Make a difference in under 30 minutes
Making a difference in your local area doesn’t have to be a big, time-consuming job; sometimes small acts of kindness can be just as impactful to someone else’s life. Not only does helping others make the world a better place, but it makes us feel good, too. That’s why we’ve rounded up six easy, achievable ways you can make a difference – in under half an hour.
Offer your time
Wherever you live, chances are there will be some great community projects running. Whether this is volunteering at a soup kitchen or helping restore a rundown building, your time can make a real difference.
Try giving your time to a group which aims to improve the lives of others; not only is this impacting your community, but it will leave you with a sense of achievement, too. Likewise, if there’s something that you’d like to change or help, why not organise your own event?
This can easily be done by gathering others in the community to organise a beach clean through Facebook events, for example.
Make a Donation
If your cupboards are full to the brim with tins you won’t get around to eating, give them away. There are a number of food banks in the UK that will accept tinned and dried food; these will then be given to people who need a little extra help.
Not only is this helping others, but it’s reducing food waste and ensuring resources are put to good use. Some superstores, such as Tesco, have food bins at the front of their stores for customers to donate non-perishable goods. To find your local food bank, visit The Trussell Trust.
Make a Friend
Do you know someone who lives alone, or that struggles to get out and about? A friendly chat over a cuppa with an elderly neighbour is an easy way to show you care. Whether it’s a fly-in visit to check they’re okay, or you help them with task they might struggle to do on their own, spending 30 minutes a week with an isolated individual can help you look after those around you. There are organisations such as GoodGym which organise these visits while also helping you to get fit.
Pop in to that independent store you’ve been meaning to check out and support local businesses. They’ll often stock unique, handmade products which can’t be found in high street chains. Many will stock items made using local resources, so your purchases will have a lower carbon footprint because they won’t have been shipped halfway across the country. 2018 saw an influx of zero-waste shops; find your nearest store to reduce your waste, and to support others making a positive impact on the environment.
Add an interesting twist to your run by taking a carrier bag and picking up rubbish as you go. Not only will it help time tick by a little fast, you’ll be cleaning up your community, too. Whether you’re just going for a quick walk around the block, or a destressing jog through your local park, plogging can be done by anyone – no matter their age or fitness ability.
Plogging first started in Sweden in 2016 and quickly spread across other countries – click here to find out more. If you really want to go the extra mile, start a plogging group with friends, family and neighbour.
Give to Charity
Clear out your wardrobe and donate old clothes to charity shops or homeless shelters; warm clothes are especially handy during the winter months. Even clothes that you may view as over worn or out of style will be able to find a new home with someone who will love and reuse them.
If you don’t want to lug a binbag full to your local charity shop, many supermarkets have clothing banks which make depositing items easy. Passing your old wardrobe on will also prevent your clothes from adding to the mass that already sits in landfill.