Newsflash: today is the International Day of Peace! Clueless as to what this means? For many of you (myself included), I had no idea this even existed… until yesterday. I was given the assignment of researching what it was all about for Slice’s philanthropic efforts, and in doing so, I had a not-so-nice realization: I don’t do anything for the good of humanity. All too often, we get into our daily routine, and life burdens take the weight of our brainpower.
Well, friends, let’s break the cycle. Do something good once in a while – you’ll feel better for it, and the world will, too.
Before I go into what you (and I) can do, understanding what this day actually means is step one. According to the UN, the International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Then, two decades later, the group unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. In addition, each year marks a specific theme, with this year’s being “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.” How many goals are there, you ask? 17, to be exact.
Now, I know we all can’t jump on all 17 and save the world, but I figure everyone has something they believe in, so I’m calling this a “Choose your own Adventure” fun-tivity. Pick one goal you find important, and get going! To make it even easier for all of you do-gooders, you’ll find a way to help (or donate) for each goal below. Before you even start, though, download the Sustainable Development Goals app, which helps you take action on the fly. Anyway, Here goes:
Zero Hunger – end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
How to help: get involved with Move for Hunger – you can fundraise, start a food drive, or donate, to name a few.
Good Health and Well-Being – ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
How to help: this one’s easy. If you have kids, make sure they’re vaccinated, and if not, make sure you are!
How to help: go to AWorldatSchool.com and sign the #UpForSchool Petition calling on world leaders to deliver the commitments needed to get every child into school and learning. Also on the website is a resource for how to become a Global Youth Ambassador.
Affordable and Clean Energy – ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
How to help: this one’s all in the details. Make sure your tires are properly inflated (which can lower your overall vehicle fuel consumption by 5 percent), unplug your appliances when they’re not being used, and turn down your fridge’s temperature to 37 degrees. Easy-peasy!
Decent Work and Economic Growth – promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
How to help: donate to the ONE campaign, and share the injustices to spread awareness! For instance, did you know that there were 168 million child laborers worldwide in 2012, which is 10 times the number of people who visited Disneyland in the same year? Open people’s eyes and watch what happens!
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
How to help: register your commitment to the World Urban Campaign.
Sustainable Cities and Communities – make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
How to help: with half of humanity living in urban areas, protecting and supporting people living in urban slums is a must. To start helping, donate to one of the trusted projects from the Global Giving Foundation.
Responsible Consumption and Production – ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
How to help: another simple one – reduce, reuse, recycle! If you’re walking down the street and finish a water bottle, wait until you see a recycling bin rather than throwing it in the trash. Small step, big impact.
Climate Action – take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
How to help: sign the Nature Conservancy’s pledge, which aims at calling on leaders to ratify now and take immediate climate action.
Life Below Water – conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
How to help: hop onto GlobalGiving.com and donate to either preserve Chile’s ocean treasures, restore coral in the Dominican Republic, or help shark conservation in Thailand.
Life on Land – protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and half biodiversity loss.
How to help: volunteer or donate to Greenpeace.org – it all starts in our backyards!
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions – promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
How to help: Become part of the #ENDviolence against children movement created by UNICEF. You can donate, put together a community meeting, or merely spread the awareness.
Partnerships for the Goals – strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
How to help: this one’s on the UN. As long as you’re helping out with one of the other 16 goals, you’re doing your job.
Happy International Day of Peace! Stay helpful, helpers!