Do you want to make a difference in the world, but have no idea what you can do?
Maybe you feel like you have nothing valuable to contribute, or maybe you feel like you don’t have the time/resources/ability to make a “significant” difference.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you can, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take too much time and energy.
Ecosia is an excellent alternative to Google/Bing/Yahoo search. Aside from being a competent search engine, Ecosia donates at least 80% of its surplus income to non-profit organisations that focus on reforestation and conservationism. Every time you search, you are contributing to that income (at no cost to yourself). Without spending any money at all, and without getting your hands dirty, you can help to plant trees in areas that have been ravaged by deforestation.
Make a small monthly donation to charity
You may be in a situation (like myself) where you don’t have a great deal of disposable income, and you feel like you wouldn’t be able to donate “enough” money to make a difference. But honestly, even the smallest monthly donation can make a huge difference. For example, I donate £5 a month to Samaritans, which helps them to answer one phone call a month. It might not sound like a lot, but that one phone call could save someone’s life, and £5 a month is just 16p a day for me to spend. But even if you can’t afford £5, a smaller donation like £2 a month is still crucial to helping charities continue their important work.
FreeRice is an online game where you answer questions, such as English vocabulary, foreign languages, maths, science, and more, and for every answer you get correct, they donate 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme. You can literally help to feed people just by playing an online game. It costs you nothing but your time.
Donate your old stuff
If you have clothes, books, DVDs or other things that you no longer want or need, why not donate them to a charity shop? They can then sell them on and make money to support their charity’s work. If you’re not able to get to a charity shop itself, there are now lots of charity bags that come through our letterboxes, and they will collect your things from your house. (I would just add a caveat here to make sure you check that the charity bag is from a legitimate charity, as unfortunately there have been instances of fake charity bags coming through. For more information on how to make sure you’re donating to a real charity, click here.)
Donate to a food bank
Many supermarkets now have food bank stations inside them, so when you do your weekly shop, you could just add a couple of extra bits and pieces, then donate them there and then. These things then go on to a food bank, so you don’t even have to go down there to donate the food yourself. Also, something that is not often thought of when donating to food banks is sanitary products (sanitary towels, tampons, toiletries). If you can buy an extra pack of sanitary towels (which can cost less than £1), pop them in the food bank station along with the food donations.
I hope you’ve found something in this list that you feel you can do – something small, that makes a huge difference. Or maybe you’ve had some of your own ideas? Let me know in the comments.