Improving Society and Fighting Poverty with Teaspoons of Change


SEATTLE — Teaspoons of Change is a concept brought to life with an equation: small actions multiplied by lots of people equals big change.

Teaspoons of Change founder d’Arcy Lunn’s goal, dream and life’s work is eliminating global poverty. In 2014, Lunn, an avid cyclist and fitness fan, took on a 1,000-kilometer trek and 1,500-kilometer bike ride across Japan with one real goal in mind: to contemplate and reflect on positive impacts and outcomes that are born of choices and actions of individuals.

His takeaway? Social change is possible when individuals are helping others, but also when individuals are mindful of choices and actions in their own daily lives. Social change is even more achievable when individuals realize that lots of other individuals are mindful, as well.  Lunn created the Teaspoons of Change concept to inspire and remind people that their small actions, even just a teaspoon’s worth, matter every single day, especially when combined with the actions of others.

Our Daily Choices: Small, but Significant

In addition to simply making “good” choices, Lunn hopes those choices will align with the Global Goals for Sustainable Development – 17 goals, to be exact, developed in 2015 by 193 world leaders. The goals include the elimination of poverty, zero hunger, affordable and clean energy, gender equality, responsible consumption and production, climate action and sustainable cities and communities.

Just a few Teaspoons of Change suggested in coordination with the Global Goals:

  • Walk — good for you and the environment.
  • Ride your bike. Same as above and you can go even further.
  • Use less hot water. Save on energy and water at the same time.
  • Know your trash. Research exactly which, where and how trash items can be recycled.
  • Consume less. Be mindful of whether you need it, or just want it.
  • If you consume, do it locally. Let your money work for your community.
  • Buy secondhand when possible.
  • Take care of your things. They will last longer.
  • Take care of your health. Less visits to the doctor benefits more than just you.
  • Know the businesses you patronize. Be sure they put people before profit.
  • Grow some of your own food. Develop a relationship with it.
  • Reduce your meat consumption.
  • Instead of buying gifts, give your time.

Lunn’s Resume

As evidenced by Lunn’s impressive body of work as an activist, advocate and volunteer, he pours his energy and daily decision into serving his goal of eliminating poverty across the globe.

Lunn is a member of Rotary International, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Peace Studies as a Rotary Peace Fellow. Every year, Rotary bestows up to 100 professionals worldwide with fellowships to study at one of their peace centers, with the purpose of developing leaders of careers in peacebuilding, conflict prevention and resolution. Lunn’s studies take place at International Christian University — Rotary’s peace center in Tokyo, Japan.

In 2012, the Australia-based Lunn promoted the Live Below the Line campaign’s challenge to subsist for five days on $1.50 a day – just like 1.4 billion people living below the global poverty line. Most people who accept the challenge adapt it to their regular daily routine, but Lunn upped the ante by biking, then walking, 400 miles from Portland, Oregon to Whistler, British Columbia. He sustained on $1.50 a day (with his own strict rules of no food handouts and no dumpster diving) for the entire three-week journey, even working in a mile-long swim on days he wasn’t traveling.

During his Live Below the Line expedition, he maintained at least one aspect of his “normal” life – Lunn continued speaking engagements at schools, churches and Rotary clubs all along his 400-mile path. Over the past 17 years, Lunn has given global awareness and education presentations to schools, businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations, service clubs and more.

He has reached more than 70,000 people face-to-face with over 750 presentations to date, and his career positions are just a few among many that fight to eliminate global poverty:

  • Developer of Happy, Simply – a tiny homes project for sustainable living.
  • Campaign Manager for The End of Polio
  • Consultant Ambassador for UNICEF U-Report
  • Youth and Schools Manager for Global Citizen

Through Teaspoons of Change, d’Arcy Lunn reminds us that our small actions are significant, that large groups of people working toward the same goals can achieve true greatness and that every human being is worth our time, our energy, our respect and our consideration, every single day.

– Jaymie Greenway
Photo: Flickr


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