We all want to make the world a better place, right? But it can so often seem like a daunting task; there are so many things that need fixing and you are just one person! It's easy to get disheartened and to believe that your contribution doesn't make a difference. That couldn't be further from the truth! There are lots of little every day things that you can do to make the world a better place and which take almost no effort at all. There is still plenty that will need doing, but it's better to start somewhere than not to start at all!
I'm a recycling nerd; it physically hurts me to throw glass or tin into the regular bin, the guilt is too much. A lot of councils have good recycling facilities, and many (if not all) will collect from your house. So all it takes is a quick rinse of your recyclables and you can pop them into the correct bin! The world doesn't need more waste, so stick your smoothie bottle or free newspaper into your bag until you find a recycling bin. The planet will thank you for it some day.
2. Sign a Petition
It's the ultimate in lazy activism, and just putting your name to something is not going to change everything automatically. But if you're not going to do anything else, at least sign a petition. It takes less than three minutes, and it really can make a difference. If you want somewhere to start, try the Save The Women's Library petition which is a really worthy cause. If that's not to your taste there are plenty of websites where you can find something you care about to put your name to. And if you can't find one for your cause, why not start it yourself?
3. Say Please and Thank You
It might not change the world in a big way, but saying please and thank you to everyone helps you out, even if it's their job to do so, will not only make you a nicer person but it really might make someone's day. If you've ever worked in retail, you'll know what I'm talking about, but so many people are either outright rude, or don't acknowledge you. A simple please and thank you takes no time at all to say, and you're much likely to get good service if you treat people with respect and kindness. It's a win win, you're probably doing it already!
4. Use A Library
Libraries are having a bad time of it with recent budget cuts, and I'm sure they would appreciate your support. Not only that, but as with points one and five, the world does not need more waste, chances are you'll be giving or throwing that book away in a few years. So rather than buying a new book, why not see if your local library has it? It'll save you money and space. Plus, I don't know about you but since I mainly buy books on Amazon it's hard to browse; with real bookshelves in front of you, you might find a new favourite! And if you really must have a copy for yourself, why not try an independent bookseller?
5. Have A Clear Out
We could all do with a bit more space, and chances are you have plenty of things you neither need nor want languisihng in boxes in the basement, or at the back of your wardrobe. Whether it be clothes, books, equipment or various odds and ends, we often hold onto stuff out of sentimentality or because 'just in case'. Read a couple of minimalist blogs to get you in the spirit and then spend a day sorting out your junk. And here's where the making the world a better place bit comes in; donate it. One person's junk is another person's treasure, so find a charity or shelter which needs the items you no longer do. Lighten your load and your conscience at the same time! Two birds, one stone and all that.
6. Send Some Post
We all love getting mail, don't we? Mail that's not bills or forms or important, official stuff is a delight to receive, and a delight to send. If you're looking for a way to make your own world a better place, why not send some post? A 'Get Well Soon' card for a friend who's sick, a funny postcard for one who's going through a hard time, a letter to a beloved grandparent, just a 'thinking of you' card for someone you've not seen in a long time. It'll mean more than a facebook message or a text, and they'll really appreciate it. All for the cost of a stamp!
7. Buy Something Local
Buying food from the supermarket is easy and cheap, unless you shop at Waitrose of course! It is, however, not the most sustainable or green way that you could be doing your shopping. I am not unrealistic enough to expect you to be wandering around farmer's markets to buy your weekly shop, but it's great to find local businesses to support. We buy our meat from a lovely butcher in Chapel Allerton that I can't recommend enough, and there are so many benefits. Not only are you supporting the local economy and small business owners, you are cutting down on food miles and chances are it won't be that much more expensive. You get much better quality, and you can talk to someone who really knows their stuff. As with all these tips, you're making your own world a better place as well as saving it!
What are your tips for making the world a better place? Have you tried any of these ones recently?