10 ways you can make a global impact from home
In light of the recent global developments and strict measures to slow down the spread of the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, thousands of events have been cancelled, schools have completely shut down in over 100 countries, and many employees were asked to work from home.
Despite your initial thoughts on having more time at home, limiting your usual movement and activities tends to make many people feel unproductive and lazy. However, just because you’re staying home, that doesn’t mean you can’t be an active citizen, support causes you believe in, or help make the world a better place.
The good news is, you’ve already taken the first step to a creating a better world by avoiding public spaces, following your national authorities' recommendations and the World Health Organization’s safety advice to slow down the outbreak of a global pandemic.
We’ve put a list of actions together that will help you engage as a global citizen, follow the Scout Law and enable you to make a positive impact from the comfort of your home:
1. Commit to a daily action to reduce your carbon footprint, like saving energy and eating less meat. Learn some fun facts about how our daily habits are impacting our precious planet by visiting ActNow.
2. Participate in Earth Hour! We rely on nature in every possible way - to eat, drink and survive, and believe it or not, there are plenty of things you can do to protect nature without being in the outdoors. Our partner, WWF, has put together over 20 cool ideas to do from home. Check them out here.
3. Play a unique game of “jigsaw” with your family members, while learning new facts about gender inequality. After each game, engage in a reflective discussion of what gender-related issues people face in your community, and decide how you want to contribute to changing this reality. Access the HeForShe jigsaw.
4. Test your knowledge by creating a trivia game around plastic use and raise the awareness of your family members who may use these items every day. Use the Plastic Tide Turners Toolkit, go to page 5 and guess how many years it takes simple items like plastic straws and diapers to fully decompose and learn what that means for our oceans. Then, turn to page 7 and interview people using this eye-opening plastic audit!
5. Prepare a donation package that will make someone happy. While you’re home, why not dedicate some time to getting rid of old toys, clothes and books. You can have fun making your own package design, and set them aside (until it is safe to be in public spaces) to donate it to your local charity, clothes bank or library.
6. Make wiser food choices for a healthier planet and a healthier you. Being home doesn’t mean we can ignore our health. This is the perfect opportunity for us to really think about what foods are we mostly consuming and their impact on our planet and our bodies. Commit to a new habit like Meatless Monday or watch an interesting documentary about how our food system is affecting our future. Remember, one habit change can go a long way!
7. Who said healthy can’t be fun? We know it’s disappointing to cancel your plans and stay home. Taking care of your physical health can also take care of your mental health, so turn playtime into a daily activity using the Young Athletes guide. Encourage your younger siblings to participate with you and keep your family members active too.
8. Use your social media for social good! Since we’re all giving extra attention to our social media these days, use your channels to spread awareness about a cause you believe in. Choose an SDG you are passionate about, inform your followers about it, and let them know how they can help.
9. Be a source of support and call your friends and loved ones, especially those in isolation alone. Hearing words of support lifts people’s spirits. Although we are in the age of text messaging, a phone call can make a great difference. Check out this special initiative that Scouts in Singapore led several weeks ago, collecting hundreds of letters and words of support for courageous healthcare workers treating patients with COVID-19.
10. Join us for our special Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) from 3-5 April, for plenty of fun and educational activities that all young people can take part in while connecting with others around the world. Take action now, be safe, raise awareness and enjoy the fun from home!