On Sunday, Nov. 7 we “fall back” into an extra hour with daylight savings. Why not take advantage of the spare hour to make an impact with a sustainable activity?
Sustainability is about building a better world for all by promoting positive environmental and social impact focused on eliminating poverty, reducing inequalities and fighting climate change.
This fall, Scouts Canada is introducing kids to sustainability through a fun and engaging eight-week challenge – free for all kids to join in at scouts.ca/AroundTheWorld – as part of the largest youth contribution towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 57 million Scouts globally.
Scouts are making a #PromiseToThePlanet, and to help all families get inspired to build sustainable habits, the organization is sharing 10 actions community members can take with their spare hour to make an environmental or social impact, each connecting to a different SDG.
1. One simple act of kindness has the power to brighten someone’s day and even leave a lasting impact. Spending an hour performing random acts of kindness for friends, family, neighbours or strangers can positively impact mental health for both the doer and the recipient. (SDG #13: Good Health and Wellbeing)
2. Millions of people face food insecurity but reducing food waste can help equalize access to food. Change the way you think about food and get creative to cook a meal using only food scraps. Use vegetable peels to make a soup or crispy vegetable chips, turn broccoli stems into a slaw or use bread ends for a crunchy coating or topping.
3. Rather than throwing out old belongings, upcycle to give them new purpose. Turn old jeans into a rag rug, create art from broken objects or refinish garage sale furniture finds with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. (SDG #12: Responsible Consumption and Production)
4. Millions of people around the world don’t have access to clean water, including in Canada. Contact your Member of Parliament to let them know access to clean water for all Canadians is a priority. Phoning or emailing elected representatives lets them know what issues matter to their constituents. Collective voices can influence change. (SDG #6: Clean Water and Sanitation)
5. Many pollinators like bats and bees, which are essential to plant life and food production, are at risk due to pollution, deforestation and other stressors. Support habitat creation by building a bee hotel for solitary bees or a bat box. (SDG #15: Life on Land)
6. Water sustains life on earth, contributing oxygen, food and biodiverse habitats, but human actions are threatening the stability of these essential ecosystems. Head over to a local river, lake or ocean for a shoreline cleanup. Kids can then conduct an experiment to understand how plastic and trash impacts water. Fill two sealable containers with water, add waste to one and observe what happens. (SDG #14: Life Below Water)
7. Plan an energy free evening at home with a family campout in the living room or backyard. Set up a tent or blanket fort, create a meal without power and play a game of climate charades themed around actions that help and harm the environment. (SDG #13: Climate Action)
8. Education is the first step to breaking down barriers, creating awareness and becoming an ally. Start by reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 Calls to Action. Discuss it with friends and family to determine steps to becoming a stronger ally. (SDG #10: Reduced Inequality)
9. Gather new or gently used toys, books, clothes, school supplies, furniture and kitchenware and donate them to organizations that support individuals experiencing or transitioning from homelessness. (SDG #1: No Poverty)
10. Build a Little Free Library to encourage neighbourly collaboration and break down barriers that impact access to books. Let neighbours know the location via community groups or newsletters.