Decreasing your environmental footprint, contributing to a fairer society, fighting against poverty, and keeping our oceans clean. Saving the world can be overwhelming sometimes. Luckily for us, we do not have to reinvent the wheel ourselves. One of the many benefits of the Internet is that information is now readily available at our fingertips. Just fire up Google, and you will find endless amounts of information and tips on saving the world. Hey, we at Idealism101 proudly consider us one of those!

But it is precisely because of this abundance of information that we may feel confused and apathetic. Since everyone is free to write whatever he wants, online advice and information are often contradictory. Not to mention that the problems of our time are paralyzingly big. It is hard to stay motivated to take action when it seems like every effort you make is futile.

The United Nations Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

For those of us that feel confused and apathetic or are just too busy to do anything about the crumbling of our planet, the United Nations might offer some answers. The UN Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World is filled with easy and science-based things that we all can do to have a positive impact. Although it is a lazy person’s guide, action points are grouped according to difficulty, presumably not to scare off the laziest of lazy people.

No! Change starts with you. Seriously. Every human on earth—even the most indifferent, laziest person among us—is part of the solution. Fortunately, there are some super easy things we can adopt into our routines that, if we all do it, will make a big difference. 

United Nations

To start simple, the first category includes things you can do from your couch. But funny enough, these are mainly things that you should stop doing. Think of leaving electrical appliances plugged in while you are not using them, printing documents that you do not need, and leaving the lights on after you left the room. Moreover, even the laziest person in the world can do some online research to ensure that he buys sustainable and environmentally friendly products. Have you mastered all the things in this category? Congratulations, you can now call yourself a Sofa Superstar!

The next category includes other small steps we can do in the house. Think of taking shorter showers, eating less meat, and composting your food waste. Moreover, we could easily save electricity by letting our hair and laundry dry naturally and adjusting our thermostat. Does this sound like a piece of cake to you? Congrats, you are a Household Hero!

Okay, let’s step it up now! The next category describes things you can do in your neighbourhood. Some of the things included are shopping locally, bringing a reusable bottle and shopping bag, and travelling by bike, on foot or by public transport. Moreover, the Neighbourhood Nice Guy surely only takes the napkins he needs, shops vintage instead, and donates stuff that he does not need any more!

Finally, to save the planet while on the job, and to deserve the title of Exceptional Employee, we should donate fruits and snacks that we do not need to people in need, mentor young people, and most importantly, let our voices be heard. Stand up, for example, for access to healthcare, equal pay, use of energy efficient heating and cooling, and against discrimination. Only when we do all this, we can say we have mastered Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.

It is easy to feel numb and powerless in the face of climate change, poverty and injustice. That is why a guide with easy steps to take to have a positive impact is more than welcome. But remember, this (or any) guide does not mean that you should put your life upside down from one day to the other. Setting too high a goal might ultimately lead to disappointment and loss of motivation if you cannot reach your incredibly high set bar. Instead, remember that every little step you make counts. It is a bit of positive impact that would not have happened if it were not for you!

Click here to see the full UN Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.

Want to know more about decreasing your environmental impact? Check out this article about the Zero Waste movement