What to do… What to do…
If it is important enough, you will find a way. If it is not, you will find an excuse.
I believe in that quote, and recently, I believe the latter is happening more than the former. People end up not helping anyone as an excuse to be fair to everyone.
If you’re wondering how this quote weaseled its way into my post, then I’ll answer your question by saying this: saving the world is one of the causes you’d have to donate money to if you want results. Some people choose not to donate under the excuse that they can’t help everyone, and it would be unfair to donate to just one. But they’re kidding themelves- money we spend on ExxonMobil would be used better if we gave it to Feeding America. There are different ways to “save” the world: in the literal sense, we can join Greenpeace, a non-profit, tax-exempt organization focused on protecting oceans, saving endangered species, and stopping global warming. Or we can do more simple actions, such as creating a Christmas box for poor children all around the world or .
But we can’t always help. I know there have been times when our parents didn’t have cash on them to donate to the Salvation Army Bell Ringer, and we’d have to sadly walk past them. But there have also been times when we choose not to aid because of the “unfairness”. “How do you choose?” seems like a simple enough question. Not exactly. We can be suckered into pity pleas, or heart-tugging videos like the one below:
You should choose based on what your interests are. I’m particularly fond of children and the environment, so I got reminder emails from No Kid Hungry and Greenpeace, and I love giving change to Salvation Army Bell Ringers and people on the street.
Now that I’ve broken your excuse, you can’t say that you won’t help the environment because you have to worry about your job- they’re not exactly mutually exclusive. Helping one doesn’t mean you’re hurting the other. Carpooling to work isn’t going to waste you money- in fact, it’s doing quite the opposite. You only have to drive once a week if you have four other carpool members, so you can cut your gas bill by over 75%. And if you worry that you don’t have time, ask yourself- How much time does it take to turn off the lights when you leave a room? Here are some easy, helpful hints to be an effortless, green, smart-spender:
1) Turn off the water when you’re not using it (ie. brushing your teeth or shampooing your hair).
2) Check your carbon footprint to see where you could be saving energy and money!
3) Walk or bike places you don’t have to drive to (for example, I walk to a pizzeria that’s less than a mile away from where I live).
4) Carpool (check above).
5) Buy local- if you buy locally from farmers markets, the food doesn’t travel as far. This way, the farmers and sellers don’t have to charge you for the gas it takes to get to your plate.
7) Combine trips- drop off your kids from school on the way to work, go to CVS on the way back from school, etc. You already have a base distance you must travel to get to your destination- get your errands done on the way.
The point is, you can’t not donate because helping would be unfair. That’s like saying you won’t do any homework because you won’t have time to do any other homework. Donating can be one and done, or it can be long-lasting. It’s your choice, but deep inside, know you’re avoiding something and making an excuse.
That’s right- the excuses stop here.