In our daily actions as citizens of the world, there are countless contributions in which we can take part through random green acts of kindness. Although there are many major global challenges facing the world in which we live, collectively, we all can play a part in enriching our lives and those that surround us through much smaller, more personal “green” decision making, which will ultimately create change worldwide.
Random green acts of kindness are simple actions that can be executed in a day, hour, minute or even seconds. They might even be acts that we don’t think about while they happen. In defining an act of random kindness, I would say that it is something that you are 100 percent willing to participate in, a decision that is made on behalf of pure devotion for the cause, or in other words, it means being a green Samaritan.
Random green acts of kindness make you feel good about yourself. Imagine how you feel when someone gives you a sincere compliment, when someone lets you cut in line at the grocery store or when someone is courteous for the sake of being compassionate. These are the acts of kindness that I am speaking about, but with a green twist.
So what exactly is a green act of kindness? It could mean dedicating a day of the weekend to a beach cleanup, donating your clothing to charitable organizations to reemphasize re-use and recycle or even choosing to ride your bike instead of driving to work or school. Kindness is the key ingredient and should be the root cause of your actions that you are ‘actively’ giving and later “passively” receiving from your efforts.
The act of kindness could be as simple as making a split-second decision to pick up a piece of litter while on your way to class. These small acts of kindness, while seen by others, may be adopted by passersby as they see your act of greenness. One good act leads to another.
When I bring my reusable bags to the grocery store, I am not trying to feel good about what I am doing on my behalf, but rather I am looking at my contribution as a part to the whole. I realize that I myself am the not the total solution in bringing my green bags, but only a piece of a much larger picture.
For several years, my family has been giving our holiday gift to World Vision, an organization that sponsors families and communities around the world, providing them with gifts, such as food, clothing, school supplies, animals, farming equipment, seeds, trees, clean water supplies and much more. After donating a goat last year, we received a letter 10 months later stating that that goat had five kids, and therefore five more families were able to have their own goat, and their own supply of goat milk. I see this as an act of green kindness.
In a given day, there are dozens of green decisions that can be made by each and every one of us. With any action that you encounter within your day-to-day lives, choose an option that least impacts the environment, encourages a vibrant economy and promotes socially just practices. It is in this sense that we will all be participating in random green acts of kindness, by leading the world in a greener and more compassionate direction.
Pay the random green act of kindness forward.
The future simply cannot wait.
Tyler Hartrich is a city and regional planning senior, Empower Poly Coalition vice president and Mustang Daily columnist .
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