Sustainable Development Goals Activity Guide

Want to Give Back to Your Community?

Engaging your UNA-USA chapter in volunteer opportunities can be a great way to get more involved in your community and spread your message! With over 20,000 members and more than 200 chapters across the country, UNA-USA members are united in their commitment to global engagement and their belief that each of us can play a part in advancing the UN’s mission and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Choosing a Volunteer Activity

Take your pick! With 17 SDG’s there is something for everyone! The activities vary in difficulty and planning. Discuss with your UNA-USA chapter what is going to be best for you. Regarding COVID-19 concerns: be sure to follow local guidance on social distancing for your activities. Many of these activities can be done online.

No Poverty 

  • Call local homeless shelters and ask for a list of items they have need for. Compile the list of sites and supplies into one document to share with your community, and encourage them to drop-off supplies or donate!

Zero Hunger

  • Volunteer at a food pantry.
  • Hold a food bank donation drive.
    • Encourage your chapter members to sign a pledge to reduce their food waste

Good Health and Well Being

  • Host a 5K in your local park. Or join someone else’s.
  • Grab a DVD or YouTube video of an inclusive exercise, like yoga. Head over to your local park and have a group work out together!
  • See if one of your members is a physical trainer, yoga teacher, or fitness fanatic. Invite them to lead your group in a fun activity outside, make it free for the public.

Quality Education

  • Host a book drive.
  • Host a virtual book club to discuss a book related to the SDGs. See UNA-USA’s reading list here.

Gender Equality

  • Volunteer at a women’s shelter.
  • Host a gender equality bake sale (e.g. $1.00 per cookie for men, 75 cents for women, 55 cents for LGBTI members, etc.).

Clean Water and Sanitation

  • Outdoor clean ups: Go to your local park, schoolyard or near your office and clean up! Or around your school/office

Affordable and Clean Energy

  • Lights off campaign: easy as turning off the lights once you leave a room!

Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • Support local businesses.
  • Promote small business Saturday by spreading awareness about shopping at Black-, woman-, or LGBTI-owned stores to support those in your community and then – go shop!
  • Host a discussion at your local library about decent work.

Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 

  • Teach Technology literacy for community members.
  • Host a meeting for community members where you explain a program that your chapter might be fluent in. Examples include Microsoft Office programs or social media channels.

Reduced Inequalities

  • Letter writing campaigns are a great way to have people voice their personal stories. Grab some notebook paper and write a letter to your elected officials. Mail your note to members of congress, senators, or even the President of the United States.
  • Volunteer with a local organization that supports children and adults with disabilities. Educate your community and chapter on how the UN supports disability rights.
  • Go to your local public school and ask to host an SDG event.

Sustainable Cities and Communities 

  • Host a case competition with your chapter to brainstorm ways that your community could be more sustainable and attend a City Council meeting to present your group’s winning ideas

Responsible Consumption and Production

  • Host a recycling day.
  • Explain all of the different types of recycling that is available in your community.
  • Challenge your members to go zero waste for a day.

Climate Action

  • Join a climate strike virtually or in-person

Life Below Water

  • Host a beach clean-up event.
  • Raise money for beach clean-ups.

Life on Land 

  • Host an outdoor clean-up event.
  • Go hiking and promote the motto: Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos.

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

  • Attend a mindfulness retreat.
  • Take the “Be Fearless, Be Kind” pledge and encourage others to join you. Read the pledge here!
  • Encourage people to register to vote online and to complete the census

Partnership for the Goals

  • For students, reflect on and celebrate service you’ve done this school year. Submit your volunteer hours from this school year by April 15 to earn a National Community Service Award. Record your service hours here.
  • Check back on the UNA-USA website to see our webinars and toolkits for more ideas!