An Inspiring Evening of Sustainable Action

An Inspiring Evening of Sustainable Action

How do you make a drunk bloke not to throw a cigarette butt on the ground? What does buying a too big a bra have to do with purchasing food? And how do you go to the toilet when you are rowing across the Atlantic in one of the most challenging rowing races in the world? The route to taking sustainable action is not always so obvious.

These and many more fascinating, inspiring and funny stories and facts are what the 20 odd members of the SDG Network MeetUp got to hear and learn about last Thursday at “An inspiring evening of sustainability action” at Leon Restaurants near Oxford Circus. Carolina Karlstrom, co-organiser of the Sustainable Development Goals Network MeetUp, fills us in on the action.

The SDG Network MeetUp, is a network of 590 members (and increasing!), which holds events with inspirational speakers and organisations working towards making progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (1) in their own way. The MeetUps aim to educate and raise awareness about the SDGs, and to inspire and connect people.

Next up was Suze and Jess, two out of three supposedly ordinary women who have set them self an extraordinary challenge – to row across the Atlantic AND to raise awareness of our everyday use of plastic! There are four simple things anyone can do – and if Suze, Jess and Caroline can participate in the Talisker Whisley Atlantic Challenge, which currently has been completed by fewer people than have been on the moon – then surely, you and I can:First out was Anna Pitt, inspirational speaker and writer who through an engaging talk raised awareness about food waste, and that the ability to change is in our hands. We don’t buy a bra, which we know is way too big for its purpose, just because it is cheap – then why do we so often practice that same behaviour when it comes to food? In the UK on average, we throw away food worth £470 per household every year. By small changes, we can all make a big difference. I learnt that I can use the leaves of cauliflower just like I use cabbage!

  • Say no to plastic straws!
  • Stop buying plastic bottles!
  • Stop buying coffee and tea in take-away cups!
  • Stop using plastic bags!

If that does not inspire you, I don’t know what will!

What about those cigarette butts? Well, that is only one out of many inspiring, playful and innovative projects which London based charity organisation Hubbub have initiated. Littering in this specific case (which used a bin where cigarette users could vote on the best football player!) reduced by more than 25%. Other projects are Gift a bundle (with a gift, from a mother to another on Mother’s Day), Communitrees (eyes that watch over litter hot spots) and #tapchat (starting a debate about hidden water habits and responsible consumption).

Last out was Farooq, from UKSSD (UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development) which is developing the first stakeholder-led national plan on how the UK are going to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. The work has only started and it will be fascinating to follow this and see the results later this year, to be precis at the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York in July 2018. With only a little more than 12 years to go until 2030, this is for sure going to be a challenge.

If you are interested in learning more about the SDG Network MeetUp, more sustainable action, and the speakers at the last event, please follow these links:

Carolina Karlstrom is the founder and director of Jade Advisory Ltd., a small sustainability consultancy creating space for change in organisations and communities, through strategic interventions and people engagement. Carolina’s broad knowledge of sustainability is the result of 20+ years of experience in the sustainable energy sector and in leading […]
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