while politicians sell off your assets and industries to foreign hedge funds. Demand that your government understands that all livelihoods matter.
Goal 9Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
What you can do: Don’t accept short-term thinking by your elected officials. Next election, vote for those with a long-term, sustainable vision.
Goal 10Reduce inequality within and among countries.
What you can do: The status quo favours the entitled. Rock the boat. Follow the money. Question everything.
Goal 11Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
What you can do: Be a good neighbour. Say hello to the people around you. Be kind. Remember, ‘Divide and conquer’ is the mantra that the worldeaters follow.
Goal 12Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
What you can do: Stop buying crap you don’t need! Especially when you’ve been fed the ad on a social network.
Goal 13Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
What you can do: Check out our carbon footprint calculators. Join our Hempoffset project!
Goal 14Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.
What you can do: Don’t ever buy or eat farmed salmon. It’s horrible stuff and is not good for you. The same goes for shark’s fin soup, it’s cruel and disgusting. And the soup is disgusting too.
Goal 15Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
What you can do: Boycott meat imported from the other side of the world and anything made with palm oil. And call on the EU and other leadership institutions to do the same. Plant trees. Work with us to plant hemp everywhere.
Goal 16Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.
What you can do: Ask yourself if it’s acceptable for a handful of people, some of them clearly idiots/crazy/megalomaniacs, to control enough nuclear weapons to destroy all life on Earth many times over, and what about the tiny number of people that grow obscenely wealthy from fossil fuel reserves? Follow the money.
Goal 17Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
What you can do: The old models have failed us. Our turn to come up with new ways…
Start with one, right now, and take it from there!

Humanity is waging war on nature. This is senseless and suicidal.

UN secretary-general, António Guterres, 18 February, 2021
Where will you make a difference?

Learn more

UN Report, Making Peace With Nature:

UN Global Goals:

UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Wikipedia on Mazlow’s hierarchy:

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