You probably see it on the news or hear it on the radio. You might even read about it while surfing the web, or watch an informational video on YouTube. The world is suffering at the hands of mankind. Pollution, dwindling resources, war, violence, and global warming are just a few of the everyday content that you digest.
While you might think it’s being over-dramatized, you also fear what kind of world will be left for future generations. Rather than waiting to find out, you searched the internet for ways to start helping the world right now, and you’re reading this post waiting to find out. So, without further ado, here are some ways to improve the world, a little at a time.
Yes, the first thing on the list is to volunteer. Where, you ask? Well, that’s entirely up to you. There are so many different areas in which your help could prove to be immensely beneficial to your local community and the entire world. With so many different places to volunteer (and you’re not limited to just one, you can volunteer as much as you’d like), the opportunities for good are virtually endless. Do you want to have an immediate and direct impact on people’s lives? Consider becoming a part-time EMT, fireman, or police officer. Becoming a part-time law enforcement officer might be tricky, but if you’re willing to put in the work then it could be obtainable. There are 18,000 police departments in the United States (one-third of which were using body cameras as of March 2015), so you have multiple places to try. Not the kind of service you were looking for? Consider volunteering at local soup kitchens, homes, and clean up crews. Roadways and beaches are littered with trash and plastics that are hurting the environment and various species that inhabit those areas. Not to mention the estimated 16,000 chemical spills that happen every year from trucks, storage tanks, and trains. You can join a clean-up crew that goes around to local communities, or you can take the initiative yourself and spend your free time cleaning up the world.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
You were waiting for this one weren’t you? The reason that you keep seeing it is because it’s probably the most effective and simplest way to make the world a better place. It can feel less gratifying to throw your plastic in the blue bin compared to serving a hot meal to a homeless person, but it’s invaluable service nonetheless. However, it’s not just recycling that you should take up, but a “green” attitude in general. Rather than buying disposable items, purchase reusable ones. Instead of purchasing a 12-pack of water bottles, drink from the tap. The three Rs are more than just recycling tips; they’re a lifestyle. Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint in your daily life, like riding a bike instead of driving, is how you live the three R lifestyle. Although it may feel like you’re the odd man out, there are twice as many bicycles in the world as there are cars, with more than one billion bikes in existence. So even though it may seem ineffectual, even the tiniest of actions has the largest of impacts.
Donating is a combination of volunteering and the three Rs, so therefore it gets its own section. When you donate, you help change the world by giving items (three Rs), money, or your time (volunteering) to those in need. Donating can sometimes feel like a “behind-the-scenes” way of helping others and the world, it is no less effective. You can pretty much donate anything (as long as it’s appropriate) and it’s all appreciated equally. Whether you have $20 to give or $200, every little counts. Do you have old clothes that you no longer wear? Donate them to a local charity or shelter instead of throwing them out. Have an old car that still runs, but you don’t need it? Donate it. The average car has about three owners throughout it’s lifetime, and even if it’s on it’s last legs, it could be just what a food distribution service needed to get hot meals to hungry mouths.
None of these things should come as a surprise to you, because these are the same things that everyone tells everyone else to do in order to help the world. The reason you’re searching the web for ways to help isn’t because you don’t know how, it’s because you need the push. So here it is: go out there and make a difference. Help an elderly woman cross the street, pick up the trash that everyone else just walked over, do anything you can to make the world a better place. Because if you don’t, who will?