“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
1. Choose organic
It may not be your first thought when it comes to changing the world, but you will be surprised just how influential choosing organic over artificial can be in benefiting the environment and communities around the world. People are increasingly becoming more aware of why organic food, clothing, and other products are beneficial for our bodies and the environment.
So what is organic? And how can you tell the difference between an organic brand or non-organic brand? Although it may seem obvious, sometimes there can be a confusion between ‘natural’ products and ‘organic’ products and here’s why.
Proper organic produce follows a strict process that complies with the standards of organic farming. These standards do vary worldwide, however, are generally very similar. The processes of organic farming recycle resources, restricts the use of any chemicals or pesticides and avoids unnatural additives. This applies to both the production of organic food and other organic products such as organic cotton for clothing.
You may be thinking that organic farming sounds easier than artificial farming and therefore thinking – ‘why doesn’t every company carry out this process?’ Well, the answer is surprising. In fact, although organic farming utilises fewer pesticides, chemicals, and artificial additives, it is still more expensive. Why? Essentially, these artificial substances that non-organic farmers use actually save time and therefore, speed up the farming process. Organic farmers practice hands-on methods to avoid pests rather than using pesticides and chemicals, which is time-consuming and you guessed it…more expensive! To find out more about why organic clothing is more expensive, click here.
2. Improve your eating habits
Luckily for most of us, eating is something we do on a regular basis, at least a few times a day. Now, when you think about your food choices and how these could change the world, it seems slightly more significant, right? Well, this is 100% true, especially if you look at this change on a larger scale. If everyone starting making more ethical decisions about their food purchases and habits, the world could really become a better place.
So what are the correct choices, the ones that will have a positive impact? Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, there are going to be some choices that are easier to make than others, so here’s a list of the top ethical food habits you can implement to make a difference.
- Share a meal with the less fortunate – times can get tough for families all around the world and not only less developed countries. By simply asking neighbours or even new friends if they would like to join you for a meal on Christmas, Easter or any other holiday can be a generous way to give back to your own community.
- Become a vegan (or partial vegan) – the corruption within the meat and dairy industry is becoming increasingly dangerous to the future of the planet. Either switching to being vegan or eating a vegan diet as many days of the week that is ideal for you is a small change that can make a big difference. Eating vegan or even vegetarian preserves marine life avoids water pollution and overall decreases global warming.
- Choose Fair Trade – By choosing fair-trade you are directly making a positive impact on farmers in developing countries. You can discover the latest in fair trade food products via the Fair Trade Certified organisation. Most notably, the commodities that are becoming increasingly fair-trade are coffee beans and chocolate. You can even find an exciting list of fair-trade chocolate brands on The Good Trade.
3. Donate regularly
When you think of changing the world, it can seem like an unachievable project. Well, what if we told you, it’s as simple as getting rid of some old stuff? This might be something you do anyway, and if it’s not, now is the time. By donating old clothes, books, and other goods to St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, The Smith Family or any similar charity, you will be helping the less fortunate. Have an old blanket you aren’t using?
Donate blood now and you could keep someone much warmer during the colder seasons. Another option, of course, is to donate blood with Australian Red Cross Blood Service. If you can do this regularly, that’s great, but even if everyone donated blood once in their lifetime, there would be many more lives saved around the world.
4. Buy fair-trade clothing
Organic, fair-trade clothing is a rising influence in the modern fashion industry. Essentially, organic and fair-trade clothing go hand in hand as they are both based on ethical principles. You really are what you wear when it comes to the fashion industry. In our recent post on ‘why we need a fashion revolution,’ we reflect on the Rana Plaza catastrophe of 2013.
However, you may be surprised just how easy it is to make the transition from fast fashion – mainstream fashion that exploits workers, to slow fashion – the rising industry of ethical textile production. In the slow fashion industry, every garment you purchase is unique. In fact, when buying a piece of fair-trade clothing, you can easily find out the name of the designer and the person who actually produced the clothing with their own hands. This is completely contrasted to the current mainstream industry and is why people are choosing to take a stand. Hence, this change of lifestyle is one small way you can change the world.
5. Take action on pollution
Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and simply do what you can. Pick up rubbish daily and you can create a positive influence over time. Imagine if everyone picked up 3 pieces of rubbish everywhere they went? This is exactly what Take 3, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to help prevent ocean plastic pollution. If you don’t even know what ocean plastic pollution is and why it is such a threat to our environment, you can find out more on our blog about ‘how to prevent ocean plastic pollution’.
6. Travel Consciously
Many people don’t consider the concept of traveling ethically, after all, a vacation is meant to be less responsibility! However, you may be surprised at just how easy it can be to travel ethically and you’ll be much more satisfied when you arrive home, knowing you did the right thing by the environment and the community you traveled to. Some examples of traveling consciously include: choosing an ethical travel destination that gives back to the community, choosing accommodation that is environmentally friendly and being wise with your transport choices. Sometimes it’s the small things that add up like shortening showers, using air-conditioning less and getting sheets cleaned only when necessary. To find out more information on ‘how to go green while traveling’ click here.
7. Be kind to others
“Give everyone the benefit of the doubt today…” – Lori Deschene
Sometimes changing the world can be as simple as being kind to others. You never know what someone is going through so its important to always have an open heart and forgive others. Furthermore, you should try your best to spread kindness in as many ways possible on a daily basis. If it’s going out of your way to give a care package to the homeless or simply telling someone they are doing a great job – any action, large or small can go a long way in this chaotic lifestyle we live in.
8. Share the word
As you can see there are many small ways that individuals like yourself can do to change the world. However, its unfortunate that others are unaware of the issues that are occurring and hence, are not sure why or how they can help. The final recommendation from us at Gradus, is that you share your knowledge in as many ways possible. This doesn’t mean you have to go out of your way and start a blog or a protest. Something as small as wearing a fair-trade piece of clothing can help you begin a conversation with a stranger about the issues in the fashion industry and what they can do to help. Even starting a conversation about any of the above points with family and friends is a great way to create a positive impact on the world.
We hope that after reading this blog, you have discovered at least a few ways you can change the world. However, it’s important to remember that even doing only one of these small actions is better than none at all. As Vincent Van Gough once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”. If you have any other ideas or thoughts on changing the world, we would absolutely love to hear them in the comments section below.