Back to top

SDG 13: Climate action

Jainam Shah's picture

Give plastic a second chance

Every year, each Australian consumes 130kg of plastic products of which less than 10% is recycled – the rest of it inevitably ends up rotting in landfills, sloughing off to form the 130 thousand tonnes of non-recyclable debris that chokes our waterways and wildlife. Plastic has become as ubiquitous and necessary to civilisation as water and air, from shampoo bottles to shopping bags, but once it has served its specific purpose, we instinctively toss it out and buy a replacement. However, the purpose of a piece of plastic is not restricted to the label that retailers put on it – in fact, by its very nature, plastic can be easily moulded and shaped to whatever purpose we choose to give it. By giving our plastic a second life, we can spare the lives of so many dying aquatic habitats, and make the world truly greener. In primary school, when I turned a used water bottle into a pencil holder, I was amazed that an object destined for the junkyard was now sitting on my desk looking as good as new. Not only was it an environmentally sound alternative, but it also saved me a few bucks and was fun to make, so much so that I started working on things with my friends to build everything from piggy banks to furniture. Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to take the idea further, to encourage the community to recycle their plastics internally within their own homes for either functional or aesthetic purposes, but it wasn’t until I landed on this page that I thought this could make a difference. My pledge is to start a campaign in my university for students to design either the most artistic or practical repurposing of a household plastic item they can imagine - the possibilities are truly endless! Not only would this allow students to apply their creativity in new and interesting ways, but it would also bring people together and unite them towards the shared goal of a sustainable future. It’s a tough project, but I’m certain that if more people learn to exploit the reusability of plastics, we will come closer to a world free of unnecessarily wasted plastic, and find nifty new uses for plastic items along the way!


Elizabeth B's picture

Mindful consumption

Reducing the amount of packaged food I buy i.e. buying bulk wherever possible. Shop with the following questions in mind for all purchases: 'Do I NEED it', 'Can I do without it', 'is there a better alternative?'


Sherburne Dias's picture

Reduce energy consumption

Delete old emails to reduce energy being used to run the data centers which stores them. Moreover, Fulfilling a weekly goal of having one University student delete at least 500 emails from their account.


Julian Kiono's picture


- Stop using plastic bags and use reusable bags instead. - Use keep cup to reduce plastic and paper cups - Reuse, reduce and recycle more - Use an alternative source of energy, cleaner version such as solar and focus your future on that.


Noa Kerwick's picture

What a Waste

In 2020 I became the Youth Member for the electorate of Currumbin appointed to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the Queensland Youth Parliament. One of the many things I did during my tenure was publish an article on Australia's $10 billion food waste issue. Although it's far from being a glamorous topic of conversation, food waste is something I'm actually quite passionate about. For years I've been researching and discussing the multifarious implications of food waste and brainstorming ways in which to mitigate this global phenomenon. In 2018 after being in the first cohort to complete the Macquarie University Incubator's pilot 'Go Start' Program, I participated in the Sydney-Hong Kong Ideation Exchange Program where I spent two-weeks visiting start-ups, universities and businesses in Australia, Hong Kong and China. During this time, I co-created a new start-up called 'Ag-Eye' which sought to utilise drone and smart technology to facilitate farming practices; reducing costs, manpower expenditures and food waste for Australian farmers. In 2019 I wrote my thesis for my major in anthropology at Macquarie University on the benefits of community gardens. Through my six months of participant observation research I found that community gardens had a plethora of mental, physical, environmental and monetary benefits to individuals, families and communities - in particular newly arrived immigrants. My goal with this 'Take One Step' initiative is to continue my journey and challenge students, staff, residential halls and food venues at Monash University to mitigate the amount of food they waste.


Kumiko Kitano's picture

Project of mottainai

Many of our generations are living in a capitalistic society that is extremely convenient and demands constant growth. However, against the backdrop of excessive economic growth and convenience, the global environment is being destroyed and we are facing a climate crisis. I am a master's student in the Cultural and Creative Industries, and I am convinced that the culture of each ethnic group's ancestors and the wisdom of their lives contain various lessons for living in harmony with nature and animals. Therefore, my 'Take One Step' is to create a platform for people from diverse cultural backgrounds to share earth-friendly services, products, and ideas using their own culture and knowledge. “Project of MOTTAINAI” is the name given to this project. The word "MOTTAINAI" is a Japanese word used to describe something that is being thrown away unnecessarily or to express regret about it. In this project, for example, as a Japanese person, I would like to share the idea of "Kintsugi", which means that when a piece of pottery is chipped, you can use gold to connect the chipped part and use it for many years, or you can use unnecessary clothes (kimonos) as rags for cleaning. Other examples include the way indigenous Australians deal with nature, which was introduced in the best-selling book "Sand Talk" as a lesson on the climate crisis, and I feel that such wisdom would be a “MOTTAINAI” if it is not utilized. I also learned that in Australia, people can live comfortably in double-brick houses without using much air conditioning or heating. The purpose of this project is to spread the wisdom and culture of our ancestors, which have gradually fallen into disuse in our convenient modern society, to society once again, feeling that it is a waste that they are not being passed on. At Monash University, where people from diverse cultural backgrounds gather from around the world, there will be a wealth of knowledge that can be shared. I believe that the creativity to learn this knowledge and devise ways of living in our daily lives, as well as the knowledge to change our products to be more earth-friendly, will be extremely valuable.


Angelica Haskins's picture

Refuse single use plastics

Single use plastics are made of petrochemicals and are commonly used in inordinate amounts to package foodstuffs and goods. Moreover, many of these are composed of endocrine disruptors and in addition to being damaging to the health of human beings, are also hugely detrimental to animals and sealife. Consequently, I want to reduce my plastic waste and I pledge to refuse to use single-use plastics.



SHA SHA | 06/30/2021 - 22:41

I will reduce my plastic waste and I will collect the plastic waste when I am diving

SHA SHA | 07/01/2021 - 19:54

Plastic bags damage ocean life, excepting for reduce the plastic waste and refuse to use single-use plastics, there are serval ways we can do to reduce the damage. Firstly we can pick up the garbage under the sea when we dive or swim in the sea, we can hold this activity several times in the year. Secondly, we can reduce plastic bags by recycling them or replace them with reusable bags. I hope through those activity can let more people take their one step.


Kandappa Kamalabaskaran's picture

Sustainable transport

The amount of waste that comes from the car industry is huge! Every car that is built new takes up tonnes of the worlds resources bith in manufacturing, and in the product itself. As such, I am making an effort to keep my car for as long as possible without buying a new one, even if it broke down. I will of course be taking public transport whenever possible. However, never using a car in my life and location is unavoidable so I intend to perform as minimal waste as possible with it. This means whenever it needs servicing, I will find 2nd hand parts and search on how to fix it myself if possible, so I know that no environmental shortcuts are happening and I will aim to never buy another car until electronic (or another form of sustainable) cars are available. This money that I happen to be saving from self-services and not buy new cars, will be used to purchase this to then reduce emmissions.


Hashini Udugoda's picture


- I have made a pledge to stop buying single use plastics and to always have a reusable bag handy whenever I go out shopping. People don't realise how much plastic they use and throw away with every purchase, and these usually end up in landfills or oceans, harming our environment and wildlife. If everyone made the commitment to stop using single use plastics, we could significantly cut down the demand for plastic, this will in turn reduce our global emissions energy usage. - aside from reusable bags, I have made a pledge to be cautious about the goods that I buy, sticking to more ethically packaged products.


Will Lyons's picture

Sustainable vegetable patch

With an ongoing effort to reduce my own carbon footprint, I pledge to start my own vegetable garden and composting system. This will allow me to produce home grown fruit and veg and compost food waste in order to resupply hungry plants with organic nutrients to grow.



Subscribe to RSS - SDG 13: Climate action