We’d all like to live in a kinder, cleaner, less stress-filled world, right? Well, your mom was right when she said that the only thing you can control is yourself.
And while I fantasize about the day that I’ll levitate with goodness and grace, that day might be a while in coming. With that in mind, here are 19 super doable, non-intimidating, tiny things we can all do (today!) to make the world slightly better.
1. Wipe off the public sink after you use it
Are you using a paper towel? Why not wipe down the sink after you’ve dried your hands? Public bathrooms frequently go hours between cleanings and I’m sure the next person will appreciate the lack of splashed water and soap scum.
Last year, my car incurred a $200 scratch thanks to a windy day and one errant shopping cart. And isn’t it insanely annoying when you turn into what looks like an empty parking spot, only be confronted with one very smug and misplaced shopping cart?
If you’re on a road trip, save those plastic bottles and aluminum cans till you get find someplace to recycle them.
I’m not suggesting you peel hamburger wrappers off the street, but if you see an empty plastic bag blowing around or a cleanish plastic bottle – pick it up and deal with it accordingly. Nearly 6.5 million tons (!) of litter and garbage end up in the ocean each year.
Let’s merge like a zipper – taking turns and letting people in. And if someone lets you in after you’ve been waiting for ages? Courtesy wave.
This is one of my absolute favorite things. It takes five minutes and it’ll make three days better – yours, the employee, and the supervisor. Win/win/win!
If someone took the time to get out of their yoga pants, clean the bathroom, and cook something for you, they totally deserve a thank you. Let’s take a moment between changing our profile photos and stalking exs to write something kind on that Facebook page.
We’ve probably all worked in the service industry at some point and it’s a million times more enjoyable when customers take the time to say hello and interact.
Are you guilty of doing that thing where you assume someone else has said something? And then you get all annoyed because clearly the management is incompetent? Me, too. 90% of the time when I call my building manager to tell him that the washing machine’s been unbalanced for a week, it’s the first he’s heard of it.
The same as above. We all assume someone else is going to do it, but let’s make a pact to be the person who really, actually does something. Most cities have a super easy form on their website for reporting things like this.
So many fewer middle fingers!
If someone is wrinkling their brow, looking down at their phone, and then up at the street sign, why not see if you can help?
Because haven’t we all experienced that unique heartbreak that comes with slaving over The Perfect Email to someone we’re convinced is our next Someone – only to hear crickets? It’s polite and considerate to acknowledge you got the email, thank them, and wish them the best of luck in their endeavors.
Retail karma 4eva.
It is so, so easy (so easy!) to get annoyed/disappointed/straight-up pissed off by humanity at large. OMG WHY ARE YOU DRIVING 40 IN THE FAST LANE? Do you think the ’10 item limit’ doesn’t apply to you? Why are you not holding the elevator, ya dick?
But, ultimately, you never know. Maybe they lost their glasses and can’t read the elevator buttons. Maybe they just got dumped and they’re cry-driving. Maybe they’re about to pitch a huge client and they’re too deep in thought to realize they stepped into the express lane. Most of us are doing our best – in whatever shape that takes.
photo by Hernán Lucio // cc
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