Sustainability Challenges for Kids is all about taking the important concept of sustainability and making it easy to understand and fun to learn about. Sustainability can mean making smart choices about the food we eat, being conscientious of the energy we use, treating everyone equally, making sure that gender and racial equity is achieved, and so much more. All of the activities are based around making choices that help people, communities, and environments, be healthy now and in the future. 

Every week, new creative activities and resources based on one of the 17 Good Life Goals will be released so that families can learn how sustainability is relevant to their everyday life. Activities will cover daily challenges, scavenger hunts in your community, and a do-it-yourself experience where you will imagine and create your own sustainable city at home. 

We will collect all the activities on this blog entry, so be sure to check back for new updates on a weekly basis.

Good Life Goals Social Media Challenges

All our challenges are based on the Good Life Goals—a child friendly version of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These SDGs have been agreed to by 195 countries as they try to create a more sustainable and better world, not just in regards to the planet, but for the people who live on it, now and in the future. The Good Life Goals take these large scope SDGs and make them more actionable and relevant for children to be able to live a healthy life. (#GoodLifeGoals)

Challenge 1: Help End Poverty

It feels good to help others! Donating things is a great way to practice sharing and help others during this especially hard time. You can share food, books, toys, or even something as simple as spreading kindness. Look for a donation box in your neighborhood, or if there isn’t one there, take the initiative and make one! Check out this article about someone who started a donation box in their community for inspiration.
Free Food Box helps those in need in Anderson’s westside (article)

Looking for more ways to help end poverty? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 2: Eat Better

Colorful fruits and veggies are healthy (and delicious!). Let’s eat a rainbow of colors! How many colors can you eat? What vitamins/minerals are in them? Check out this great resource on how each color of the food rainbow can help support healthier lives!
Eat A Rainbow Every Day! From KSPS Public TV (article)

Looking for more ways to eat better? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 3: Stay Well

Being healthy also means staying active. During these times of distance learning make sure to allow your child plenty of quick breaks to reset their brains in between all the screens and sitting. It’s important for their mental and physical health, and can even help them focus better! Check out this list of 50 fun brain breaks created by teachers, featuring fun ideas like dance videos, silly movement-based games, and even some calm mindfulness activities!
50 Educational Brain Breaks (article)

Looking for more ways to stay well? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 4: Learn and Teach

Let’s practice kindness. Think about your teacher or anybody who has taught you. What made that person a good teacher? Create and send a digital thank you card using Adobe Spark. Click the links below to start your Adobe Spark card and to listen to some tips. Teachers rock!
Make Greeting Cards for Free with Adobe Spark (tool)
Elementary Students explain Adobe Spark (video)

Looking for more ways to learn and teach? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 5: Treat Everyone Equally

Let’s work to end sexism. Did you know that women are 1/2 of the workforce yet hold less than 1/3 of STEM jobs? Let’s encourage young girls to pursue their dreams in STEM! We can help by showing girls role models who look like them. Look at the If/Then Ambassadors, in the link below, to show girls that they belong in STEM!
If/Then Ambassadors Program (web collection)

To go further, check out this link for the upcoming AstroFest (from October 1 – November 11, 2020) to have your STEM learner engage with women space scientists and ask questions about space!
AstroFest (online event)

Looking for more ways to treat everyone equally? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 6: Save Water

Let’s think about saving water. Why is it important to conserve water? What can you do to conserve water? What plants and animals would you be helping? Try out this activity to see how much water you use and start saving water when you brush your teeth, wash, and clean.
Home Water Audit from 4H (activity)

For more ways to conserve water, look at this helpful guide!
6 Times You Can Turn Off the Tap to Save Water (article)

Looking for more ways to save water? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 7: Use Clean Energy

Want to explore clean and reusable energy in a fun, hands-on way? How about wind power! Try the “Wind Works” activity from Sciencecenter at home today!
Wind Works from Sciencenter (activity)

To go further, check out this link to learn the percentage of U.S. electricity generated by various energy sources include renewables, nuclear energy, and fossil fuels.
What is U.S. electricity generation by energy source? (data)

Looking for more ways to use clean energy? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 8: Do Good Work

Why does it help to buy from local businesses? It helps cut down on waste and fossil fuels, supports your community, and gives you fresher food. Check out the article below for more tips! Then talk with a parent or guardian to think about ways that you can support local businesses at home and abroad.
10 Reasons Buying Local is Great for You and the Planet (article)

Looking for more ways to do good work? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 9: Make Smart Choices

The internet is a great tool for talking to loved ones, learning, and playing-especially during these times! However, we aren’t always taught how to be a kind person online like we are in person. Check out this fun Brain Pop video on digital etiquette to learn how to put your best foot forward and be kind online.
Digital Etiquette (video)

Looking for more ways to make smart choices? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 10: Be Fair

It is important to stand up for your rights and the rights of others. Talk with your children about race and equity starting at a young age. These conversations will pave the way to challenge racism in the future. Check out this informative virtual town hall video where CNN and Sesame Street join forces to engage children in age-appropriate conversations about race and racism.
CNN/Sesame Street racism town hall (videos)

If you’re interested in more racial justice resources for caregivers and children, check out the full list of resource collected by our museum educators.

Looking for more ways to be fair? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 11: Love Where You Live

What’s your favorite part of your neighborhood? Is it a place? A piece of art? The people? Are you having a hard time choosing? Why not celebrate EVERYTHING you love by making a collage with pictures of your favorite things/ things that remind you of your community, or by writing a story or poem about your community? Check out these two guides to get young learners started with poetry.
Kids’ Poems: How to Introduce Poetry to Elementary School Children (article)
Help a Child Write a Poem (resource list)

Looking for more ways to love where you live? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 12: Live Better

This week, focus on wasting less food and using up all of your leftovers! Be creative and make tasty creations using what’s already available in your fridge before heading out to the store again. Check out the no food waste challenge from BBC Earth in the link below and try to cut back on your food waste for 7 days.
7 day no food waste challenge (article)

Interested in more tips to keep reducing waste? Check out the EPAs recommendations for reducing food waste at home.
Reducing Wasted Food At Home (tips list)

Looking for more ways to live better? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 13: Act on Climate

Try to add a new vegetarian or pescatarian recipe to your weekly routine! Did you know that the gases produced in the production of meat, especially red meat, are main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions? By choosing to eat less meat and more fish and veggies, you can help drastically reduce your carbon footprint!

For more information on the greenhouse emissions from farming, which fish are most sustainable to eat, and some yummy kid-friendly vegetarian recipes, check out the links below.

Focus on What You Eat, Not Whether Your Food is Local (article)
Sustainable Recipes (recipes list)

Looking for more ways to act on climate? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 14: Clean the Seas

Say no to unnecessary plastic. Plastic is creating a big problem in our oceans. Animals like birds, turtles, and fish are getting tangled in the plastic waste and accidentally eating it. Want to learn how you can you help reduce plastic and keep the sea life safe? Check out the links below to learn about plastic in the ocean and find tips on how to help clean our water!
10 tips to reduce your plastic use (tips list)

Looking for more ways to clean the seas? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 15: Love Nature

Discover the wonders of the natural world. Go for a walk outside and stop to appreciate the living things around you. What animals and plants do you see? What do you think they need to survive and thrive?

While on your walk, try out this nature journaling activity and draw all the wonderful things that you see, or play this nature exploration game and be amazed at all that you can find in your community!
Nature Drawing (activity)
Finding Nature (game)

Looking for more ways to love nature? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 16: Make Peace

Learn about and use your rights! What are rights? What rights should all humans have? What can you do to help ensure the rights of others? Check out the link for a kid-friendly explanation the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. It’s important to remember that not all kids across the world have these rights.
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (guide)

Looking for more ways to come together? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Challenge 17: Come Together

Congratulations on making it to the final goal! As you have learned over the past 17 weeks, it is important that we all come together to make the world a better and more sustainable place. Share the #GoodLifeGoals with a friend so that they can learn how to be more sustainable as well! Use our short link bit.ly/goodlifechallenges to share all the challenges and scavenger hunts with your friends.

Looking for more ways to come together? Download the full list of personal actions that that you can take from the #GoodLifeGoals guide.

Sustainability Scavenger Hunts

We created two scavenger hunts based on the Good Life Goals. These scavenger hunts can help contextualize the sustainability challenges for children using their own communities as the backdrop. Part 1 covers the first 9 goals, and Part 2 covers the remaining 8. These are great companion pieces for the challenges above.

Sustainability Hunt Pt. 1

Sustainability Hunt Pt. 2

Learn More about the Good Life Goals

Acknowledgements 

The Good Life Goals icons by Futerra Sustainability Communications Ltd and 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme is licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0.

For more information: https://sdghub.com/goodlifegoals/

This work is part of the Sustainable Futures Project from the National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network. The Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability in Science and Technology Museums program is supported through funding from The Rob and Melani Walton Foundation.

For more information: https://www.nisenet.org/sustainable-futures