Contribute to the Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World!

The Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World of the United Nations tells us global citizens what we can do to affect change. Some tips are simple and you may already be doing them. Others will require you to change or adopt new habits.

In September 2017, we started an initiative to create our own “Lazy Person’s Guide” – powered by Germany-Alumni. We received many tips on what each of us can do in a more or less easy and “lazy” way.

Thank you very much to those who already shared their ideas with us – it is amazing to see how easy it can be to take action and to be part of “saving the world”!

Level 1: Things you can do without effort

  • Wasserhahn

    Save water (idea by Irene Maweu)
    Turn the water off while brushing your teeth. Turn the shower of while applying soap, shower gel etc.

  • Wasch- und Spülmaschine

    Washing machine and dishwasher (idea by Suzanne Myada)
    Try to do your laundry in bulk rather than one at a time and recycle water whenever possible.

  • Tassen statt Wegwerfbecher

    Bring your own cup! (idea by Mubeen Akhtar)
    Carry your personal washable bottle/mug for coffee/tea/juices to avoid disposables.


    Shopping list (idea by Kakay)
    Focus on the NEED and not the WANT when you go shopping!

  • Glühbirne

    Save energy at home (idea by Ana Riza Mendoza)
    Unplug all electrical appliances when not in use and turn off lights when not needed.

  • Apps

    Different apps you can use from your sofa (idea by Julia Günzel)

  • Share great ideas via social media
    Click the „share“-button in order to share great ideas on environment protection, fair working conditions, or more women’s rights in your networks.

  • Speak up
    Write politicians an email and ask them to engage in initiatives that don’t harm people and our environment

  • Save paper
    Take notes if you see anything interesting online instead of printing it all. This saves paper!

Level 2: Things you can do at home

  • Growing food at home in small spaces  (idea by Pedro Maximiliano Pantaenius)
    You can grow your own vegetables, like tomotoes, and herbs in recycled containers and regain more control of what you eat.

  • Garten

    Garden Plot (idea by Vikramaditya Mathur)
    Grow your own food and use rain water for your garden plot.

  • Natur als Dünger

    Nature as fertilizer (idea by Jorge Alfonzo)
    Make use of old leaves, gras and wood to use it as fertilizer.

  • Misthaufen

    Use animal manure instead of chemical fertilizer (idea by Dr RagavMohamed Elzaki)
    Animal manure saves environment and human health, besides reduces costs in agricultural operations.

  • Bio-Abfall

    Kitchen waste (idea by Mary Musoke)
    Use kitchen waste to make manure.

  • upcycling

    Upcycling (idea by Nadja)
    “Make new from old” – Adding value to old things.

  • Bananenstaude

    Multiple efficiency (idea by Jeremy D. Balondo)
    1.    Matured banana has unlimited suckers which will be planting materials and replacement for those that bore fruit.
    2. Low maintenance and the dried leaves fertilize the plant.
    3. The plant is resistant to long dry season and grows back easily after a strong storm.

  • Saving energy
    Air-dry your hair and clothes instead of using a dryer. This saves energy!

  • Use cardboard matches
    Unlike gas-filled lighters, they don’t require any petroleum, and are hence better for our environment.

  • Eating less meet
    Meat production consumes much more resources compared to other food.

  • Saving water for the toilet flush

    Saving water for the toilet flush (idea by Alejandro Giraldo)
    It is so easy – with one bottle of water you can save water for the toilet flush. The bottle’s volume reduces the surface of the toilet tank, like this you can save 1-2 liters of water. You need to make sure that there is always enough water in the bottle in order to have a functioning dewatering.

Level 3: Things you can do outside your house

  • Be eco-friendly (idea by Andrea)
    Use bikes or public transportation wherever possible.

  • Second-hand bicycle (idea by Dilip Kumbham)
    Buy second hand bicycles and use bikes for fast and safe movement!

  • Cleaning campaign in town (idea by John Andreas)
    Organize a cleaning campaign with your friends!

  • Avoid using plastics
    Buying food that is not packed in plastic and hence reducing waste. Moreover, avoid packing your shopping in plastic bags as you already brought your own bag.

  • Immunizing yourself and your children
    Prevention is better than cure. Make sure you and your children habe all vaccinations to protect yourself, your family and your community.

  • Going to the polls
    Support political representatives who stand up for sustainable growth and the well-being of people and the environment.

Some more ideas have evolved where you will definitely need support of others like local governments, organisations or politicians. Those tips are more challenging to put into action, of course, but they are definitely not “unreachable”!

Things you can (only) do with the support of others

  • More responsibility to civil society (idea by Rodrigo Azevedo)
    Give more power and responsibility to civil society in order to boost local economies and to build a smart city made by civil society.

  • Containment of greenhouse gas (idea by Emmanuel Iheasi)
    When emission of greenhouse gas is contained, that means our ozone layer would be safe and we are protected from ultraviolet rays which could be health threatening to us.

  • Codes of conduct (idea by Carolina Dahdah)
    Establish codes of conduct everywhere: for family members, pupils, students at universities, employees, and, last but not least for politicians worldwide!

  • Education and training (idea by Bamory Dembele)
    Investing in girls’ and boys’ education!

  • Prevent unemployment (idea by Oscar Tjitunda)
    Create jobs (for rural community) to avoid poverty.

  • Family planning to reduce poverty (idea by Emmanuel Iheasi)
    A Family-Planning-Law on maximum amount of children per family will reduce poverty.

  • Bhagavad Gita – Use the holistic approach for everything you do! (idea by Michael Larrass)
    The oldest manual for social management, the Bhagavad Gita, recommends transcending the mind with the aim of reducing conflicts.

Join in!

Do you have more ideas? We are looking forward to hearing from you and we will of course continue to share them here on the Alumniportal.

Infographic: The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World

February 2018


Santos Inés Rodriguez
30 June 2018

en mi pais somos ignorantes y perezosos con el manejo de residuos. así que se requiere: clasificar, reciclar, reutilizar, procesar.
igualmente, ser menos mas responsables para no arrojar residuos en espacios públicos.

Hamid Ahmad, DAAD Alumni Pakistan
11 May 2018

Walk on foot as far as possible for your daily chores. Use bicycle if distances are more and time consuming. Avoid use of vehicles using petrol, diesel or other sources of fuel causing environmental pollution / gases. It will lead to healrh, wealthy heart.. and happiness. It will benefit mankind as we approach to the concept of global village.

Emmanuel Yohana Tessua
11 May 2018

Thank you for these tips... I would like to add more...
Save a penny or a dollar everyday... In time the amount will multiply and have impact in your life and community....

Add a comment now