There’s many ways to improve who you are as a person with simple actions you can do daily. Will it change the world? Maybe! If everyone started doing it, big things can happen. Whether it brings change or not, it will most definitely make you feel good and will make others feel good too!
Don’t litter! Although this may seem obvious to most, littering still happens on a regular basis and normally, nothing is done about it. I personally have seen many people throw garbage out their windows and that number hasn’t really slowed down much as time has gone on. While efforts to pick up trash have increased, people still don’t see a problem with throwing non biodegradable items out their car window, dropping it on the ground, or leaving it on the picnic table or around the campsite. While we camped, the number of people that would stay one night and leave all their garbage was astonishing. If you think it isn’t a problem anymore, it is, but don’t you worry! A great way to being a better person is to not litter yourself and pick up litter if you see it, as well as be a voice on the matter and if you see an offender, education is key!
Stop using plastic straws! Luckily, this practice is already becoming more and more popular, with big companies like Starbucks jumping on board. At first, it may seem inconvenient, but with a small amount of effort, it can become second nature to leave the straw and drink directly out of the cup! Plastic drinking straws are actually more unnecessary than you think. When you really stop and think about it, we don’t need to use them at all! They waste plastic and litter our earth and the oceans, wreaking havoc on marine life especially. Americans alone use 500 million drinking straws each day (Source: National Park Service) and as the population grows, so will the usage of straws. So, ditch the straw and tip your cup to help save the planet!
Use less plastic in general! This has been preached for years, but just like with straws, it becomes easier and easier! Go with a reusable water bottle instead of plastic ones you would throw away. Don’t use plastic, disposable cups or plastic produce bags. You can also try to reduce your waste as a whole! You can bring your own bags with you when you buy groceries or even store food in a mason jar or other glass container vs the traditional plastic tupperware!
Pick up dog poop! Another one that may seem obvious, but I don’t just mean your dog’s poop. What?! I know. If your dog poops and you lean down to snagged it and your eyes pan over to see another pile, clearly not from your dog, grab that one too! Unfortunately, people will always ruin stuff for everyone else and while it might seem frustrating that we, the folks trying to do better, have to clean up after those that do not care, it’s all about being a good person. Picking up that extra pile or two won’t be much trouble for you and if you’ve got the bag already, you might as well make the most out of it and fill it up!
Compliment someone! No, I don’t mean cat calling someone while out and about when I say compliment someone. I also don’t mean to make someone uncomfortable with showering them with love. You never know what kind of day someone is having or what they’re dealing with. Not everyone wants to have a conversation with you or enjoys being confronted by a stranger; however, a quick, simple compliment could truly make someone else’s day! A “I love that shirt” or “Your hair is so pretty” are great examples of ways to compliment someone without invading their personal space or information bubble. Avoid complimenting things that are very specific to them, like their body or even their face, as again, this could make them feel uncomfortable and this is all about spreading love and positivity! Keeping your compliments simple, sweet, and friendly are a great way to brighten your day and someone else’s! While you are at it, compliment yourself too!
Be open to change! That can mean so many things, I know, but in general, just be open to new things. Try that new restaurant, talk to that potential new friend, or try something that maybe scared you before! It could even mean educating yourself on a topic you don’t know a lot about or shifting your views on a topic you know a lot about, but have since learned more. Even if you don’t actually change anything, simply be open to it when the moment arises!
Be respectful and polite! Always say “Please” and “Thank you” may seem obvious, but everyone grew up differently and it’s time we start putting some focus on being kind when communicating with others. Being respectful may also seem “obvious,” but everyone has a different understanding as to how exactly to be respectful. You can use Instagram (where most of you have found this post from) as an example. If you see a post that you have an opinion on, but the poster did not ask for an opinion, then keep it to yourself. Just be respectful of other people, be kind, be polite, and everyone will have much more positive experiences with each other. This isn’t to say you can’t share your opinion, but there’s nothing worse than posting something and having it be torn down with harsh opinions or critique when you did not request it.
All in all, just vibe positively this year and this decade entirely! This list could go on and on, but I thought this was a great jumping off point for being a better person in 2020!
— The Wayfinder