How to make a positive impact from home in 2020
COVID-19 has thrown a spanner in the works for all of us. It’s also brought out the desire for people to make a positive impact and change. Depending on where you are in the world, making a positive impact outside of home may not be easy, or possible. Here is how to make a positive impact from home in 2020.
Be mindful of what you buy
Whether you go out to buy groceries or get them delivered to your home, finding a way to make a positive impact with your shopping requires a bit of thinking and initiative. Next time you’re getting groceries, consider the following;
- Fair-trade products: Help growers of crops have more financial security, making them less vulnerable to poverty. Fair-trade provides support to farmers and workers so that the environment can be protected
- Buy what’s essential: Take a minimalist approach so you buy less and have less to throw out. Ask yourself if you really need what you’re buying.
- Avoid plastic: Everyone knows that using a lot of plastic is bad for the environment. You can take it a step further by avoiding products wrapped in plastic, try bulk wholefood stores.
- Minimise online shopping: Sure, it’s convenient and opens you up to products from anywhere, but, it creates a disproportionate amount of pollution. Shop local when you can.
Minimise your waste
Minimising the amount of waste created is a huge way you can make a positive environmental impact.
There are many ways you can reduce your waste at home. Here are a few tips;
- Package-free/low packaging options
- Avoiding single-use items
- Buy quality products that last
- Stop buying plastic water bottles
- Cancel unnecessary mail
- Start composting
Something not often spoken about enough is food waste’s impact on the climate. 30% of food is wasted globally, contributing 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Cook and eat mindfully. Try making a meal plan.
Recycle everything you can, and recycle right. Don’t put the wrong things in your recycling bin. See your local recycling guidelines to make sure you're recycling appropriately.
Make sure you are reusing jars, bottles and bags before throwing them away. Take recycling a step further and find specialty recycling organisations that can recycle more, like old plastics, electronics, appliances, carpet, etc. In Australia, less than 12% of plastic is recycled, which leaves a staggering amount going straight to landfills. There are many environmental benefits to recycling.
In a COVID-19 world, volunteering may not yet be available where you live or safe depending on your situation. But the good news is that you can still volunteer from the comfort of your own home.
Vollie is an online marketplace that connects skilled people to non-profits and charities for skills-based online volunteering. You can volunteer from anywhere in the world, and around your busy personal and professional schedule.
Volunteering has many benefits like connecting to new people, advancing your career and having fun. It’s also good for your mental and physical health.
Charities are really struggling during COVID-19. Here in Australia, it is estimated that there is a 20 per cent slump in fundraising revenue. Charities and non-profits are driven by purpose and helping them out in 2020 can really make a difference. Knowing that your money is going to help others is also empowering and can make you feel great. Studies have shown that giving to charities activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection and trust, a major mood-booster.
During Coronavirus, people are donating their government stimulus packages and making a positive social impact. People around the world that are still employed and received a stimulus are paying it forward to charities, fundraisers and directly to people that need it most.
Offset your carbon emissions
Offsetting your carbon emissions is a simple way to have a positive impact on our climate. Non-profit organisations like Greenfleet make offsetting your carbon emissions easy. They plant native biodiverse forests to offset carbon emissions on your behalf. Their forests capture millions of tonnes of carbon emissions, conserve biodiversity, improve water quality and provide vital habitat for native wildlife.
You can offset your carbon emissions for a relatively affordable price, and it’s great seeing before and after images of new forests. There are broad and specific ways you can offset your carbon emissions to make a positive environmental impact.
Choose ethical and sustainable businesses
A simple way to make a positive impact is by spending and investing your money with ethical and sustainable businesses.
Ethical and sustainable businesses exist across all industries.
Let’s take finance as an example. Ethical financial institutions exist and are doing really well. Many of us put our money away in savings accounts but rarely think about what happens to it once it's there. Institutions like Bank Australia don’t invest in immoral industries like fossil fuels and live animal export. Instead, they invest in renewable energy projects and non-profit organisations.
Support the people closest to you
Being there for the ones you live with can make all the difference in the world. There are a lot of things you can do - from helping with chores, asking how they’re feeling, to just listening to them. 2020 has had a negative-effect on most people, and being there for one another is important. The biggest impact you make may be as simple as being there for your family and friends.
It’s also important to look after yourself too.
Encourage others to make a positive impact
Annoying and harassing your friends and family to make a positive impact probably isn’t the best way to go about this. The first step to encouraging others to make a positive impact is to lead by example. To get others to change, you need to start with yourself, and be humble about it. Your actions can help people see the feel-good effects of making a difference and want to try it out for themselves.
Do you know someone that wants to make a positive impact but doesn’t know how? Share this article with them. It might just inspire them to make a difference.