The world can feel like a scary place at times. Disease, political instability, war, and terror; it can really make you sit and reflect on the type of planet our children will inherit. However, there is good in the world too, and if each of us makes an effort to make it a nicer place to live our effort combined will have a huge impact. As a small person on a colossal planet, you might be wondering exactly what you can do. Here are some ideas to help you make a genuine difference in a positive way.
If you’re lucky enough to have food in your cupboards and a roof over your head, you’re already better off than a large proportion of people in the world. If you’re in a position where you can volunteer your time to make things better for someone else, then you can go to bed at night safe in the knowledge that you’ve made a difference. Volunteering comes in many forms, it could be spending time helping out at a homeless shelter, or chatting to people in an elderly care home. It could be building an orphanage in another country, or spending an hour a week at a women’s refuge. Find out what you’re passionate about and where you would most like to volunteer your time and go for it. You could well change someone’s life for the better, inspire them or give them a great piece of advice that allows them to get out of the situation they’re in. It’s completely free so is something you can do even if you don’t have much money yourself.
Why hold on to the knowledge that you have? Passing it on can inspire others! You could tutor children or adults, or hold webinars online to pass on any professional knowledge you have. You could teach an elderly friend or neighbor computer skills which could make a huge impact on their lives. And of course, teach your children. It doesn’t have to be all serious and academic, there are thousands of activities, worksheets, and other educational activity ideas online on places like Pinterest. Giving your children a thirst for knowledge and a love of learning will massively set them up for success in their lives. You don’t have to be a qualified teacher in a classroom to pass on knowledge if you have skills that you’re good at then there are lots of ways to pass them on.
Adopt or Foster
Not all children are born to parents that love and want them, or sometimes they’re unable to keep them for different reasons. Being in and out of the care system is incredibly difficult for children, who crave stability and need to feel loved and accepted. When you open your heart and home to a child who needs it most, you make a positive difference and can help to shape the rest of their lives. It can be a difficult decision when children have come from troubled backgrounds it can take a lot of patience and love, but it’s one of the most fulfilling things you can do in life, so something to consider if you’re the right kind of person. Adopting a child can be a big change to your finances, although thankfully you’re entitled to adoption leave from your employer. This can make life a little easier as you settle into life with your newest family member. There’s plenty of support out there for those adopting or fostering, so be sure to take up any help and advice you need.
Be a Surrogate
Another incredible thing you could do relating to babies and children is to become a surrogate. Of course, this won’t be for everyone and takes some serious thought and consideration. But there’s a serious shortage of surrogates, and growing a baby for a couple who are unable will change their lives forever. It’s one of the most selfless and amazing things a woman can do, and after the nine months are over you can spend the rest of your life knowing that you did something really special. It might not change the world, but for that couple, you changed their world for the better. A lesser version would be to donate your eggs.
Raise Money For Charity
Even if you don’t have a whole load of money to donate to charity, there are plenty of ways to can help to raise it. Sponsored activities work well, and when lots of people all sponsor a small amount, it can add up in a big way. These are often fun and enjoyable activities too so you can have a good laugh in the process, and rope in friends and colleagues too! Whether it’s running a half marathon in a chicken costume or throwing a bake sale, the money all goes to a good cause and helps charities continue with the excellent work that they do.
Care For The Environment
As humans we can be destructive and careless. Deforestation, a hole in the ozone layer, acid rain and melting ice caps are just a few of the things we as a human race have helped to cause. Many people believe that as an individual there’s not much they can do to help, however, we’re all individuals, and it’s our efforts combined which make a difference. If everyone took responsibility for themselves or their own household think of what we could achieve. Some of the ways you can help care for the environment is by recycling. This means less waste being burned by incinerators which use fossil fuels or sent to landfill which results in ground pollution. Composting is another way to take care of waste, you can break down produce, cardboard, eggshells, teabags and garden clippings in a compost bin easily and it’s something that every homeowner can get on board with. Another way we can burn fewer fossil fuels is by using less fuel. This could mean getting solar panels fitted at home, or having wall and loft insulation completed so that less heat escapes. You could change your bulbs for energy saving ones which use significantly less power. Have you thought about adding solar power? Especially if you live somewhere that gets a lot of sunlight like California. Check out solar cost san diego 2019 for inspiration on solar power.
Admittedly the voting systems around the world aren’t perfect, if you live in a country which has a democratic system then you should always vote. It’s your right as a citizen, and something so many before you have tirelessly campaigned for. Some other countries don’t even have voting options, so this is something you should take advantage of if you’re lucky enough to have it as a right. Educating yourself on politics is an important part of being an adult, it’s always good to know what’s going on in the world and know where you stand on political issues. You can make an educated choice as to which way you want to vote and do your part to influencing who gets into power.
Buy Fairtrade and Ethical
Every time we buy a product we help to create a demand for it. When we buy from sweatshops or factories that burn through fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow, more of them will go on to be created. Therefore when we buy ethical products, we help to create a demand for these. In the case of produce, you could buy organic free range eggs for example instead of those from caged hens. With things like bananas, chocolate, beauty products and cotton, buying Fairtrade helps to support communities overseas and makes a huge difference. It helps the businesses in developing countries to thrive, where they can be paid a fair wage for what they earn. When you’re buying things like paint and other chemicals, opt for those with low VOC levels which don’t damage the ozone layer.
Do your research when buying products, it takes a little more effort and might be a bit more expensive, but it’s so worth it when you look at the bigger picture and think of what affects your purchases can have. Would you rather be helping to create a demand for fair pay and opportunities, or child labor and extortion? The answer is pretty clear.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post, all opinions are my own