4 Ways You Can Make A Global Difference For Sustainable Development

by Hannah Mae

From September 25 to 27, 193 world leaders will meet at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York to commit to 17 Global Goals that will end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice and fix climate change in the next 15 years.

These goals are hefty ones, but they're not unattainable.

Since The Millennium Development Goals in 2000, amazing things have been accomplished around the world.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 43 million more children are enrolled in school, new HIV infection rates are down by 40 percent, over 2 billion more people have improved drinking water, and extreme poverty has been cut in half.

For the next seven days, I challenge you not to give a f*ck about Kylie Jenner's fashion choices or Taylor Swift's latest feud. Focus your attention on greater world issues.

Our generation has the power to change it all. We could end poverty worldwide, ensure the right to quality education and fix substantial environmental issues. As global citizens, we have a global responsibility, and the time is here to take global action.

Taking action on a global scale seems like such a huge and daunting responsibility for any one person, organization or country. But there's power in numbers.

I'm here to tell you taking global action can be done from the comfort of your own home, by contributing to your own communities or doing one small, daily action. Here are four small ways we can all take part in changing our world for the better:

1. Use your social media platform.

Social media has the power to change the world, and it's as easy as typing 140 characters or sharing a video.

Educate, inform and inspire your followers.

Use the hashtag #GlobalGoals, and share a global goal that's near and dear to you, whether it's gender equality, promoting peaceful societies or fighting climate change.

Not one goal is more important than the next. Passion is contagious, so make like it's flu season and share your global goal priorities by contaminating everyone's news feed.

2. Donate to a worthwhile cause.

I'm not talking about hundreds or thousands of dollars here, but donating to a cause that accomplishes these goals can make resources readily available when needed.

Most organizations have the option of monthly donations instead of one big gift.

Your $20 a month turns into $240 a year. And $240 a year can send children to school, provide clean water to families or make healthcare more accessible in your community and communities around the world.

Be sure to do your research, and choose organizations that are credible and legitimate.

The added benefit? You'll have a charitable receipt to put toward your income tax returns.

Can you image what our world would look like if everyone donated $20 a month?

3. Educate yourself.

Know what's going on in the world, and better understand what's really happening.

It's so easy to get caught up in our own little bubbles of work, school, friends, families and social lives, but the commitment it takes to keep up with world news is very minimal.

Start following a few news sources on Twitter, or read the morning paper on the train to work. It's that simple.

4. Vote.

This is a right so many of us take for granted. Growing up in Canada, the idea of not being able to vote for our political leaders seems like a crazy concept to me, but in many paces, it's a reality.

Exercise the right many people fought for you to have.

But don't just vote to say you voted. Research your candidates and political parties: What do they stand for? What are their priorities? Do they align with your goals and current overall global needs?

Our world is ever-changing, and it's our responsibility to ensure it's changing for the better. We're all only individuals, but a lot of individuals make a pretty big group of leaders.