UN’s 17 SGDs & How to Implement Them

You hear the word “sustainable”, and myriad thoughts flood your mind. But then, lost down the mind’s meandering path of mindless chatter, you stop.

You ask yourself, “What is the actual definition of ‘sustainable’?”


According to Dictionary.com, there are many definitions. I think there are two that, together, really hit the nail on the head.

pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by usingtechniques that  allows for continual reuse”, and

able to be maintained or kept going, as an action or process”.

So why is important to go back to the basics? Because today I am going to explain the SDGs, or Sustainable Development Goals, created to replace the Millenial Development Goals that expired in 2015.

Note: Although these goals were created by the United Nations and intended to be adopted by political groups, the foundation or substance behind each of the 17 Goals is universal to  the betterment of all mankind.

Let’s define SDGs: a new, universal set of goals, targets, and indicators that the UN Member States will adopt into their political agendas until 2030.


Okay. Great. You may be asking, “Why is this important?”

An in-depth look at each of the 17 Goals generates a call for action, to be an active participant, and to do your civic duty not only as a citizen but as a human being.

Here is a list of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, explained in greater detail below:


  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere.

  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation.

  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries.

  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (taking note of agreements made by the UNFCCC forum).

  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.

  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build efficient, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development.

For more information on each of the Goals, check out this link from the UN: SDGs Explained.

I know what you’re thinking… “These problems seem so big and complex. I’m only one person. How can I possibly make a difference?”

I hear this all too often. And you know what, there are ways of being more sustainable in everyday life, even from the comfort of your own sofa! Let me fill you in on some easy, energy saving tips you can use daily. Every person counts; the more people who consciously make the decision to be mindful of their choices contribute to the movement. And believe me, the momentum is unstoppable!

Remember: ever conscious choice to make a sustainable decision fuels the flame of change and progress.

So, how can you be more sustainable at home?

Here’s a brief list:

  1. Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off entirely when not in use, including your computer.
  2. Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile. No paper, no need for forest destruction.
  3. Don’t print. See something online you need to remember? Jot it down in a notebook or better yet a digital post-it note and spare the paper.
  4. Turn off the lights. Your TV or computer screen provides a cosy glow, so turn off other lights if you don’t need them.
  5. Do a bit of online research and buy only from companies that you know have sustainable practices and don’t harm the environment.
  6. Take short showers. Bathtubs require gallons more water than a 5-10 minute shower.
  7. Recycling paper, plastic, glass & aluminum keeps landfills from growing.
  8. Buy minimally packaged goods.
  9. Get a rug. Carpets and rugs keep your house warm and your thermostat low.
  10. Use cardboard matches. They don’t require any petroleum, unlike plastic gas-filled lighters.
  11. Shop local. Supporting neighbourhood businesses keep people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving far distances.
  12. Buy Funny Fruit—many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or color are not “right”. Buying this perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.
  13. Bike, walk or take public transport. Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.
  14. Bring your own bag when you shop. Pass on the plastic bag and start carrying your own reusable totes.
  15. Donate what you don’t use. Local charities will give your gently used clothes, books and furniture a new life.
  16. Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop.
  17. Mentor young people. It’s a thoughtful, inspiring and a powerful way to guide someone towards a better future.

For a comprehensive list of recommendations, visit the following:


The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.

There you have it! The SDGs explained, with examples of how you can start small and gradually increase your sphere of action to be the vital change needed in the current storm of political unrest.

Now go! See how you can make 1 thing in your room or house more sustainable.

I dare you!

Happy Hunting.

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