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Positive Change as an Individual

In these socially and politically tumultuous times, I think it’s important to reflect on what we can do as individuals to contribute to the greater good. While significant change is enacted by policy-making, progress within one’s lifestyle and personal relationship to society as a whole is also essential in creating change. Below is a work-in-progress list of ways I think an individual can create positive change. While I’m sharing this on Catch-all, it’s also a personal reminder of the many ways I can use my individual power for good. This list will always be evolving, so please comment below with any suggestions you may have.

  • Ask more questions! Think critically, engage with new ideas, listen to your peers, confront your own problematic assumptions, and always look beyond the surface level
  • Cultivate a community of friends and family who hold you accountable for your actions and words
  • Support businesses owned by immigrants, women, people of color, members of the LGBT community, etc.
  • Support the work of diverse journalists, artists, authors, and filmmakers, etc.
  • Question the status-quo
  • Avoid fast fashion and purchase your clothing from companies that provide their employees with fair wages and safe working conditions (start by watching The True Cost on Netflix and check out this Ethical Shopping Guide)
  • Re-use and recycle! Buy reusable bags and water bottles, donate what you no longer want to use, buy second-hand whenever possible, and always recycle glass, plastic, and cardboard
  • Boycott companies that Trump is financially involved with, as well as those who advertise on Breitbart (download the Boycott Trump app for iPhone or Android)
  • Vote! Vote! Vote! And remember, all politics is local
  • Understand your privilege and fight to protect others
  • Go vegan for the environment, animals, and your health (read Russell Simmon’s book The Happy Vegan, watch Cowspiracy on Netflix, and learn more about factory farming and environmental destruction)
  • If you can afford it, donate to global, national, regional, and local non-profits that support your values. If you can’t donate money, consider donating your time to a cause you find worthy
  • Eat at local restaurants whenever possible
  • Always keep learning – read, watch, listen, and exchange ideas with others
  • Speak out when you see someone being treated wrongly!
  • Reduce your consumption: actively avoid buying things that you don’t necessarily need
  • Don’t use products that are tested on animals (see this list of brands that test on animals, as well as those that are cruelty-free)
  • If you want a pet, adopt, don’t shop!
  • Practice self-care: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde

What are additional ways  in which you think an individual can enact positive change? Let me know in the comment section below. 🙂

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