Inspiring Youth Project of the Month: Global Goals Pillows


It’s the end of one year, the beginning of another, and many of us are beginning to create our goals for 2022. This can be a lot of fun, especially when you do it with others! New Year’s Resolutions are often personal goals, but goals for larger projects can be just as important! Have you ever heard of the United Nations’ 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development? If not, find out what those ‘SDGs’ have to do with December’s project of the month: People & Planet Pillow Project, from Montclair, California! 

The Roots & Shoots changemaker who started this project, Maggie, Got Inspired (Step 1 of the Roots & Shoots 4-Step Formula to creating a project) when they heard about the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals. They immediately wanted to support them, but Observed (Step 2) that not everyone knew about these goals. How could people support something they had never heard of? As Roots & Shoots changemakers are encouraged to think creatively about how they can use/grow their skills in their projects, they came up with a creative plan to get people comfortable with the goals – literally! First, they decided to Take Action (Step 3) by stitching together decorative pillows showcasing each of the 17 goals: No poverty, Zero hunger, Good health and well-being, Quality education, Gender equality, Clean water and sanitation, Affordable and clean energy, Decent work and economic growth, Industry, innovation and infrastructure, Reduced inequalities, Sustainable cities and communities, Responsible consumption and production, Climate action, Life below water, Life on land, Peace, justice and strong institutions, and Partnerships for the goals.

Next, they realized they’d need some help buying materials, so they applied for and received a Roots & Shoots $200 mini-grant! The last bit was to Celebrate (Step 4) by publicizing their project. On top of their Roots & Shoots project page, they set up an online store to sell their pillows and talk about the global goals. Finally, all that was left to do was sew, sew, sew! 

Each pillow features the symbol for one global goal, and is decorated with colorful embroidered borders. The pillows are cute, cozy, and spread the word! In addition, all proceeds are donated to local charities that support these global goals; if you buy a Zero Hunger pillow, your money could go to a food garden or bank! Through this changemaker’s creativity, buyers learn about and support these global goals at the same time. 


Once you’ve come up with a project (Use our 4-Step Formula) , be sure to register it on our website for a chance to be featured in a future project of the month! Not a Roots & Shoots member yet? You’re only a few clicks away!  

Start/Join a Roots & Shoots Group Near Your

Remember to invite your friends to help out, because even when we take small actions, they’re multiplied by collaboration. You can even create a Roots & Shoots group at your school, or join one already in your area!  

Looking for a Quick way to Help Out? 

Check out our 1-Click actions for so many ways to spread awareness, get involved locally, and get going right away.

About Author

Kira is the communications coordinator for JGI programs at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she supports the team in advancing public engagement with JGI's holistic programs. Kira graduated from Smith College in 2021, majoring in anthropology and minoring in art history, and during her time there she developed a deep interest in the field of anthrozoology. Her interests within this field are broad, and have led her to study elephant iconography in the U.S. and wildlife management in Tanzania. JGI's values and mission as well as the mindset of anthrozoology guide her work, exploring the interactions between humans and other animals in order to promote a healthier coexistence on this shared planet.