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The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

You want to save the world... but you're a bit lazy, aren't you? Well, don't worry because we've got a personalised plan... tailor-made for you! Look for the section that most closely matches your mood today and you'll find a few tips on how to do your bit. If you have a bit more energy tomorrow, you can come back and look at another section, feel free to come back as often as you like!

Source: The UN's Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World

The sofa is my kingdom!


  • Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and unplugging them completely when not in use, even your computer.

  • Stop using paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via your mobile phone.

  • Share, don't just click "like". If you see an interesting post on social media about women's rights or climate change, share it so that people in your network see it too.

  • Speak out! Ask local and national authorities to engage in initiatives that don't harm people and the planet.

  • Turn off the lights. The TV and computer screen are already comfortably bright, so turn off the other lights if you don't need them.

  • Do some research online and only buy from companies that you know work with sustainable practices and do not harm the environment.

  • Report online harassment. If you see harassment on social media or in a chat room, report the perpetrator.

  • Stay informed. Follow local news and stay up to date on the Sustainable Development Goals online or on social media via @GlobalGoalsUN.

  • Tell us what you are doing to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals using the hashtag #globalgoals on social media.

  • Offset your carbon emissions! You can now calculate your carbon footprint and buy climate credit at Climate Neutral Now.

From the warmth of my home...


  • Air dry things. Let your hair and clothes dry naturally instead of turning on the dryer, tumble dryer... When washing clothes, make sure the load is full.

  • Take short showers. Baths need many more litres of water than a 5-10 minute shower.

  • Eat less meat and fish. More resources are used for meat than for growing plants.

  • Freeze fresh products and leftovers if you are not going to be able to eat them before they spoil. You can also do this with take-away or delivery food if you know you won't feel like eating it the next day. This saves food and money.

  • Organic fertiliser: using food waste as compost can reduce the effects of climate change while recycling nutrients.

  • Recycling paper, plastic, glass and aluminium keeps landfills from growing.

  • Buy products that are minimally packaged.

  • Avoid preheating the oven. Unless you need a certain cooking temperature, start heating food as soon as you turn on the oven.

  • Insulate windows and doors to increase energy efficiency.

  • Adjust the thermostat: lower in winter and higher in summer.

  • Replace old appliances with more energy-efficient models and change the light bulbs in the house.

  • If you can, install solar panels at home: this will also reduce your electricity bill.

  • Put carpets down: they keep the house warm and the thermostat low.

  • Don't rinse the dishes if you use a dishwasher.

  • Look for the best alternative in nappies: use cloth or disposable and environmentally friendly nappies.

  • Use cardboard matches. They don't need any oil, unlike gas lighters made of plastic.

And outside the home...


  • Buy local products. Supporting local businesses helps people keep their jobs and helps prevent trucks from having to travel long distances.

  • Shop wisely: plan meals, make shopping lists and avoid impulse buys. Don't succumb to marketing gimmicks that lead us to buy more food than we need, especially when it comes to perishables: although they may be cheaper by weight they can be more expensive in the end if we have to throw much of that food away.

  • Buy odd-looking fruit: many pieces of fruit and vegetables are thrown away because they are not the "right" size, shape or colour. By buying these pieces of fruit that are in good condition despite looking odd, whether at the farmer's market or elsewhere, we are using food that might otherwise end up in the rubbish.

  • When you go to a restaurant and order seafood, always ask if they serve sustainable seafood. Let your favourite businesses know that ocean-friendly seafood is on your shopping list.

  • Buy only sustainable seafood. There are now apps that tell you which products are safe to eat.

  • Get around by bike, walking or public transport. Avoid using the car except for a large group of people.

  • Use reusable water bottles and coffee cups. This will reduce waste and may even save money at the coffee shop.

  • Take your own bag to the grocery store: ditch the plastic bag and start carrying your own reusable bags.

  • Take fewer napkins. You don't need a handful of napkins for the food you buy to go. Take only the ones you need.

  • Buy second-hand. New stuff doesn't have to be the best. Visit second-hand shops to see what you can reuse.

  • Keep your car in good condition: a well-maintained car will emit fewer toxic gases.

  • Donate what you don't use: local charities will give new life to your gently used clothes, books and furniture.

  • Get vaccinated and vaccinate your children: protecting your family from disease also helps public health.

  • Vote: use your right to elect leaders in your country, region and locality.

What can I do at work?


  • If you have a piece of fruit or a snack that you don't want, don't throw it away, give it to someone else.

  • Does everyone at work have access to health care? Find out what rights you have at work. Fight inequality.

  • Mentor young people: it's a thoughtful, encouraging and effective way to guide someone towards a better future.

  • Women earn 10-30% less than men for the same work. The pay gap persists in all settings. Express your support for the principle of equal pay for equal work.

  • There are 4 billion people without access to basic sanitation: speak out on their behalf about the lack of toilets in many communities around the world.

  • Make sure your company uses energy-efficient heating and cooling technology and set the thermostat lower in winter and higher in summer.

  • Be informed: read about the situation of workers in other countries and business practices. Talk to your colleagues about these issues.

  • Does your company invest in clean and adapted infrastructure? This is the only way to protect workers and the environment.

  • Speak out against discrimination of any kind in your office. All people are equal regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, social background and physical ability.

  • Cycle, walk or take public transport to work.

  • Organise an Environmentally Friendly Week at work. Learn how to live more sustainably for at least one week:

  • Have your say! Ask your company and your government to undertake initiatives that are safe for people or the planet.

  • Try to generate less waste, as most of it ends up in the oceans.

  • Review and change everyday decisions - do you have the ability to recycle in your workplace, does your company buy from suppliers who engage in environmentally damaging practices?

  • Find out about your labour rights to ensure access to justice.

  • Corporate social responsibility is important. Encourage your company to engage with civil society and find ways to help local communities to achieve the goals.