It’s easy to think that the world is all doom and gloom. When we wake up, we turn on the television or radio and open up the morning’s papers, only to be greeted by story after story of all of the terrible things going on in the world. War, attacks, robberies, natural disasters. The list goes on. But just because what we read, hear and see from the news is mainly negative doesn’t mean that the world is an awful place. When it comes down to it, shock and horror sell. That’s why it’s plastered across headlines and front pages. But for every bad thing happening in the world, there are plenty more undocumented good things happening. It’s time for you to contribute to these positive occurrences. Here are a few ways you can go about making the world a better place.
Give to Charity
This is one of the easiest ways to start helping those less fortunate than yourself. Giving to charity takes little to no time and makes all of the difference to the recipient of your donation. You can choose to donate regularly, signing up to a direct debit donation. Alternatively, you can just put your spare change in the charity buckets left out on store till desks or shook by volunteers in the streets. If you have a little more time on your hands, you might want to engage in a fundraising activity. Take No birds bash as inspiration: these two men are traveling to the most remote and rural parts of Australia to raise money for Variety children’s charity. While bonding and seeing places that they’ve never seen before, they’re helping out disadvantaged kids. If you have the time and energy, you could engage with similar events. Alternatively, if you find you have no spare time around work, you can donate to others’ charity ventures. A final option to bear in mind is leaving a charity donation in your will. This is a little morbid to think about, but how positive is it that you can continue to help others even once you have passed?
Small Acts of Kindness
Engage in small acts of kindness every day. Even if you just make one person smile and feel good about themselves, you’ve made the world a brighter place. These small gestures won’t cost you much or take up much of your time, but they make all the difference to the person on the receiving end of things. If you see a homeless individual rooting through a bin for food, offer to buy them lunch or a drink. Give your small change to a busker. Help someone in the train station up the stairs with their suitcase. Offer a helping hand to someone trying to get their pram onto a bus and offer your seat to the pregnant, elderly and disabled. Even something as simple as smiling at strangers in the street when you pass them could make all the difference to someone having a tough time.
The products that we buy are so disconnected from their sources that it’s easy to ignore or forget where they come from. When possible, try to consume ethically. Whether you’re buying food, clothes or beauty products. Consider the process that has resulted in them getting from their roots to your basket. Food wise, try out a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. This is great for you, animals and the environment. If you don’t think you’re ready to commit to meat or dairy free living, any little will help. Whether that’s trying out a pescatarian diet, engaging with meat-free Mondays or even just opting for a vegetarian option over a meat-based option when dining out in a restaurant. Buy free range where possible and opt for organic, fair trade coffees and chocolates to ensure fair living conditions for the people who have grown and produced your food. When it comes to clothing, question whether the price on the label matches your perceived worth of the goods. Low price products are often imported from countries where workers aren’t paid a living wage, may be exploited and might have low standard working conditions. Try to invest in clothing that has a fair trade source, free of human exploitation for a clear conscience. When it comes to beauty products, think of the environment. Choose brands which don’t engage with animal testing and avoid non-organic products. These often contain chemicals which are harsh on your skin and pollute waters after use.