Sustainability Superstars and Agents of Change

"Sustainability Superstars and Agents of Change" is Planet Aid's new recurring blog feature that highlights remarkable people and organizations that share our mission of fostering environmental sustainability and/or supporting international development. In this edition, we present two novel concepts challenging us to reduce waste and an inspiring educator from Mozambique.

Sustainability Superstar: 40 Bags in 40 Days

"I AM READY FOR SOME DECRAPIFYING," it says in bold letters on Ann Marie Heasley's blog, White House Black Shutters.

Heasley created the 40 Bags in 40 Days campaign to encourage people to "declutter, simplify, decrapify, and get rid of things you don't need."

The campaign, which runs from March 5th through April 19th (with Sundays off), challenges people to declutter one area of their house every day, filling a bag with their unwanted stuff. "Just get it out of your house," Heasley says, advising followers to dispense with the items by offering them up in a garage sale, giving them away, or Freecycling them.

There are tons of resources on the 40 Bags in 40 Days website if you're interested in taking on the challenge. And don't forget to drop off your bags of clothes in one of our yellow bins so you can declutter your space with a good conscience!

Sustainability Superstar: Global Citizen

Global Citizen
is a website and app developed by the Global Poverty Project that rallies people together to end the injustice of extreme poverty by 2030. This game-like initiative incentivizes activism by offering do-gooders the chance to win concert tickets to popular artists' shows. You earn points by completing "Taking Action" tasks, which can be as simple as watching videos on important issues or as involved as taking part in one of their campaigns. Points can then entered into a prize draw for concerts by participating acts, including headliners like Bruce Springsteen, Kings of Leon, and One Direction.

The upcoming A Day Without Waste campaign, slated for April 9, focuses on making small personal changes in the name of sustainability. Global Citizen is asking people to reduce their average daily waste production by completing simple challenges for points. For example, you can buy and use a recycling bin instead of relegating all waste to the trash, bring a refillable mug to your local coffee shop to avoid to-go cups, or cook at home to bypass carry-out containers.

If you think you can handle A Day Without Waste, check out their website for more information on how to participate.

Agent of Change: Cidalia

Cidalia usually teachers her pupils outside in the schoolyard. "When it rains, I share a classroom in the school," she says. "It is of course very crowded and more difficult to have lessons inside."

Her students at Escola Primaria 5 de Fevereiro in Machava, Mozambique are eager to learn, but resources are limited. A tattered green tarp shields them from the sun as they sit on the ground, and a small chalkboard hangs from the branch of a eucalyptus tree.

Although she is faced with challenges most teachers will never come close to encountering, Cidalia is resilient, enthusiastic and a perfect example of an Agent of Change in young people's lives.

Read more about Cidalia and her inspiring story on our Teacher Training Website.