Eight Totally Badass Ways to Do Your Part & Serve Your Community (And Beyond)

Eight Totally Badass Ways to Do Your Part & Serve Your Community (And Beyond)

Moving does some pretty damn good things to you—like force you to downsize your stuff! We’ve also been contemplating some other pretty significant lifestyle changes as well, so I thought, hell, why not write a post on, like, serving your community and going green?

So, here it is, friends.

#1 Donate belongings you don’t need
or no longer use

Okay, so this is an obvious one—but you should seriously do it! So many can benefit from your stuff that we both know just sits around. So get out some boxes and start sorting you stuff :)

#2 Vote in your local and state elections—and
consider going a step further

It was really exciting to see so many of my friends and acquaintances getting hyped about voting this year! I believe voting in local and state elections is vital to a growing and successful community—and between you and me, our little community in Missouri really needs some changes.

I’m not the kind of person to try and shame you into voting—you won’t ever hear me say “you don’t have an excuse” to not make it to the polls (because first off, I don’t actually believe that! Things happen, friends!) Instead, I feel some education is needed so we can all make a decision for ourselves—and do our part!

Today, I want to share a resource with you: U.S. Vote Foundation

Here, you can:

  1. Register to vote (including absentee ballot)

  2. Know election dates & other deadlines

  3. Learn about your state’s voting requirements

  4. Find your local election office and contact information

  5. See recent votes from your representatives

  6. Create an account and access your current voting information

It’s my hope that this resource will encourage some to consider voting next time in local and state elections—and going a step further by attending a few local city council meetings before then! City council meetings are a perfect way to make certain your voice is heard—collectively—as well as stay up to date on the overall status or wellbeing of the community as it’s run by its leaders. Often at these meetings, you’ll hear about the budget, plans for construction/renovations or improvement projects, and so much more. If there’s something that concerns you, or something you want to learn more about regarding your community, start by showing up to one of these meetings! If you want to know where the heck these meetings are, simply google your city and “city council!” Usually, these meetings are held monthly at the local City Hall.

#3 Plant a community garden

Community gardens are the shit for so many reasons. Not only do these gardens reduce the risk of obesity and associated diseases (resulting from the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables and physical activity thats comes with gardening), but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that they have also shown to improve social well-being and decrease violence in some neighborhoods.

Oh, and you know, they also make public spaces more attractive & enjoyable so there’s that, too.

#4 Make the switch to reusable
(& recyclable) grocery bags

It took us way too long to do this one, friends, and I’m a little embarrassed to say that. It’s estimated that Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags away every year—about 307 bags per person! Globally, about 4 trillion plastic bags are used every year, and only 1% of them are recycled.

And to me, that’s just ridiculous (and honestly kind of heartbreaking).

But, there’s good news: all of that waste can be prevented simply by switching to reusable & recyclable grocery bags. We made the switch—consider it for community and world good, too.

I recommend these!

#5 Oh, & switch to tree-free
household paper products

Our new home in Arkansas has a septic tank (one of the changes with living on five acres!)—which means before we move into it, we need to switch to entirely different toilet paper that is deemed “septic-safe.”

And as I was searching for the best toilet paper for our tank, I learned some pretty awful stuff along the way:

In the U.S. alone, paper towels and toilet paper wipe out 94,000 trees every day.

But, like with the recyclable grocery bags, there’s good news here, too: there are paper towels and toilet paper that aren’t made from trees at all. Instead, they’re made from bamboo and sugarcane! And while trees take years to grow and harvest, bamboo takes three short months—making it a much more sustainable source for our household paper needs.

We’ve decided to switch all of our paper towels and toilet paper to Seedling by Grove Collaborative—to do good for our community, our world, and our new septic tank! We close on our new home in nine days, and Seedling will be right there with us.

Oh, and Seedling donates a portion of their profits to planting new trees in the U.S.! For us, this was the best choice—and I really hope you’ll consider switching, too!

#6 Reduce waste by
having a compost bin

Maybe you’ve thought about having a compost bin, but you’ve never gotten around to it. Or, maybe you’ve never thought about it! Well, it’s great for your community because it reduces waste in landfills—and your garden will benefit from it!

Here are some things you can always put in your compost bin:

  1. Coffee grounds

  2. Used tea bags

  3. Fruit/Vegetable scraps

  4. Flowers

  5. Egg shells

  6. Peanut shells

  7. Dead leaves

  8. Hay or straw

  9. Paper towels (unbleached, without chemicals)

  10. Newspaper

  11. Eggbox cartons

  12. Used matches

  13. Toothpicks

  14. Wood ash

  15. Sawdust

  16. Non-solid contents of vacuum bags (dust, hair, etc.)

  17. Dryer lint

  18. Hair (pet or human)

  19. Leftover beer

#7 Become a blood donor
and actually donate

Before I went on a cruise with my in-laws a little over a year ago, I was donating blood regularly about every eight weeks. I’m not a huge fan of needles, but I can put up with them! That’s because I’m an O negative blood type—the universal donor—and I’m pretty damn proud. This means my blood can be donated to anyone (although, I unfortunately can only receive blood from other O negative donors!).

In the U.S., someone needs blood every two seconds, but less than 38% of the population is eligible to donate. One donation can save up to three lives—mine did.

I want to encourage you to consider donating—your blood is severely needed, friend. For information on where to find the nearest location to donate, go here.

#8 Finally, get your
yearly flu shot

I believe this may be one of the most impactful ways you can serve your community, friends. Just one hundred years ago (for real, 1918!), the flu was first discovered in the U.S. because it was a pandemic—and it wiped out 50 million people across the world and 675,000 in the U.S.

And at the time, there was no vaccine for the flu.

Last year’s flu season was the worst since the 2009 (swine flu) epidemic: with 48.8 million people infected, 22.7 million healthcare provider visits, 959,000 hospitalizations, and 79,400 deaths.

It’s recommended that everyone over the age of six months get their flu shot every year. Even pregnant women! Doing so can protect the most vulnerable—young children and the elderly.

Consider serving your local and global community by getting your flu shot this year, and every year!

Let me know what you think in the comments below! Thanks!


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