This year has been a rollercoaster that maybe has made you unsure of the future when looking at the media, whether it's politics or Hollywood. At times, it can make you feel small, and not sure how you can support the world and your community. The news cycle spews tough topics that do need to be discussed but can also be overwhelming. The thing is, you are in more control than you think. Change does start with everyone individually, and every action has an effect. Here are some steps in using your abilities to better your community.
Recycling slows climate change, conserves energy and resources, and minimizes the carbon footprint and waste in the community. Stated by the Environmental Protection Agency, about 34% of Americans recycle. Ways that you can reduce waste every day include waste prevention, composting and recycling. Be aware of how much waste you consume, create a backyard compost that you can throw away leftover biodegradable food, or have a recycling bin next to your trash can.
2. Buy local items and foods.
There are many local small markets and grocery stores in your neighborhood that you can buy fresh produce from. The prices are cheaper, and you are supporting your local businesses which in return supports local families. These also help sustain local farmlands which promote genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity of fields, water, and woods.
3. Donate and raise money for local and global organizations.
There are many local organizations that the funds directly transfer on to the people affected. Organizations like Red Cross, Global Giving, and Heart to Heart International depend on volunteers and donations. There are also sites like charity navigator that can help you find charities that you trust and can advocate for.
4. Be involved in local politics.
The bus system in your city or the irrigation in your local neighborhood all rely on your local government. You can send letters and call your local representatives on issues that are important to you. I know most people only care about the primary elections, but it's important to know information on all the elections that occur and representatives to get a full understanding of the issues being discussed. The local government is the foundation of change and are more accessible compared to national government.
5. Be socially conscientious of others around you.
Social responsibility involves having empathy towards people and social issues around you. Ways to be responsible include volunteering, staying up to date on social issues through media, and being aware of the people in your community.
To change issues on a global scale is to also see the importance on a local scale. We are all capable of making our communities a better place to live.