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.
What do you do when your parents, in-laws, siblings or even your spouse doesn’t agree with your green parenting choices? I know I’m not the only one dealing with this issue. Whether it’s a grandparent who sneaks your kids to McDonald’s or a sister who insists on buying your children plastic toys from the dollar bin, it’s hard to say no.
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.
Trick-or-treating. Halloween parties. Zombie runs. No respectable zombie is complete without fake blood and face paint. Of course, dressing up like a zombie is no fun if your costume is actually making you sick. Conventional face paints and fake blood usually contain heavy metals such as lead, chromium, nickel and cobalt. They also have fragrance, dyes, parabens and petroleum products. These hidden toxins have been linked to everything from lifelong skin sensitization to cancer and birth defects.