You might feel like a very small person in a very big world, but there are steps you can take to have a positive impact on the planet. From changing your habits at home to giving up some of your free time to help others, there are many ways you can change the world for the better. Here are three options that you might want to consider.
- Give money to good causes
People across the globe are experiencing unimaginable suffering as we speak. A heartrending example is the fact that nearly 800 million people don’t have enough food to live a healthy life, and over three million children are dying every year due to malnutrition. Meanwhile, switch on the news and you’re bound to see updates on the plight of the people of Syria. Civil war has devastated many parts of the country, killing hundreds of thousands and leaving millions displaced. Statistics like these can seem overwhelming, but there are a range of charity initiatives that are helping to alleviate the suffering. For example, the charity humanappeal.org.uk is funding a number of projects, including a food crisis appeal and campaigns to provide food, shelter and medical treatment in Syria.
There are various ways you can donate to causes like these. If you can afford it, you might want to set up regular payments to your chosen charity, or you could provide one-off donations. To generate more money for good causes, you could take part in sponsored challenges or fundraising events. Whether it’s completing a run or hosting a bake sale, this can be a great way to support charity projects.
- Cut your carbon footprint
Scientists are telling us that a rise of just 2°C in global temperatures could lead to major problems around the planet, ranging from severe storms and droughts to ocean acidification. Worryingly, experts now predict that if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t drastically reduced, there could be temperature increases of up to 6°C this century, potentially resulting in major sea level rises and a host of other problems. You might not be able to tackle the looming environmental crisis yourself, but you can do your bit to control global warming.
For example, improving the insulation in your home could bring down your carbon footprint. Simple changes like turning your thermostat down one degree, switching from old light bulbs to LEDs and making sure you turn your gadgets and appliances off when you’re not using them will also help to cut your energy use. As well as making your home greener, this will lower your household bills – so it’s a win win!
- Volunteer your time
Time’s precious, but if you have space in your schedule, why not volunteer to help people in your community? Whether you have lots of gaps in your diary or you can only spare an hour or two a week, there are a range of useful things you could do. From litter picking to volunteering in a charity shop or supporting the elderly, you should be able to find something rewarding and worthwhile. If you’re not sure where to start, check out volunteering websites. These sites let you search for roles by your postcode, how much time you can give and what you feel passionate about.
As well as helping the world around you, taking actions like these – whether it’s giving money, becoming more eco-friendly or giving up some spare time – could make you feel more positive and fulfilled, so it’s well worth investigating your options.