At the end of 2012, my new year’s resolution was to accomplish 52 good deeds during 2013. And I’m happy to say I have reached my goal! I finished this last year with my final three good deeds, which are also resolutions for this new year. First, use a DIY cold frame to grow greens in the winter. Second, buy secondhand clothing. Third, pay it forward all year long.
The holiday season is one of the reasons I decided to try to accomplish 52 good deeds in one year. There is no doubt that the opportunities to give back during the months of November and December are plentiful, between the toy drives and charity tree sales. But many people (myself included) forget about giving back during the rest of the year. An excellent solution is to give gifts that give back throughout the rest of the year, like gift cards from Kiva or a gift from a SoKind Registry. Or make environmentally-friendly choices like recycling your tree that will have long-lasting impacts.
Thanksgiving provides the perfect inspiration to do good deeds. I take advantage of this time of year to talk to my kids about being thankful and appreciating what we have. This often leads to a discussion about the people in this world who aren’t quite as fortunate. Since I can’t afford to buy a turkey for everyone who needs one, we brainstormed some other ways we could brighten someone’s day. We plan to do these ten good deeds (plus more!) over the next two weeks.
We are fortunate to live in the country in an area teeming with wildlife. It is not unusual for us to find an injured animal – a chipmunk attacked by a cat, a squirrel hit by a car or a baby bird abandoned by its mother. Rather than help the animal ourselves (which is both dangerous and ineffective), we do a good deed and call our local wildlife center.
As someone who eats out a lot (probably too much), I am no stranger to styrofoam take-out containers. For my tenth good deed, I committed to using reusable containers to bring my leftovers home. Of course, there are times when I forget to bring my containers. That’s why for my next good deed I am joining Better World Betty’s mission to get restaurants to stop using styrofoam take-out containers.
I asked my son what our next good deed should be. His reply was, “Since monsters are more important than people, we should donate money to monsters so they can buy people to eat.” You can’t argue with that logic. Instead of donating money to monsters, we decided to give back on our recent mini vacation and help clean up the beach.
Summer is the season for wasting water – swimming in the pool, running through a sprinkler, washing the car, watering plants and the lawn and taking multiple showers to wash off the sweltering heat. For my next good deed, I decided to find ways to conserve water and hopefully make up for some of the water that I will inevitably waste this summer.