to make the world a little bit better
Anyone raised in the digital era has suffered a grave crime: OUR ATTENTION SPANS HAVE BEEN SLAUGHTERED. Apparently the average timespan for which you can grip an online user is 7 seconds. So I guess we’ve already lost you…
New paragraph to refresh your focus.
Since our entire purpose is to encourage grassroots action – small deeds done by many people – and since it’s MICRO-VOLUNTEERING DAY, we decided to compile some of our favourite suggestions about simple actions that make the world a little bit better.
So without further ado, here are some EASY WAYS to make the world a little bit better. We’ve made it short, sharp and sweet and broken it up with LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS, to cater to the Millennial attention deficit.
P.S. ‘micro-volunteering’ = bitesize, on-demand, low-commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause
At the click of a button:
Bookmark THIS page for some world-saving procrastination to hand: on Free Rice you answer trivia questions, and for each one you get right, 10 grains of rice are donated through the World Food Programme. Questions get harder as you go – so you can get smarter, and make a difference in ending world hunger.
Similar to the PWDT ‘Sofa Activism’ filter tool, Help From Home provides information on easy, HOME BASED micro-volunteering opportunities. See what you can do for the world – dressed just in your pyjamas!!
We-Care: purchasing through this site makes little chips at global poverty
Easy Fundraising: when you shop the easyfundraising way (they have 3,220 partner shops), they get a commission from your purchase which gets donated to a cause of your choice
Sign petitions at Avaaz or Amnesty International
Don’t just like, FOLLOW. Follow the charities / initiatives and organisations whose causes you back on social media – help to increase the hype.
Skills for Change offers online volunteering for busy people. Simply tell them the causes that get you fired up and about your skills, and they will match you with a selection of micro volunteering opportunities.
Switch to Ecosia (search engine): 80% of its surplus income goes to non-profit conservationist organisations, with a focus on tree planting
On Amazon, just add ‘smile’ at the beginning (https://smile.amazon.co.uk), pick your charity and start shopping. No money will leave your account, but Amazon will donate 0.5% of your payment to the charity you choose!
Yay for PayPal! Their philanthropic branch, the PayPal Giving Fund, collects and delivers donations for charities for free.
Help the homeless:
BUY THE BIG ISSUE IT’S ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD (and stop for a proper conversation with the person selling it to you)
Food Cycle: you can attend a free meal, even if you’re not available to help out with prep, and get to know some of the people living on our streets, to bring us all together, because we are all equals — Food Cycle’s vision is a society where no one is hungry or lonely’ (don’t you love that?!)
Fight food waste:
OLIO: volunteering opportunities from 1 hour per week to 30
The Felix Project: (wo)man in van!
Doorstep Library recruits and trains volunteers to work in some of London’s most disadvantaged areas, to introduce children from ages 1 – 11 to the love of books
On the 24th April, Cause Corps London have a little meet-up where you can write letters and stories to Myanmar child refugees, include a bit about yourself and you could be brightening up a child’s day!
Fight water waste:
4Water: attend activities of all sorts that raise money for Water Aid — our personal favourite, Dance4Water salsa groups!
Help grown ups:
Spending time with lonely or isolated elderly people in our community actually has enormous health benefits, and it’s guaranteed to expose you to golden stories and wisdoms…
Friends of the Elderly: fight loneliness over the phone or during coffee mornings
Help the vulnerable:
Spend 10 seconds on the Crowd4U website, either to name that picture or complete a micro-task.
City of Sanctuary: creating a culture of HOSPITALITY – you can open your home to a refugee, or otherwise support someone in your community who has opened theirs… neighbours creating a welcoming sanctuary for newcomers in need
TimePeace app: hang out with asylum seekers and refugees in your community doing things you love and sharing skills
NOMAD: building a UK network of people from a refugee and migrant background to foster integration that benefits everybody
Choose ethical brands:
Clean supply chains (labour rights): End Slavery Now
‘Sharing’ brands (sustainability): People Who Share
Say NO to plastic straws, cotton buds, disposable cups (buy a KeepCup), even packaging (shed it in the supermarket and leave it to them to sort)
Check out Ellen’s homemade cosmetics recipes
Spring-clean and donate the flotsam:
- Toys — Toys4Syria, The Teddy Trust
- Books — Better World Books
- Fun clothes/shoes — Off the Scale
- Practical clothes/shoes — Help Refugees
- Outdoor gear — Mobile Refugee Support
- Electronics (functioning) — Parkinson’s UK
- Electronics (broken) — Roots (old laptop batteries)
- Cosmetics — Caroline Hirons Give and Make Up, Beauty Banks
Take a trip:
For the active among you:
Charity Miles is for those who are absolutely convinced they have zero time to commit to charity, but love to move. It piggybacks onto your normal routine, letting you donate to charity when you’re cycling to work, going for a coffee run, or walking your dog. There’s really no excuse!
Be My Eyes connects sighted volunteers to the visually impaired, helping them achieve tasks big and small, add your name to the list
Pet to Give is the simplest way of feeding animals in need. Every time you pet a cat or dog (in the App), a donation of food is given to rescued animals in need, and it’s really cute too!
Locate wheelchair accessible places near you with WheelMap and help people get around.
Geo-Wiki helps you monitor your environment, just take a picture and you could be tackling the deforestation crisis.
We all love a good selfie, so why not do it through the Donate a Photo app. For every photo you share with them, Johnson and Johnson gives US$1 to a cause of your choice.
Play to Cure: Genes in Space is an ingenious game that, during the game, analyses genetic data beneath the surface of the gameplay. It’s pretty fun too. Yay science!
Pick up litter:
If we all spent a couple of minutes picking up any litter we find around us in the park, on the beach, on a walk – the planet would be a cleaner place – #2minutelitterpick