The little things you do can make a big difference.
One thing I love about the DoneGood community is how passionate we are. Maybe some are more focused on environmental ethics, some more on human rights issues, and some on kindness to animals.
But we all care. A lot. We are activists at heart.
And because we care, we may go a little crazy sometimes because we want to do more. We think, “If only I were a lawyer, a policy-maker, a diplomat, an economist, a business owner, an author—then I could really make a difference.”
But just like a healthy body comes from 100 boring days at the gym instead of one great one, change for important things like fair labor and the environment usually happens in the boring everyday of our lives. And it does make a difference! So how can you become an activist in your everyday life? Here are just a few ideas.
Use Social Media (but in a good way)
I know we’ve all rolled our eyes when our friends have maybe gotten a little too passionate about their favorite topic on social media. But social media still has so much potential to do good and spread awareness for issues that we care about.
How do I know? Because several years ago, through a series of helpful and tasteful social media posts from a friend, I learned about the reality and the gravity of human trafficking.
Since then, a major focus of what I do and how I spend my money has been aimed at fighting modern-day slavery. All because of a couple of Instagram posts by a friend.
So, you don’t have to flood your friends’ feeds with doom and gloom. Keep sharing funny memes, pictures of your brunch, and cute videos of your kid, but don’t underestimate the power of an occasional informative, insightful, and respectful post about the environment, human rights issues, and sustainable shopping.
And pass on any resources that have helped you learn along the way (like, I don’t know, maybe an ethical shopping resource that puts ethical brands all in one place so they’re easy to
find... ;-) )
Talk to your friends
We want our friends and family to care about the issues we care about, but we don’t want them to run and hide at the sight of us because they’re sick of hearing about sweatshops and climate change. There’s got to be a balance.
There are several ways to share about issues that are important to us without droning on or being judgy. Talk about your new favorite places to shop. When you get a compliment on a new piece of clothing (because you will), share the story of how it was made with recycled water bottles or by survivors of human trafficking.
Keep up with the news and discuss any recent articles or news stories relating to an issue you’re passionate about. Take advantage of awareness days and campaigns like Slavery & HumanTrafficking Prevention Month, Earth Day, Dressember, Fashion Revolution Week, and End It Day.
Spend Your Money in the Right Places
DoneGood is here because we believe that how we spend our money is one of the most powerful ways we can change the world.
Each year, Americans give about $400 billion to charity and spend about $130 trillion (yeah, that’s with a “t”) on everyday items. That means we have the potential to do a lot of good for people and the planet with that $130 trillion that we’re going to spend anyway. You probably already know all this, because you’re here! So good job, and keep shopping sustainably!
But don’t overlook that charitable $400 billion either—it’s important! Charities can stretch our dollars a lot further than we can. So give to organizations that you believe in. Even if it’s $5 a month, set up a recurring donation—by the end of the year, that’s $60 you’ve given! Not bad, you everyday activist, you!
Vote for Change
It’s all well and good to talk about politics, but we need to make sure we’re actually voting for policy-makers that share our values.
So get out and vote—in federal elections, state elections, and those tiny little elections for the district judge. You never know what policy-makers are going to make the big decisions on issues you care about.
Then make sure your representatives actually represent you. Stay up to date on news relating to the issues that are important to you. When a major issue comes up, call your representatives to let them know your thoughts and concerns.
The little things you do every day can make a big difference. So get out there, everyday activists—we’re rooting for you!
Writer, editor, and all-around language enthusiast who
uses her love of words to help others.