I love this country so much I get teary every single time the Star Spangled Banner song comes on. It’s pretty embarrassing, actually, but it happens.
It isn’t a perfect country, but no country is perfect. Every day we can all make an impact in a positive way no matter where we live.
Small changes to our lives can help improve our local economies AND the world. There is no lose-lose situation, unless we all stop supporting each other and become extremely selfish.
Instead, I thought I’d share my top 10 ways I try to help my community every day of the year:
1. Buying used when I can
There are so many cool thrift stores in Denver that are locally owned. I’m not a huge fan of buying “new” stuff all the time. I know everyone says shopping is incredibly patriotic, but I disagree. I think it’s better to support local companies that make things here or buy used from local thrift shops.
Plus, buying used keeps things from going in the trash.
2. Switching to glass
Plastic sucks. Period. Yes, it’s cheap. Yes, it can help some manufacturing processes. Yes, it’s everywhere.
When my choice is between glass and plastic, I choose glass. It’s better for the planet, and when I can buy from a local company, it helps my community.
3. Buying American
Insert your local economy or country into that sentence.
I fully support American companies who manufacture their goods here as well. Some of the things may cost more (but a lot don’t!), but the long-term benefit on the local economy and supporting small businesses outweighs any initial cost.
Throwing perfectly acceptable items away without donating them is a complete waste. Not to mention, most of these things end up in landfills and take thousands, upon thousands of years to decompose.
The amount of people who take their right to vote for granted is appalling. We can all do things on a micro level to help each other, but putting the people in place that support our values is essential as well.
If you haven’t registered to vote, please consider registering.
6. Supporting GOOD companies
Look companies up on the internet. Some pollute horribly. Some use slave labor. Some have inhumane practices. Always, always check where your money is going, especially if it is a company that you buy from often.
7. Donate to non-profits that get stuff done
Some non-profit organizations are more action-oriented than others. Along with point #6, look into the non-profits you support. Make sure they spend more time getting things accomplished than marketing.
8. Consuming less and focusing on minimalism
I have always believed that owning less and doing more helps the world better than we know. We have more time to garden, volunteer, help friends, and anything else we say we never have time for.
When we have time to be there for our friends, family, and community, we create a better world. I have created a lot more time in my day by needing less materialistic stuff, thus needing less money.
9. Focusing on less processed food
Farmers markets > grocery stores.
Buying from local organic farmers is important when it comes to helping to change the world around us.
10. Better eating habits
Eating organic vegetables is one of the best habits I ever started introducing to my diet. There is little debate that factory farms for either animals or plants is a good thing for the planet. One thing I always recommend is to eat vegan at least one day a week. If you can do more, that’s awesome, but at least start with one day a week.
If you’re curious on the statistics behind factory farms, meat eating, and the planet, read: THIS.
The narrative within our society is that we have lost any power to change anything around us. The mainstream media talks about the environment, the economy, and politics like it is somehow something out of our control.
By changing little habits and our lives and making sure our money goes to sources that help the world instead of hinder it, we would realize that we have WAY MORE power than we’ve been told.
What small habits do you do every day to make this a better world? Leave a comment below!