Welcome to day seven and the weekend, baby!
By now, you’ve probably slaughtered some of your carbon footprint — trading in some gas guzzling for sweat equity, phasing out prepackaged processed food for delicious local dishes, shopping less and saving more, turning down the lights, and quenching your thirst with tap water while lightening your planetary load. Pat yourself on the back for coming this far and do a little dance: it’s time to share some of your exuberance with others!
By giving back, you slow down and appreciate what you have. The conversation and community that you will experience will give you that all-important, essential nutrient: happiness. Challenge yourself today to be charitable, to act in good faith, to become one with others. Ultimately, you will not only be giving back — you’ll be getting back. Today and tomorrow are interchangeable. If today is your regular day of rest, switch today’s challenge “Giving Back” with tomorrow’s “Eco-Sabbath.”
As a special feature of September's No Impact Week, you can participate in 350.org's Moving Planet Day as a way of giving back.
- Check out this video for more on the massive global day of action that focuses on moving beyond fossil fuels.
- Visit Moving-Planet.org for ideas about how to participate, and to connect with other volunteers in your areas.
Steps to Prepare
Make a list of all the ways you contribute to your community now. Do you watch your neighbor’s kids for free? When’s the last time you held open a door for a stranger? Do you write checks to charity or volunteer on occasion? How can you step up what you’re already doing and do more? Where are you on this pyramid?
- Make a list with three columns: 1) all the charities you’d love to help out, 2) why you feel you can’t, and 3) how you can address and remove those barriers. Do your barriers — as legitimate as they may seem to you — outweigh the importance of participating? Remember: you needn’t become an “activist” or even a leader to be active in your community! Simply participating in an ongoing project is giving back and living your values.
- Practice what you preach. Give. Do. Help. Change. In other words, sign up today to volunteer for a local environmental cause.
- How do you feel? As you give back throughout the day, ask yourself what benefits arise from
volunteering. Did you meet your neighbors? Find common ground with strangers? Evaluate the
hardest obstacles you’ve faced today and share possible solutions with the No Impact Experiment community online. Talk it out.
- Write down five things for which you are grateful, and share them with us on Facebook and Twitter, using #noimpact and #gratitude.