I don’t know about you, but the world is feeling a bit like a garbage fire to me right now. Every scroll of Facebook or Twitter brings new stories about how we’re up shit creek without a paddle, and it’s easy to feel totally hopeless about the state of things. It is natural to feel insignificant – after all, what can you do to change things?
Well, it turns out, there are lots of things you can do to improve the state of the world, even if they are only small actions. A tidal wave is made up of small droplets, and a movement is made up of individual people all deciding to make a change. There are ways to make a difference, even if you have limited resources – be that time, money or energy. If everyone does one small thing every day, we might soon be looking at a much more hopeful and happy world. So, here’s a few ways you can make the world a better place right now.
Let your elected officials know where you stand
It may feel like you don’t have the power to change the world, but there are people who do – and they are paid to listen to you. If there’s an issue you feel strongly about, write to your MP (you can find their details here) or consider starting or signing a petition. You could even tweet your local officials, or drop in during their office hours. Basically, just make sure they know where you stand so they can represent you properly. Use your vote, when the opportunity arises. And don’t be afraid to get out on the streets for a march or protest if you spot one that aligns with your values.
Donate to causes that represent your views
If you have the resources to do so, a monthly donation to charities or causes that represent your views or who are making the changes you want to see in the world is a great way to support them, and ensure that they continue the work that they do. Many workplaces have schemes in place to help you give to charity (and give you a little tax break on your donation – score!) so be sure to ask.
Check your sources
Seen something online that’s making you rage? Before you share it, just check your sources first and make sure that what you’re sharing is true and objective. There’s enough ‘fake news’ going around and enough dodgy stories that a little bit of fact-checking won’t go amiss.
It’s times like this when art is needed more than ever. If you’re feeling dejected, angry, hopeful, confused or any number of emotions, channel them into some art and bring something beautiful into the world. You never know who you might help.
Think before you buy
Whilst we can’t all be buying independent, ethically sourced, environmentally friendly products at all times, when you can afford to then it’s worthwhile to put your money where you mouth is. Try to make purchases that support your values as often as you can, so that the products, services and businesses you most want to see receive the money and support they need to keep going.
Volunteer your time
Whether it’s on a one-off occasion, or a regular commitment, your time is one of the most valuable resources you can give and there are plenty of people who could do with your help. Whatever your skills, interests, or values, there’s bound to be someone near you who could do with a hand – plus, it’s a great way to make new friends, enhance your CV or get to practice a hobby. Find opportunities online here.
Practice small acts of kindness
Chances are, if you brighten someone’s day with a small act of kindness, they will pay it forward and it won’t be long before the kindness has spread and the world is a happier place. Find some suggestions of ways you can spread a little kindness here.
Go meat-free at least once a week
Even for dedicated carnivores, there’s no denying that the meat industry is damaging to the planet. There are loads of vegetarian meals that are delicious, good for you, easy to cook and a little kinder to the environment (yes, this is how I justify my halloumi habit…) so it’s not too much of a hardship to switch over once or twice a week – and you’ll be making the world a better place.
Care for your space
Taking an interest in your local community and your shared environment needn’t take up a lot of time. Pick up rubbish and pop it in the bin, notify the council if you see something broken that they’ll need to fix, keep an eye on your neighbour’s house when they’re away. We all have to live in our little parts of the world, so if we all try to keep it looking and feeling nice then it will definitely be a better place to live.
Do you have any ideas on how to make the world just a little bit better? Share them in the comments below!
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