How do we spend our time on a day to day basis? For most of us, we will work throughout the week and use the weekends for play. Our work funds our lifestyle, and our play is generally self-centred. This makes sense. After all, we have to focus on ourselves to grow and expand, moving our lives forward and achieving our goals. But every now and then, we should spare a thought for others. There are plenty of brilliant schemes out there that need a little support, who aim to make the world a better place. But with hundreds of thousands of charities and projects out there, how do you choose which to support? A good place to start is to consider what you’re interested in, what drives you, and what’s convenient for you to donate (time, cash, goods, etc.). Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Homelessness is a problem that is rife across the nation. How ludicrous is that? Especially considering that we are supposedly one of the most developed societies in the world with authoritative bodies that should regulate and solve major issues for the good of society. Now, you may grow used to seeing individuals begging for change in the streets. But being used to something shouldn’t affect your dedication to it. Giving the odd bit of change here and there may help a little, but what you need to do is confront the wider problem. Why are these individuals on the streets? What can we do to help them back on their feet? There’s a certain stigma around the homeless. Some will claim that they are lazy, drug addicts, that they choose to be where they are. But this isn’t necessarily true. Think about it: who’d choose to face the elements, be unable to wash, go hungry, and to get little sleep because they’re constantly being moved on? The sad truth is that anyone can become homeless. You never know how your fortune may change and a short series of events could see you thrown out of the comfortable lifestyle that you know. What’s more? Getting back on your feet once you’re down is extremely difficult. How are you meant to get a job interview and secure a place as an employee if you can’t even wash properly or afford a meal to set you up for a day’s work? You can help out in various ways. One way is hands on. You can volunteer for soup kitchens or food drives that offer sustenance to those with no money. Alternatively, you can volunteer for a charity, or perhaps support a charity with donations. Finally, look out for schemes that donate their proceeds to the cause. This benefits you and the homeless. If you’re wondering how to get money for your old car and want a portion of the proceeds to go towards rectifying homelessness, there are schemes like Recycling Lives who provide just that service.
We live in an astounding world with stunning landscapes alongside astounding creatures. So how tragic is it that our daily behaviour is destroying the very thing that sustains us and the other innocent beings that inhabit it? So many aspects of people’s lifestyles are detrimental to the planet. We use unsustainable materials on a daily basis, we litter the seas, drive cars that release all sorts of toxic fumes into the atmosphere… sadly, the list goes on and on. Then there are the problems on a much larger scale caused by huge corporations: oil spills, fracking, and deforestation. So how can we stop this? Well, the more individuals care, the more they can regulate their own behaviour. But a serious way to make significant change is to push governments to change laws, regulating corporate behaviour and changing what the average person can buy and the goods that they are supplied with. These changes can be large or small, but they will always make a positive difference. Take a look at America’s choice to ban products with microbeads in. Microbeads are unnecessary, small plastic balls often used in cosmetics and hygiene products for aesthetic purposes. But they slip by water filter systems and end up filling the stomachs of ocean-dwelling creatures. This simple change in the law has removed this problem. The good news is that you can support charities who endorse this change, raising public awareness of issues and encouraging governments and other authoritative bodies to review issues and make changes. The most famous of these is perhaps Greenpeace. This organisation defends the natural world and promotes peace by investigating, exposing, and confronting environmental abuse. They also champion solutions. So, check out their site and support them! You can offer to donate a small amount each month to support their research, projects, and further efforts.
These are just two areas that you can focus on. There are plenty more good causes out there that you can focus your passion, energy and efforts into for the good of others. So start making a positive change today!