It’s that time of year again were we may be regretting that extra mince pie or three, or even contemplating dry January! Ultimately most of us make New Year’s resolutions that will most likely fizzle out, but this year consider making a New Year’s Sustainable Solution instead- a simple, everyday change that will help towards fulfilling the UN’s Sustainable Development goals, (SDG’s).
What are the SDG’s?
In September 2015 the UN devised a series of goals ‘to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all’. Each goal has set of specific targets to be met over the next 15 years- that’s 2030!
Though the goals may seem like global problems, we need all members of society to work together to reach these targets! From governments to gardeners, senates to shop keepers, and parliaments to police officers, we can all make small changes to work towards a sustainable planet.
Here’s just some of the ways you can help!
SGD 1- No Poverty
Poverty is a big problem, but you can make big differences in your local area! An easy way to help tackle poverty is to relieve everyday stresses such as hunger in your local community. This can be as simple as adding an extra tin or other non-perishable your weekly shop and donating it to charity. Many supermarkets have a donation basket and will deliver your contributions to food banks and charities for you. A small change can go a long way!
SDG 4- Quality Education
As a university, education is pretty high on the priority list! QMUL aims to provide the highest standard of education for our students regardless of background, as well as engaging and informing the wider community. You could make a huge difference to a struggling student by joining the PASS scheme and becoming a peer mentor, or even tutoring at a local school. These are easy ways to gain experience and build up your CV, and uses something that you already have- knowledge!
For any graduates still holding on to old text books you can donate or sell to John Smith’s student shop on campus, ensuring that your books are reused and the lucky recipient will get a discount on their education- win/win! Another option is to donate your old books to Better World Books who take unwanted texts and either sell or recycle them free of charge. Even better, the money made from sale of books goes back into QMUL and is used to fund projects such as the Green Mary Sustainability Awards, or restock the libraries. You can find a donation point at Mile End, Whitechapel, or West Smithfield libraries- easy as A-B-C!
SDG 11- Sustainable Cities and Communities
London may seem a world away from the sustainable ideal but we can all make some very simple changes to keep our city green! Small actions such as picking up street litter can make a huge difference both aesthetically and for reducing waste in the city. Another easy change to make is walk to your destination rather than taking the tube, especially in central London where most stations are 5-10 minutes’ walk from each other. You can even try walking into Central, did you know walking to Liverpool Street takes 40 minutes, and London Bridge just 55 minutes from QMUL? With a little planning you can easily factor in a little extra time for the journey which is good for both you and your city!
SDG 13- Climate Action
Unlucky for some, but number 13 is our favourite SDG here at Green Mary! Climate change poses a big challenge, but there are lots of small behaviour changes we can implement to reduce its impact on the planet. One easy way is to sign up to our CampUS Challenge, our energy saving initiative for halls which provides you with tips on how to reduce your energy consumption- there’s also lots of goodies you can win all throughout term time and a big party at the end of term for the winning halls! If you’re not in halls you can still use all of our energy saving tips and tricks at home which can also save you money on your energy bills as well as helping towards SDG 13!