6 Small Ways to Make a Big Difference in 2018

You don’t have to be Oprah or Obama to spark a change in the world. Sure, having that kind of a platform helps, but it is not completely necessary. When it comes down to the essence of change, it starts with the people who have the desire to make it happen, and have the ambition to see it through. With social media being such a huge part of our lives, and its ability to shrink the world into your smartphone, changing the world has become a whole lot easier. Here are some ways that you can make a difference, sans Golden Globe.

1. Volunteer

This might seem like an obvious one, but it is huge. There are opportunities to dedicate your time to almost any cause, almost anywhere. Like to build things? There’s a nonprofit for that. Prefer marketing? They need that too! The truth is that nonprofit organizations run like most businesses. They have human resources and public relations departments, social media accounts and legal departments, and they can use the support of volunteers to function optimally. The great news is that volunteering not only helps organizations, but it is great for the volunteers themselves. A fantastic portfolio builder, resume addition and conversation starter are just a few of the ways volunteering can add to your career. Sites like Volunteer Match make it easy to find opportunities in your neighborhood.

2. Stay Informed

Keeping up with current events is extremely important in general, and even more so when you want to make an impact. You do not have to read the entire paper every day, but apps like Skimm’d, that summarize the news for you, are great resources for catching up on daily highlights. If you want to stand for women’s rights, for example, it is helpful to know which rights are being challenged, and who by. Be aware of laws and bills that are passed, who people are talking about, and why. Then you can go out and act on what you have found!

3. Be heard

Raving and ranting on Facebook is great, if you want your words to get stuck in cyber space. It is far more productive to reach out to the people who can make changes in your community, and in Washington. Organize your research, develop a plan of action, and put it into motion. If there is room for growth in your neighborhood, go to town meetings. For larger projects, call your mayor, local congressman/woman, or state representative, and get your voice out there.

4. Recycle

Most towns, cities and campuses have some kind of recycling program. Their guidelines are usually posted online, and can be found with a little help from Google. Cutting down on the amount of waste that goes into landfills makes a huge impact on the environment. The United States alone generates over 200 million tons of garbage every year, while recycling is surprisingly easy for households. With just a little effort, you can make a big difference on the planet.

5. Shop Sustainably

It might cost a little more to begin with, but changing your shopping habits will ultimately benefit you, and the world, down the line. The fabrics used in clothes are often of a higher quality, and the products are better made because the artisans are able to take their time. Essentially, these products will last longer than most mass-produced ones, which will save you money in the long run. It also feels good to know that your purchase directly supports the enhanced lifestyles of the people who created it. For a list of recommended sustainable brands, click here.

6. Make Donations

Whether you it’s shoes you haven’t worn in 2 years, or cans of soup you’re never going to eat, donations make a big difference. You can clear out your space, while helping someone else out, making for an easy win-win! Standing as another form of recycling, donated goods also stay away from landfills. You might hate that floral couch, but someone out there will love it, so do not underestimate your things. Another donation that can literally save lives is blood. There are blood drives all over the country, and the process usually takes less than 30 minutes. Plus, you get treats afterwards!