Earlier this month, Lorelle put out a challenge to bloggers to list 30 things anyone can do to change the world. The catch? No single action can require more than 30 seconds apiece.
The definition of “change the world” is fungible, of course, but I do believe in starting small and making change on a local level and all that jazz. Call me Pollyanna, but I think the little things really do work.
I thought about this challenge for a couple of days, pondering whether I could come up with a list of 30 garden-related activities that could be done in 30 seconds or less, since I do believe that gardening, particularly vegetable gardening, is a pretty life-changing experience.
However…when I really thought about it, the fact is that I never wanted to spend just 30 seconds out in the garden. Even on mornings when I’d sneak out there before work this summer, my quick trip out there turned into five or ten minutes of inspecting plants, looking at bugs, and reacquainting myself with Every. Single. Tomato.
So my list starts off with a garden-related idea, but meanders off into a whole series of small activities that can become large, if enough of us take part. So, in the spirit of the now-entrenched holiday season, I present to you The Inadvertent Gardener’s 2006 List of 30 Things You Can Do In 30 Seconds To Change The World.
They’re cheaper than a gift exchange, folks. And much more gratifying. Besides, since it’s the 30th of November, it’s all that much more appropriate.
- Pull a few weeds from your garden.
- Pick up the locally-grown produce at the store rather than vegetables shipped from another country.
- Wave at that kid looking out the window of a car next to you on the highway.
- Dial the phone number of a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile.
- Close your eyes and take five really deep breaths.
- Pet a dog.
- Recycle all the junk mail that came in the mail today.
- Write a check to your favorite charity.
- Kiss someone goodbye before you leave the house.
- Get in bed…30 minutes earlier than you usually do.
- Carry a neighbor’s newspaper up to their porch for them while you’re out for your morning walk or jog.
- Stretch something — your legs, your arms, your calf muscles, whatever needs a little extra attention.
- Back your car’s speed down to the limit or below.
- Chug a glass of water.
- If you’re shopping, pull a couple of extra cans of food off the shelf to donate to a food bank. Often, you won’t even have to go to the food bank to donate them — most grocery stores (in the U.S., at least) have carts up front where you can leave your donated items.
- Check your calendar for tomorrow so you won’t forget about any necessary appointments.
- Learn the name of the barista who makes that latte for you every morning.
- Turn off the light when you leave a room.
- Take a multivitamin.
- Clean your bathroom mirror. Smile at yourself.
- Pay an honest compliment to a friend or coworker.
- Replace a burnt-out lightbulb with a compact fluorescent lightbulb (CFL).
- Buy a CD from a local, independent artist.
- Make a microloan to a third-world business through Kiva.org.
- Turn your cellphone ringer to silent or vibrate when you’re in public.
- Open the dictionary to a random page and memorize the first unfamiliar word you see.
- Use the word you just memorized in a contextually appropriate sentence later the same day.
- Cut up a credit card (preferably your own).
What are some of your ideas? Feel free to add to this list in the comments area.