24 October has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. In 1971, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that the day be observed by Member States as a public holiday.
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.
Throughout the world, the day is marked at offices and stations around the world by a number of events and activities.
“Humanity has entered the era of sustainability – with a global commitment to fulfil the great promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this, the Organization’s 71st year, we have 17 goals to propel us towards a better future for all on a healthy planet. ” — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
Link: 17 goals posters http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/
This year’s UN Day was used to highlight concrete actions people can take to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Recognising that there are a lot of pieces of the puzzle that come together to effect the change required, the UN has put together some simple actionable items for the average person to help make an impact.
Things you can do from your couch
- Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use, including your computer.
- Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile. No paper, no need for forest destruction.
- 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.
- Do a bit of online research and buy only from companies that you know have sustainable practices and don’t harm the environment.
Things you can do at home
- 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.
- Take short showers. Bathtubs require gallons more water than a 5-10 minute shower.
- Eat less meat, poultry, and fish. More resources are used to provide meat than plants
- Freeze fresh produce and leftovers if you don’t have the chance to eat them before they go bad. You can also do this with take-away or delivered food, if you know you will not feel like eating it the next day. You will save food and money.
Things you can do outside your house
- Shop local. Supporting neighbourhood businesses keeps people employed and helps prevent trucks from driving far distances.
- 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. Though these may be less expensive per ounce, they can be more expensive overall if much of that food is discarded.
- Buy Funny Fruit—many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or color are not “right”. Buying these perfectly good funny fruit, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.
- Use a refillable water bottle and coffee cup. Cut down on waste and maybe even save money at the coffee shop.
These are just a few things you can do to support the Sustainable Development Goals. You can read more about these goals and more at http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/takeaction/