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We all know about the problems in the world. Maybe we don’t exactly know all the facts, but we know they are there. It’s either so overwhelming that we get paralyzed, or we want to help, but don’t know how we as individuals can make a difference. Don’t worry, I got you. It is World Habitat Day (Hip, hip, hooray)! This has inspired us at The Top Coins to reflect on how we can make a bigger difference in the world! In 1985, the special day was created by the United Nations to reflect on the state of our community and the world. Every day is a good day to be better, but on the first Monday of every October, we have a great excuse to take action! There is no “right” way to celebrate World Habitat Day as it means different things to different people. Whether you’re reflecting on sustainability, housing, and or animal habitat, the common theme running through everyone's mind is: How can we, as individuals, make a positive impact? We’ve put together a list of the top 5 easiest and most effective ways to make this world a better place!
1. Be Kind To Others: It sounds cheesy I know but making a difference is as simple as having a positive impact on someone. We often think about large scale initiatives when we want to make a positive impact, but what about being kind to one another? How refreshing is it when you’re at the checkout, and you get served by someone that genuinely asks about your day? Or when you’re walking down the street, and you walk past someone that smiles instead of looking the other way? How well does it feel when you receive a compliment from a stranger and or have a genuine conversation? I know for one, it’s the little things people do that make a huge difference in my world. You never know what someone’s going through or what a big difference your friendliness could make in their life. Especially during a time of social isolation, we need human connection more than ever. It’s easy, be kind.
2. Involve Your Friends: When I started my activism journey, I was shy/scared about sharing it with my friends. I didn’t want to be judged or seen as uncool, but it couldn’t be further from the truth! People love people making a difference, and you don’t have to be on this journey alone! There is power in numbers of people! Wanting to make a positive impact in the world can also be daunting, but when done with friends, it can be so so much fun! Maybe your friends aren’t aware of the current issues in the world such as climate change, homelessness & sustainability. If they’re doing something which you know is detrimental such as using plastic bags, call them out on it in a nice way! Many people care to make enough and make changes for the better, but they don’t know the facts or what to change. What more is better to learn from each other? Include your friends in the ways you already contribute to the issues you care about to inspire them. Learn from one another! If you wanted to go in the next level impact, you could even plan activities together such as volunteering, beach clean-ups and or planting trees. The more we have these conversations and take action, the closer we are to a better world.
3. Impactful Gifts: We all have someone in our life that we can give gifts to (if you don’t, this is your invitation to start giving)! Why not use birthdays and Christmas as an opportunity to give back. There are so many creative ways to give impactful gifts! Here are a few ideas:
- Adopt their favourite endangered animal
- Sign up both to volunteer at the shelter
- Plants! Everyone loves plants as decoration. Why not buy native plants to help your local ecosystems, including native bees?
- Gift them reusable items such as shopping bags, water bottles, coffee cups etc. Think about how many single-use things this will save!
- Donate on their behalf.
4. Vote: No matter where you are in the world, there’s always a local and or national election coming up. Getting educated and having your say is such an amazing way to use your voice and be heard about the things that matter to you. If you can’t vote but want to have your say on political matters, there are many ways you can be included! The most important thing is education. Inform yourself on political issues and make up your own opinions about where you stand. Even if you can’t vote, you can still talk to people! Use your voice on social media platforms to express your views. You never know who might be listening. Volunteering is also a massive element of politics. If you align with a particular candidate, getting out and volunteering for their team can help your cause without having to go to the polls.
5. Donate Food: The 2020 theme of World Habitat Day is “Housing For All - A Better Urban Future.” Affordable housing and homelessness are HUGE issues. It’s hard to contemplate how one person can make a dent in this very complicated matter. However, you can make a direct positive impact on homeless people. Shelters and soup kitchens do a fantastic job in helping the people that need it most! However, they are always in need of food donations. Next time you do a grocery shop, buy extra non-perishable items such as cans of soup, cans of vegetables, pasta, rice and drop them off at your local neighborhood house. These things don’t cost much at all but make a significant impact.
How are you going to show up for your community today?