Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Simple Ways You Can Give Back

Sometimes, it might seem like giving back takes too much work or that your help wouldn’t make an impact. Fortunately, both of those assumptions are incorrect. Here are some simple ways you can give back to your local and global communities:

Volunteer at a Food Bank:  Feeding America combats hunger throughout the country. Click here to locate a food bank near you.

Recycle Clothing:  Check your city for Goodwill, Second Time Around, or other second-hand stores. Take in clean, gently used clothes for donation or consignment.  Here's a fine example of what's possible when you recycle clothes, Good Karma Clothing for Kids.

Aid Your Environment:  Click here for beach cleanups, park restorations, youth outreach events, and other eco-friendly efforts you can join.

Join Zealous Good:  Zealous Good—a Chicago-based social enterprise—connects those with excess goods to local charities, matching donations to specific needs and reducing the cost and effort of charitable giving.

Upcycle Prom Dresses: encourages girls across the country to donate gently used prom and special occasion dresses for those who cannot afford to buy their own.

Declutter Your Life:  Donate old cell phones to soldiers or great organizations like the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Recycling for Charities. Electronics, books, and more can also be given to charities in your community.

Buy local:  Find a farmer’s market and support local producers.

Nurture Mother Nature:  Recycle, start a garden, or plant something beautiful in your backyard.

Give Greenly:  On holidays and special occasions, try to give gifts that benefit the environment.

Educate Your Co-Workers:  Put up an Earth Day bulletin board at work to offer energy-saving tips, such as:
  1. Use Blackle for Internet searches.
  2. Turn off your computer and monitor before you leave work.
  3. Bring lunch in a reusable bag or Tupperware. Plastic shopping bags can take anywhere from 15 to 1000 years to decompose.
  4. Go paperless as much as possible and print double-sided when necessary. Currently, each American uses more than 700 pounds of paper per year on average.
These are just a few simple tips to get you started. Everything each of us does makes a difference—even if it’s a small one. If we all pitch in and make a few easy changes, they’ll add up to amazing results we couldn’t have accomplished alone.

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