During 2016, we at Cotopaxi are encouraging you—and ourselves—to get out there, take on a few new challenges, and find ways to do good every step of the way. Our “do good” category will be the focus of this post, which might include something as little as starting a garden or as big as making larger personal sacrifices of time and money for the greater good. Either way, we are nudging you to find new ways to do good in your day-to-day life, and let the following suggestions help get you started.
Make volunteering a part of your weekly routine.
When looking for a volunteer position, first identify the causes you are passionate about, determine how much time you can commit, and contact relevant organizations. Look for positions in which you can match your skills to a volunteer opportunity.
Learn a new skill.
Learning is key to expanding our ability to empathize and take action toward solving the global problems we face today. Take a course at the local library or community college, read a book in a genre you typically wouldn’t, or engage in conversation with community members from different walks of life.
To help reduce the millions of tons of trash we create every year, start composting organic materials such as banana peels, coffee grounds, and leftover food. Over the course of a few months, the food will break down into rich humus, which can be used for gardening or farming. Use in your own garden, or donate to the local community garden. Learn more here.
Make monthly donations to a cause you care about.
Find a cause you care about, and pledge to donate a certain amount each month. $10 a month doesn’t seem like a lot, but at the end of the year it will amount to $120 toward creating change in an area you’re passionate about.
Be a conscious consumer.
Whether shopping for food or a new shirt, know the story behind what you’re buying. Purchase goods from companies that are trying to mitigate their impact on the environment and help society. Look for companies that have B Corps certification, meaning they’ve completed a rigorous environmental, social and operational assessment. Also, check out Good Guide, an app that provides information on the environmental and social sustainability of products.
Be a conscious traveler.
During 2016, commit to taking your dream trip, but keep the environment and communities you are visiting in mind when you do so. When traveling, always consider what you are leaving behind, and make sure it’s a good thing.
Lead by example.
Doing little things can go a long way. Pick up a litter on the side of a trail, shovel the snow from your neighbor’s driveway, or hold the door for someone. Your small actions can inspire others around you to do small acts of good as well, creating a much larger impact than you ever could have intended.
Get out and vote.
Presidential elections in the United States will occur again in November 2016. Educate yourself on the legislative process, prominent issues, and candidates. Fulfill your civic duties by voting in not only the upcoming presidential election, but in your local elections as well.
Make someone’s day.
Smile at others on the street. Give another compliment to your coworker. Pay the toll for the person behind you on the highway. Seemingly insignificant gestures have a way of making someone’s day.
Do your research.
Global issues are so big it seems that there is little that we can do to make a difference that doesn’t involve donating money. But the truth is, every time you interact with the economy (purchase something), you have a the choice to support brands and organizations that align with your values. Every time you read up on global issues, you gain the power to create awareness. Every time you do a selfless act, you inspire those around you to do the same.