The world we live in can be quite stressful. We turn on the TV and everyday we are bombarded with horrible news around the world. Personally, I can’t even think of a day recently that I turned heard fantastic news s soon as I read or heard the daily news. But, there are small things we each can do everyday to help change the world. It may not seem much, but you’d be surprised at the ripple effect.
Here are 25 simple ways for you to start changing the world:
1. Volunteer. Volunteer for a few days and immerse yourself in new experiences. See how others in your community are living…or suffering.
2. Support a cause. Find something you are passionate about and fight for it.
3. Respect others. It is important to respect everyone and to afford each person their right to be treated with decency and humanity.
4. Pay it forward. Take a photo for a tourist or open the door for someone. Random good deeds are pleasant surprises. Just by being nice to someone for a moment, it can change their entire day or even life.
5. Adopt from your local shelter. Most animals in shelters are rescues in need of loving homes. If not adopted, they will be euthanized. Adopt a rescue and give animals a second chance.
6. Be more conscious about health and nutrition. Try to eat more vegetables and fruits than meat. Aside from the physical and mental benefits you’ll get, the environment will also benefit from this change in lifestyle. You’re also supporting local farmers.
7. Keep the environment clean. Others may not be as conscious as you when it comes to properly disposing garbage, but you should be. If you see trash, pick it up. If you see someone carelessly littering, report them.
8. Bond with the elderly. The elderly spend their days reminiscing about the past or trying to catch up with the changing times. Spend time with your grandparents and be thankful they are still with you. If you do not have your grandparents anymore, find a lonely elderly person and help them.
9. Make yourself heard. Don’t be afraid to speak out about your concerns and opinions. Use your voice to influence and educate others on important issues.
10. Support your family and friends. You know how it feels to have someone believe in you more than you believe in yourself.
11. Appreciate strangers. The world would be better if only we learned to appreciate people. Give waiters good tips for exceptionally good service. Say hi to someone, hold the door for another, say thank you.
12. Conserve electricity and water. Turn off appliances and lights when not in use. Don’t use the air conditioner when the temperature is nice. Turn the shower off when you are soaping, shaving, or applying shampoo. Don’t take fresh water for granted, it may not always be here.
13. Let go of your stuff. Minimal is the current trend in Japan. They believe that it’s better to own less stuff.
14. Connect by disconnecting. Disconnect from social media at least for a few hours per day. Reconnect with people you haven’t talked to in a while. Engage in face-to-face conversations, go outside, look around. While technology does have a lot of benefits, it can throw our brain out of balance and hinder real human connection.
15. Buy from small businesses. Buy from street and market vendors and even peddlers you see often. They’re making a living to eat and not to buy a new car or condo. Also, patronize and support your local artists and workers.
16. Buy fair-trade goods or products with advocacies. When you buy fair-trade goods, you help farmers get a fair price for their products. These products can be handicrafts, coffee, flowers, tea, honey, and a wide variety of stuff that you usually fill your grocery cart with.
17. Give an anonymous donation. Choose an organization that you would like to help and give a portion of your savings anonymously. Any amount will do — even loose change can go a long way.
18. Recycle. Let go of plastic, and reuse materials if possible. Remember that plastic does not degrade
19. Go digital! Use less paper so that fewer trees will be cut down. Minimize printing.
20. Explore alternative options for transportation. Share a ride with someone. You can also try biking or even walking for short distances. Aside from helping minimize pollution, you are also doing your body a favour by being more active.
21. Reach out to the homeless. Give food to the homeless man who sleeps outside your building. If you have old clothes , coats and blankets, donate to your local shelter.
22. Be a role model. Bond with children. Set a good example for children that you know.
23. Plant in your backyard. With your own edible garden, you can be self-sufficient and food secure. You can also share your skills with others and teach them how to achieve what you did.
24. Be a listener. Oftentimes, words aren’t needed. Be a listener to those who need to vent out frustrations. Lend an ear to someone who needs to be heard. The world will benefit if people are granted safe spaces to express themselves without malice or judgment.
25. Spread positive vibes. The media may bombard us with terrible news, but there are also beautiful, heart-warming stories everywhere. Strike a balance and be the bearer of inspiration in a devastation-torn world. You’ll never know the effect that your random smiles will have on someone’s day.