Hi lovelies! It’s finally Friday and a three-day weekend! We definitely have something to celebrate and I hope that you all have some fun things planned! I hope to do some relaxing and am going to get together with one of my best friends who moved to DC in January! It will be so good to see her and catch up!
Today is the second edition of Take 5 Friday! For those new to my blog or the series (welcome!) every other Friday I highlight 5 things that you could do that take under 5 minutes to help make a difference in the world! Catch up on the first edition here and now on to this week’s list…
1. Take Oprah’s No Phone Zone Pledge
Warning, the above video might make you tear up, but it also showcases how important this cause truly is. In a world where we all live on our phones, using them when driving is truly detrimental to the health and safety of ourselves and those around us. In 2010, a study by the National Safety Council found that 28% of accidents involve talking or texting on cell phones or about 1.4 million annually. The even scarier part is that there are many unreported cases and many near misses that would only increase that number. I know putting away your cell is hard but you are risking your life and everyone elses just to see that your friend wrote back “kk.” Join me in taking the pledge and encourage your friends and family to do so too!
2. Stop Junk Mail
This might seem like a surprising way to make a difference, but I recently found out that over $350 million taxpayer dollars are spent disposing of junk mail that has not been recycled and 100 million trees are needed to create this mail! Besides all the harm that is doing to our forests and budget, who wants to deal with it? By calling the customer service department for the company you can usually get off their mailing list. (There are also a bunch of companies that help provide this service but since I haven’t personally vetted for them, I don’t want to link to any specifically.)
2. Donate magazines to the hospital!
This one might take slightly longer than 5 minutes depending on your proximity to a hospital, but I promise it is a worthy cause. If you’ve ever been a hospital patient or visitor, you know that time goes by extremely slowly in the hospital. Around here we call it “hospital time” because you can never tell whether it is day or night and it all blends together. One thing that makes that time a little easier is having a distraction. I learned this the hard way when I spent the night on a hospital chair for a family member and my only reading material was a Spanish Reader’s Digest. So as regularly as I can, I try to donate magazines to the hospital for the patients. You can simply drop them off at the help desk and they are so appreciative. Then instead of collecting dust on your floor, they are making a difference in someone who really needs it.
I just found out about Sparked and am so excited to share it with you all. Not only is it based here in SF, but this is an amazing opportunity to volunteer when you really do only have 5 minutes. The company’s goal is to “offer *convenient* online volunteerism to you. We’re driven to fit volunteerism into the same kind of time that you might normally spend on Facebook, Farmville, or Twitter. It’s volunteerism for the digital age. We call it microvolunteering.” This microvolunteer program has already done amazing things. Whether it’s by instructing someone in Africa on how to build a well or matching photos of missing persons after the earthquake in Haiti, Sparked is truly making a difference in the world.
5. Shop in a Global Marketplace
Whether you are shopping for yourself or for someone else, considering shopping in Ebay’s World of Good which vets every product to make sure it’s eco-friendy and ethically sourced. Not only will you be doing something great for the world, but you will be supporting hard-working people in disadvantaged countries! There are some really beautiful items for great prices and the best part is that they tell you about the person that made it!
Well, I hope you are all feeling as inspired as I am! After writing this post, I genuinely feel so excited about the positive impact we can make just by participating in some of the above things. Have a great weekend everyone and I hope you’ll join me in taking five!
-Which cause did you feel inspired by?
-What are you up to for the three day weekend?