13 Ways to Change the World

Thứ bảy - 27/04/2024 01:10
Simple ways to make a difference in your community and beyondThe world may be big, but even small changes can make a major difference! Adopting a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle, being kind, and staying positive are key to changing...
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The world may be big, but even small changes can make a major difference! Adopting a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle, being kind, and staying positive are key to changing the world around you. Wondering where to start? We've got it covered! Keep reading for tips to improving the planet, from the local to the global.

Things You Should Know

  • Making a difference starts at home: try to keep a positive attitude and be kind to the people around you.
  • Improve your local community by volunteering with a charity that’s meaningful to you or by getting involved in local politics.
  • Change the world by reducing your carbon footprint: minimize your waste as much as you can, conserve water, and try to buy fair trade.

Be kind to others.

  1. Do favors and help out where you can.
    We can get so caught up in working to improve the world as a whole that we forget there are lots of things that we can do every day at home that have a positive impact too. One of the best things you can do easily and every day is to treat others how you want to be treated. Do something nice for someone as often as you can.
    • This can be small things like making someone a birthday present, or big things like driving someone around until they get their car fixed. When we work together, everything runs more smoothly and we're better able to further invest those gains in benefiting the rest of the globe.
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Get to know your neighbors.

  1. How well do you know the people who live right next to you?
    If you haven't exchanged more than a few sentences (if that) with your neighbors, you're not alone: most people in the United States don't know their neighbors well.[1] But being familiar with the people who live in your neighborhood has been associated with lower levels of loneliness (for you and for them!) and increased feelings of "usefulness" and respect within the community.[2]
    • Introducing yourself to your neighbors, chatting with them when you see them, or even inviting them over for a neighborhood gathering can increase morale in your community. Bonus: it'll make you feel great, too!

Minimize waste.

  1. Reduce your carbon footprint.
    Another way to really make the world a better place is to reduce the negative impact you have on the natural world. Being a good steward of the earth has a significant and positive impact on your environment and helps to preserve the planet for the next generation.[3]
    • You can get an idea of how big your carbon footprint is by using the EPA’s carbon footprint calculator.
    • Help protect the environment and reduce your carbon footprint by:
      • Not littering, and cleaning up trash that you do find, even if someone else dropped it
      • Recycling
      • Reducing the waste you produce and composting
      • Conserving water and growing some of your own food
      • Cutting down on your electricity usage (or buying and installing solar panels for your home, if you’re able)[4]
      • Switching to public transit, a bike, or an electric vehicle
      • Not buying more food than you can eat
      • Buying used clothing instead of new clothes
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Become an organ donor.

  1. One donor can provide life-saving organs for up to 8 people.
    As of January 2023, there were more than 104,000 people on the national organ transplant waiting list, and a new person is added to the list every 10 minutes. By signing up to be an organ donor, you could do some major good in the world for up to 8 people. Sign up via the federal organ donor website.[5]
    • You don't have to stop at becoming an organ donor: you can also sign up to donate blood. Every 2 seconds, someone in the country needs a blood transfusion.[6] Check out the Red Cross's website to find out where to donate blood in your area.

Be an animal advocate.

  1. Stand up for animal rights!
    As the dominant life form on this planet, it is our responsibility to protect the creatures that cannot protect themselves. Because of the way we currently live, many animals suffer and are even going extinct! If you want to improve conditions for animals, there are many ways you can help.[7]
    • Encourage and vote for legislation that protects animals.
    • Only buy products that do not contribute to animal abuse.
    • Donate to charities which help animals, such as the Humane Society, The Marine Mammal Center, or the Performing Animal Welfare Society.
    Jane Goodall
    Jane Goodall, Conservation & Animal Welfare Advocate

    Take action in your own life to protect the environment. "You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

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  1. Providing tampons and pads to people who need them will make a huge difference.
    Roughly half the planet menstruates, but in many disadvantaged communities throughout the world, menstruating folks do not have access to sanitary hygiene products. Donating tampons and pads is a great way to help solve this problem in your local community and across the globe.[8]
    • Not having access to menstrual products leads to humiliation and isolation at best, and at worst discomfort and even life-threatening infections.
    • By donating items and money to charities that work to solve this problem, you'll be keeping menstruating people healthy and help them to do things like attend school and work so that they get the opportunity to better their own lives.
    • There are lots of organizations that help get menstrual products to people who need them and educate young people about menstruation, including Period and Days for Girls.

  1. A little money could end up doing a lot of good for a lot of people.
    Donating to charity is a great way to change the world—even if it’s just a few dollars at a time. Identify causes that are meaningful to you (the environment? education? ending hunger? women’s rights?) and research organizations in your area or around the world that support those causes, and consider becoming a regular donor.
    • Short on cash? You don't necessarily have to donate money. Some nonprofits accept educational materials, clothing, or other supplies. Call or email to ask what they need.
    • You could also volunteer or be part of fundraising efforts for charities that do good abroad. Run a half marathon or other fundraiser to raise funds for an international charity of your choice.
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Be an ethical consumer.

  1. Buy fair trade.
    Fair trade certified products are guaranteed to have been produced under humane conditions for workers. Buying something with a “fair trade” label ensures that workers creating the product have been paid a fair wage and that they worked under sustainable conditions.[9]
    • Fair trade items will almost always be labeled as such. If you're unsure if something is fair trade, try to at least avoid items that are often unethically sourced. Coffee, bananas, cocoa, many tropical fruits, wine (mainly from California), clothing items (mainly from China, Bangladesh, and SE Asia) and jewelry are often unethically sourced.
    • By buying these products as much as possible, you can show companies that you think these practices are worth a few extra pennies and encourage other companies to invest in these practices as well.


  1. Volunteering with a local charity is a great way to improve the world around you.
    You'll be able to do the most direct good and see the impact on the people that you help. If you have a practical skill (such as construction or medical expertise) or can learn one, consider putting it to use for your community by volunteering at the Humane Society in your neighborhood.
    • Tutoring disadvantaged kids, working at a local soup kitchen, or volunteering with a charity like Habitat for Humanity are just a few ways you can make a difference in your town.
    • Besides the obvious benefits of donating your time and energy to a cause you believe in, volunteering has been associated with improved physical and mental health and lower levels of loneliness.[10]
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Be civically engaged.

  1. Get involved in local politics.
    Attend town hall meetings and rallies, read up on local news and politics, educate yourself on issues, and exercise your right to vote for what you believe in! Good policies can have a positive impact on your community and your environment. By voting for causes and politicians you believe in, you can make a real difference in your community.
    • In the United States, only about 50% to 60% of eligible voters actually vote during the presidential election, and 35% to 40% vote in midterm elections.[11]
    • Imagine the changes people might enact if 90% of people voted during presidential elections and 60% of people voted during midterms!

Invest in small businesses.

  1. Invest your money where it’ll make a difference.
    Sometimes, all a third world or disadvantaged community needs is a chance for their own economy to flourish. One way you can help people help themselves is by providing small business loans.
    • Because small businesses often have lower overhead costs than bigger businesses, you’ll likely get a higher return on your investment—more importantly, the small business will get what it needs to contribute to that economy and community.[12]
    • This is an especially good way to help women and other vulnerable groups to support themselves.
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Promote awareness of important issues.

  1. Educate others about the things that matter.
    Set a good example for your friends and family members, and educate them on the issues so that they can make good decisions too. Help them to understand why these things are important, so that they're also motivated to change their lives. By changing a few minds you can double or triple your positive impact on the world.

Be positive.

  1. Hold onto hope.
    Trying to change the world can be discouraging, because change happens at such a small pace and you may not notice it for a long time. But staying positive and keeping a smile on your face is a great way to make others feel good and encourage them to help out too. By finding the upsides in tough situations and working hard to fix problems, you can positively impact the people you come into contact with.
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  • Always research organizations you want to help or donate to. Some organizations, even if they're "real" charities, still spend almost none of the donated money on actually helping people. Use tools like Charity Watch and the BBB to get more information on an organization.
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