The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

The United Nations have published “The Lazy person’s guide to saving the world”, a list of super easy things that every person, even the laziest one, can adopt into their routines in order to make the difference and contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.

So change starts with you. Seriously. Every human being is part of the solution.


  1. Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use, including your computer.
  2. Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile.
  3. Share, don’t just like. If you see an interesting social media post about women’s rights or climate change, share it so folks in your network see it too.
  4. Speak up! Ask your local and national authorities to engage in initiatives that don’t harm people or the planet. 
  5. Turn off the lights. Your TV or computer screen provides a cosy glow, so turn off other lights if you don’t need them.
  6. Report online bullies. If you notice harassment on a message board or in a chat room, flag that person.
  7. Stay informed. Follow your local news and stay in touch with the Global Goals online or on social media at @GlobalGoalsUN.
  8. Tell us about your actions to achieve the global goals by using the hashtag #globalgoals on social networks.


  1. Air dry. Let your hair and clothes dry naturally instead of running a machine. If you do wash your clothes, make sure the load is full.
  2. Take short showers. Bathtubs require gallons more water than a 5-10 minute shower.
  3. Eat less meat, poultry, and fish. More resources are used to provide meat than plants
  4. Freeze fresh produce and leftovers if you don’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad. You will save food and money.
  5. Compost—composting food scraps can reduce climate impact while also recycling nutrients.
  6. Recycling paper, plastic, glass and aluminium keeps landfills from growing.
  7. Avoid pre-heating the oven. Unless you need a precise baking temperature, start heating your food right when you turn on the oven.
  8. Plug air leaks in windows and doors to increase energy efficiency
  9. Replace old appliances with energy efficient models and light bulbs
  10. If you have the option, install solar panels in your house. This will also reduce your electricity bill!
  11. Get a rug. Carpets and rugs keep your house warm and your thermostat low.
  12. Shovel snow manually. Avoid the noisy, exhaust-churning snow blower and get some exercise.
  13. Use cardboard matches. They don’t require any petroleum, unlike plastic gas-filled lighters.


  1. Shop local. Supporting neighbourhood businesses keeps people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving far distances.
  2. Shop Smart—plan meals, use shopping lists and avoid impulse buys. Don’t succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need, particularly for perishable items. 
  3. Bike, walk or take public transport. Save the car trips for when you’ve got a big group.
  4. Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop.
  5. Bring your own bag when you shop. Pass on the plastic bag and start carrying your own reusable totes.
  6. Shop vintage. Brand-new isn’t necessarily best. See what you can repurpose from second-hand shops.
  7. Maintain your car. A well-tuned car will emit fewer toxic fumes.
  8. Donate what you don’t use. Local charities will give your gently used clothes, books and furniture a new life.
  9. Vaccinate yourself and your kids. Protecting your family from disease also aids public health.
  10. Take advantage of your right to elect the leaders in your country and local community.


  1. If you have a fruit or snack that you don’t want, don’t throw it out. Give it away to someone who needs and is asking for help.
  2. Does everyone at work have access to healthcare? Find out what your rights are to work. Fight against inequality.
  3. Mentor young people. It’s a thoughtful, inspiring and a powerful way to guide someone towards a better future.
  4. Women earn 10 to 30 per cent less than men for the same work. Pay inequality persists everywhere. Voice your support for equal pay for equal work.
  5. Make sure your company uses energy efficient heating and cooling technology, and adjust the thermostat, lower in winter, higher in summer.
  6. Does your company invest in clean and resilient infrastructure? It’s the only way to keep workers safe and protect the environment.
  7. Raise your voice against any type of discrimination in your office. Everyone is equal regardless of their gender, race, sexual orientation, social background and physical abilities.
  8. Organize a No Impact Week at work. Learn to live more sustainably for at least a week
  9. Try to reduce waste, since most waste ends up in our oceans.
  10. Examine and change everyday decisions. Can you recycle at your workplace? Is your company buying from merchants engaging in harmful ecological practices?
  11. Know your workplace rights to ensure your access to justice.
  12. Corporate social responsibility counts! Encourage your company to work with civil society and find ways to help local communities achieve the goals.


Material provided by UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina


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