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13 Ways to Change the World

Last Updated: April 18, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Direct Relief and by wikiHow staff writer, Dev Murphy, MA . Direct Relief is an award-winning humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries. They focus on helping people affected by emergencies and natural disasters. Direct Relief has been highly rated by Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at University of Pennsylvania, for their effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 923,043 times.

The world may be big, but even small changes can make a major difference! Adopting a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle, being kind, and staying positive are key to changing the world around you. Wondering where to start? We've got it covered! Keep reading for tips to improving the planet, from the local to the global.

Things You Should Know

  • Making a difference starts at home: try to keep a positive attitude and be kind to the people around you.
  • Improve your local community by volunteering with a charity that’s meaningful to you or by getting involved in local politics.
  • Change the world by reducing your carbon footprint: minimize your waste as much as you can, conserve water, and try to buy fair trade.

Be kind to others.

Do favors and help out where you can.

  • This can be small things like making someone a birthday present, or big things like driving someone around until they get their car fixed. When we work together, everything runs more smoothly and we're better able to further invest those gains in benefiting the rest of the globe.

Get to know your neighbors.

How well do you know the people who live right next to you?

  • Introducing yourself to your neighbors , chatting with them when you see them, or even inviting them over for a neighborhood gathering can increase morale in your community. Bonus: it'll make you feel great, too!

Minimize waste.

Reduce your carbon footprint.

  • You can get an idea of how big your carbon footprint is by using the EPA’s carbon footprint calculator .
  • Not littering, and cleaning up trash that you do find, even if someone else dropped it
  • Reducing the waste you produce and composting
  • Conserving water and growing some of your own food
  • Cutting down on your electricity usage (or buying and installing solar panels for your home, if you’re able) [4] X Trustworthy Source U.S. Department of Energy Official site for the U.S. Department of Energy, which provides resources related to energy safety, conservation, and efficiency Go to source
  • Switching to public transit, a bike, or an electric vehicle
  • Not buying more food than you can eat
  • Buying used clothing instead of new clothes

Become an organ donor.

One donor can provide life-saving organs for up to 8 people.

  • You don't have to stop at becoming an organ donor: you can also sign up to donate blood . Every 2 seconds, someone in the country needs a blood transfusion. [6] X Trustworthy Source Red Cross Blood Donation Services Website run by the Red Cross Organization providing information about how and where to donate blood safely Go to source Check out the Red Cross's website to find out where to donate blood in your area.

Be an animal advocate.

Stand up for animal rights!

  • Encourage and vote for legislation that protects animals.
  • Only buy products that do not contribute to animal abuse.
  • Donate to charities which help animals, such as the Humane Society, The Marine Mammal Center, or the Performing Animal Welfare Society.

Jane Goodall

Take action in your own life to protect the environment. "You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

Donate menstrual products.

Providing tampons and pads to people who need them will make a huge difference.

  • Not having access to menstrual products leads to humiliation and isolation at best, and at worst discomfort and even life-threatening infections.
  • By donating items and money to charities that work to solve this problem, you'll be keeping menstruating people healthy and help them to do things like attend school and work so that they get the opportunity to better their own lives.
  • There are lots of organizations that help get menstrual products to people who need them and educate young people about menstruation, including Period and Days for Girls .

Donate to charities you believe in.

A little money could end up doing a lot of good for a lot of people.

  • Short on cash? You don't necessarily have to donate money. Some nonprofits accept educational materials, clothing, or other supplies. Call or email to ask what they need.
  • You could also volunteer or be part of fundraising efforts for charities that do good abroad. Run a half marathon or other fundraiser to raise funds for an international charity of your choice.

Be an ethical consumer.

Buy fair trade.

  • Fair trade items will almost always be labeled as such. If you're unsure if something is fair trade, try to at least avoid items that are often unethically sourced. Coffee, bananas, cocoa, many tropical fruits, wine (mainly from California), clothing items (mainly from China, Bangladesh, and SE Asia) and jewelry are often unethically sourced.
  • By buying these products as much as possible, you can show companies that you think these practices are worth a few extra pennies and encourage other companies to invest in these practices as well.

Volunteering with a local charity is a great way to improve the world around you.

  • Tutoring disadvantaged kids, working at a local soup kitchen, or volunteering with a charity like Habitat for Humanity are just a few ways you can make a difference in your town.
  • Besides the obvious benefits of donating your time and energy to a cause you believe in, volunteering has been associated with improved physical and mental health and lower levels of loneliness. [10] X Research source

Be civically engaged.

Get involved in local politics.

  • In the United States, only about 50% to 60% of eligible voters actually vote during the presidential election, and 35% to 40% vote in midterm elections. [11] X Research source
  • Imagine the changes people might enact if 90% of people voted during presidential elections and 60% of people voted during midterms!

Invest in small businesses.

Invest your money where it’ll make a difference.

  • Because small businesses often have lower overhead costs than bigger businesses, you’ll likely get a higher return on your investment—more importantly, the small business will get what it needs to contribute to that economy and community. [12] X Research source
  • This is an especially good way to help women and other vulnerable groups to support themselves.

Promote awareness of important issues.

Educate others about the things that matter.

Be positive.

Hold onto hope.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Always research organizations you want to help or donate to. Some organizations, even if they're "real" charities, still spend almost none of the donated money on actually helping people. Use tools like Charity Watch and the BBB to get more information on an organization. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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Expert Interview

how can i make my country a better place essay

Thanks for reading our article! If you’d like to learn more about humanitarian aid, check out our in-depth interview with Direct Relief .

  • ↑ https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2019/08/15/facts-about-neighbors-in-u-s/
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/happy-singlehood/202006/know-your-neighbor-especially-now
  • ↑ https://www.derby.ac.uk/blog/seven-top-tips-reduce-environmental-impact/
  • ↑ https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/10/f37/Energy_Saver_Guide-2017-en.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.organdonor.gov/sign-up/why
  • ↑ https://www.redcrossblood.org/local-homepage/news/article/blood-donation-importance.html
  • ↑ https://createthegood.aarp.org/volunteer-ideas/protect-wildlife.html
  • ↑ https://hr.uw.edu/cfd/2023/06/27/menstrual-equity/
  • ↑ https://www.fairtradecertified.org/why-fair-trade
  • ↑ https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/3-health-benefits-of-volunteering
  • ↑ https://fairvote.org/resources/voter-turnout/
  • ↑ https://fastercapital.com/content/Reasons-to-Invest-in-Small-Businesses.html

About This Article

Direct Relief

To make the world a better place, start with small changes close to home like volunteering with a local charity, buying products that are made or grown locally, and voting in community elections. To make a global impact, donate to trustworthy international charities, buy fair trade certified products, and take measures to protect the environment, such as conserving energy, reducing waste, and composting organic waste. To learn how to make monetary investments that are globally positive, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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This is how countries can make the world a better place

General view of Bogota, Colombia September 3, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero - RC1845606130

Columbia is setting itself up for SDG success. Image:  REUTERS/Henry Romero

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In September 2015, the leaders of 193 countries agreed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs ) – the most ambitious plan ever to promote human development – by 2030. Nearly two years into the process, there are plenty of reasons for concern: the amount of financing raised so far is unlikely to be sufficient, and not all countries have adequate data to measure progress on the ground. It is enough to test even the most diehard optimist.

But there is still plenty of reason for hope. I recently visited Colombia, which, at long last, is leaving behind its decades-long civil conflict with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and setting itself up for SDG success.

In any country, achieving the SDGs will require government, business, aid agencies, multilateral banks, and civil society to work together, adopt flexible approaches, share knowledge, measure progress effectively, and recognize that the various targets are interconnected. Colombia seems to understand this, and is pursuing an integrated approach that leverages the strengths of each actor.

Start with government. According to Colombia’s finance minister, Mauricio Cárdenas Santamaría, the country is localizing the SDGs through the planning department, using the SDG framework to guide reforms relating to the implementation of the peace agreement with the FARC, OECD accession, the National Development Plan, and the Paris climate agreement.

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Meanwhile, Cárdenas points out, Colombia’s policymakers are taking care to highlight the benefits of these efforts – in areas ranging from health care and education to employment – for the public. They recognize that a top-down approach will not work: to achieve the SDGs, all levels of the government, economy, and society must feel connected to the goals, understanding the concrete impact that achieving them will have.

To get business on board, the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, led by Monica de Greiff, is raising awareness of the SDGs among its 640,000 members and providing skills training in sectors like construction and health care. The aim is to achieve the SDGs’ targets while increasing the economy’s overall competitiveness.

The good news is that, as Bruce MacMaster of the Bogotá-based business advocacy and think tank ANDI noted, businesses have a strong incentive to consolidate the gains of the peace process, especially in remote areas that have traditionally been cut off from government services. And, indeed, in Medellín, once the illicit drug capital of the world, the leaders of small and large businesses with whom I met are already integrating the SDGs into their business plans and supply chains.

ANDI is working to support that effort, including by raising awareness among diverse industries, from mining to beverages, regarding their interest in keeping their water resources clean and abundant. The result will be more robust protection of watersheds – crucial to meet Goal 6 , on water and sanitation, among others.

Of course, in a truly bottom-up process, strong engagement with local communities and civil society is vital. And Colombian youth are already deeply involved in promoting and implementing the SDGs. On my visit, youth leaders in Medellín’s Comuna 13 proudly showed off the progress in their low-income neighborhood.

In the 1990s, when Medellín had the world’s highest homicide rate, Comuna 13 was among the city’s most dangerous areas. Today, it is a vibrant area benefiting from strategic investments in public transportation (including cable cars and new metro stations), education (libraries and schools), and security. Similar strategic investments will be needed throughout the country to ensure that nobody is left behind; the empowerment of women and girls being one crucial objective.

Leadership by municipal and regional governments to facilitate such local-level progress is particularly important. All of the SDGs have targets directly related to the responsibilities of local and regional governments, particularly regarding their role in delivering basic services. But it is SDG 11 – which focuses on making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable – that is the lynchpin of the localization process.

That process has the support of the World Bank, the United Nations, and other international development partners, which are working to provide more effective and coordinated support to all levels of government. But success will demand that local governments urgently improve their own capacity in key areas, such as expenditure control, revenue expansion, responsible fund-raising, and creditworthiness.

In Colombia, the municipal development bank FINDETER is aiming to promote such learning, as it strengthens local governments’ public finances and their management and planning capacity. This will enable local governments to invest more effectively in infrastructure and service delivery, thereby advancing local development objectives. Enabling institutions like FINDETER will be critical to localizing the SDG-implementation process to leverage the efforts of local governments elsewhere.

Beyond capacity-building, local governments must engage in smart innovation. In Colombia, innovation has been essential to Medellín’s progress in reducing urban crime and violence, improving mobility, and mitigating social exclusion. The same is true of the city of Bucaramanga’s success in attracting private investment and forging public-private partnerships to improve its competitiveness.

Careful planning processes, including a strong national framework and effective monitoring, are needed to support such innovation and anticipate potential challenges and shocks. For example, in Colombia, obstacles may arise from continued drug trafficking, as well as from the ongoing crisis in Venezuela, which is causing thousands of desperately poor people to pour across Colombia’s border.

Colombia still has a long way to go before achieving the SDGs. But its localized and integrated approach has put it on the right path. Other countries would do well to follow suit.

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55 Transcript — “How To Make the World a Better Place by 2030” (2015) + Update (2018)

Do you think the world is going to be a better place next year? In the next decade? Can we end hunger, achieve gender equality, halt climate change, all in the next 15 years?

Well, according to the governments of the world, yes we can. In the last few days, the leaders of the world, meeting at the UN in New York, agreed a new set of Global Goals for the development of the world to 2030. And here they are: these goals are the product of a massive consultation exercise. The Global Goals are who we, humanity, want to be.

Now that’s the plan, but can we get there? Can this vision for a better world really be achieved? Well, I’m here today because we’ve run the numbers, and the answer, shockingly, is that maybe we actually can. But not with business as usual.

Now, the idea that the world is going to get a better place may seem a little fanciful. Watch the news every day and the world seems to be going backwards, not forwards. And let’s be frank: it’s pretty easy to be skeptical about grand announcements coming out of the UN.

But please, I invite you to suspend your disbelief for just a moment. Because back in 2001, the UN agreed another set of goals, the Millennium Development Goals. And the flagship target there was to halve the proportion of people living in poverty by 2015. The target was to take from a baseline of 1990, when 36 percent of the world’s population lived in poverty, to get to 18 percent poverty this year.

Did we hit this target? Well, no, we didn’t. We exceeded it. This year, global poverty is going to fall to 12 percent. Now, that’s still not good enough, and the world does still have plenty of problems. But the pessimists and doomsayers who say that the world can’t get better are simply wrong.

So how did we achieve this success? Well, a lot of it was because of economic growth. Some of the biggest reductions in poverty were in countries such as China and India, which have seen rapid economic growth in recent years. So can we pull off the same trick again? Can economic growth get us to the Global Goals? Well, to answer that question, we need to benchmark where the world is today against the Global Goals and figure out how far we have to travel.

But that ain’t easy, because the Global Goals aren’t just ambitious, they’re also pretty complicated. Over 17 goals, there are then 169 targets and literally hundreds of indicators. Also, while some of the goals are pretty specific — end hunger — others are a lot vaguer — promote peaceful and tolerant societies.

So to help us with this benchmarking, I’m going to use a tool called the Social Progress Index. What this does is measures all the stuff the Global Goals are trying to achieve, but sums it up into a single number that we can use as our benchmark and track progress over time.

The Social Progress Index basically asks three fundamental questions about a society. First of all, does everyone have the basic needs of survival: food, water, shelter, safety? Secondly, does everyone have the building blocks of a better life: education, information, health and a sustainable environment? And does everyone have the opportunity to improve their lives, through rights, freedom of choice, freedom from discrimination, and access to the world’s most advanced knowledge?

The Social Progress Index sums all this together using 52 indicators to create an aggregate score on a scale of 0 to 100. And what we find is that there’s a wide diversity of performance in the world today. The highest performing country, Norway, scores 88. The lowest-performing country, Central African Republic, scores 31. And we can add up all the countries together, weighting for the different population sizes, and that global score is 61. In concrete terms, that means that the average human being is living on a level of social progress about the same of Cuba or Kazakhstan today.

That’s where we are today: 61 out of 100. What do we have to get to achieve the Global Goals?

Now, the Global Goals are certainly ambitious, but they’re not about turning the world into Norway in just 15 years. So having looked at the numbers, my estimate is that a score of 75 would not only be a giant leap forward in human well-being, it would also count as hitting the Global Goals target. So there’s our target, 75 out of 100. Can we get there?

Well, the Social Progress Index can help us calculate this, because as you might have noticed, there are no economic indicators in there; there’s no GDP or economic growth in the Social Progress Index model. And what that lets us do is understand the relationship between economic growth and social progress.

Let me show you on this chart. So here on the vertical axis, I’ve put social progress, the stuff the Global Goals are trying to achieve. Higher is better. And then on the horizontal axis, is GDP per capita. Further to the right means richer. And in there, I’m now going to put all the countries of the world, each one represented by a dot, and on top of that I’m going to put the regression line that shows the average relationship. And what this tells us is that as we get richer, social progress does tend to improve. However, as we get richer, each extra dollar of GDP is buying us less and less social progress. And now we can use this information to start building our forecast. So here is the world in 2015. We have a social progress score of 61 and a GDP per capita of $14,000. And the place we’re trying to get to, remember, is 75, that Global Goals target. So here we are today, $14,000 per capita GDP. How rich are we going to be in 2030? That’s what we need to know next. Well, the best forecast we can find comes from the US Department of Agriculture, which forecasts 3.1 percent average global economic growth over the next 15 years, which means that in 2030, if they’re right, per capita GDP will be about $23,000. So now the question is: if we get that much richer, how much social progress are we going to get? Well, we asked a team of economists at Deloitte who checked and crunched the numbers, and they came back and said, well, look: if the world’s average wealth goes from $14,000 a year to $23,000 a year, social progress is going to increase from 61 to 62.4.

Just 62.4. Just a tiny increase.

Now this seems a bit strange. Economic growth seems to have really helped in the fight against poverty, but it doesn’t seem to be having much impact on trying to get to the Global Goals. So what’s going on? Well, I think there are two things. The first is that in a way, we’re the victims of our own success. We’ve used up the easy wins from economic growth, and now we’re moving on to harder problems. And also, we know that economic growth comes with costs as well as benefits. There are costs to the environment, costs from new health problems like obesity.

So that’s the bad news. We’re not going to get to the Global Goals just by getting richer.

So are the pessimists right?

Well, maybe not. Because the Social Progress Index also has some very good news.  Let me take you back to that regression line. So this is the average relationship between GDP and social progress, and this is what our last forecast was based on. But as you saw already, there is actually lots of noise around this trend line.

What that tells us, quite simply, is that GDP is not destiny. We have countries that are

underperforming on social progress, relative to their wealth. Russia has lots of natural resource wealth, but lots of social problems. China has boomed economically, but hasn’t made much headway on human rights or environmental issues. India has a space program and millions of people without toilets. Now, on the other hand, we have countries that are over-performing on social progress relative to their GDP. Costa Rica has prioritized education, health and environmental sustainability, and as a result, it’s achieving a very high level of social progress, despite only having a rather modest GDP. And Costa Rica’s not alone. From poor countries like Rwanda to richer countries like New Zealand, we see that it’s possible to get lots of social progress, even if your GDP is not so great.

And that’s really important, because it tells us two things. First of all, it tells us that we already in the world have the solutions to many of the problems that the Global Goals are trying to solve. It also tells us that we’re not slaves to GDP. Our choices matter: if we prioritize the well-being of people, then we can make a lot more progress than our GDP might expect.

How much? Enough to get us to the Global Goals? Well, let’s look at some numbers. What we know already: the world today is scoring 61 on social progress, and the place we want to get to is 75. If we rely on economic growth alone, we’re going to get to 62.4. So let’s assume now that we can get the countries that are currently underperforming on social progress — the Russia, China, Indias — just up to the average. How much social progress does that get us? Well, that takes us to 65. It’s a bit better, but still quite a long way to go. So let’s get a little bit more optimistic and say, what if every country gets a little bit better at turning its wealth into well-being? Well then, we get to 67. And now let’s be even bolder still. What if every country in the world chose to be like Costa Rica in prioritizing human well-being, using its wealth for the well-being of its citizens? Well then, we get to nearly 73, very close to the Global Goals.

Can we achieve the Global Goals? Certainly not with business as usual. Even a flood tide of economic growth is not going to get us there, if it just raises the mega-yachts and the super-wealthy and leaves the rest behind. If we’re going to achieve the Global Goals we have to do things differently. We have to prioritize social progress, and really scale solutions around the world. I believe the Global Goals are a historic opportunity, because the world’s leaders have promised to deliver them. Let’s not dismiss the goals or slide into pessimism; let’s hold them to that promise. And we need to hold them to that promise by holding them accountable, tracking their progress all the way through the next 15 years.

And I want to finish by showing you a way to do that, called the People’s Report Card. The People’s Report Card brings together all this data into a simple framework that we’ll all be familiar with from our school days, to hold them to account. It grades our performance on the Global Goals on a scale from F to A, where F is humanity at its worst, and A is humanity at its best. Our world today is scoring a C-. The Global Goals are all about getting to an A, and that’s why we’re going to be updating the People’s Report Card annually, for the world and for all the countries of the world, so we can hold our leaders to account to achieve this target and fulfill this promise. Because getting to the Global Goals will only happen if we do things differently, if our leaders do things differently, and for that to happen, that needs us to demand it.

So let’s reject business as usual. Let’s demand a different path. Let’s choose the world that we want.

Bruno Giussani: Thank you, Michael. Michael, just one question: the Millennium Development Goals established 15 years ago, they were kind of applying to every country but it turned out to be really a scorecard for emerging countries. Now the new Global Goals are explicitly universal. They ask for every country to show action and to show progress. How can I, as a private citizen, use the report card to create pressure for action?

Michael Green: This is a really important point; it’s a big shift in priorities — it’s no longer about poor countries and just poverty. It’s about every country. And every country is going to have challenges in getting to the Global Goals. Even, I’m sorry to say, Bruno, Switzerland has got to work to do. And so that’s why we’re going to produce these report cards in 2016 for every country in the world. Then we can really see, how are we doing? And it’s not going to be rich countries scoring straight A’s. And that, then, I think, is to provide a point of focus for people to start demanding action and start demanding progress.

BG: Thank you very much.

Transcript link

In 2015, the leaders of the world made a big promise. A promise that over the next 15 years, the lives of billions of people are going to get better with no one left behind. That promise is the Sustainable Development Goals — the SDGs. We’re now three years in; a fifth of the way into the journey. The clock is ticking. If we offtrack now, it’s going to get harder and harder to hit those goals. So what I want to do for you today is give you a snapshot on where we are today, some projections on where we’re heading and some ideas on things we might need to do differently.

Now, the SDGs are of course spectacularly complicated. I would expect nothing less from the United Nations.

How many goals? Maybe something tried and tested, like three, seven or 10. No, let’s pick a prime number higher than 10. Seventeen goals. I congratulate those of you who’ve memorized them already. For the rest of us, here they are.

Seventeen goals ranging from ending poverty to inclusive cities to sustainable fisheries; all a comprehensive plan for the future of our world. But sadly, a plan without the data to measure it. So how are we going to track progress? Well, I’m going to use today the Social Progress Index. It’s a measure of the quality of life of countries, ranging from the basic needs of survival — food, water, shelter, safety — through to the foundations of well-being — education, information, health and the environment — and opportunity — rights, freedom of choice, inclusiveness and access to higher education.

Now, the Social Progress Index doesn’t look like the SDGs, but fundamentally, it’s measuring the same concepts, and the Social Progress Index has the advantage that we have the data. We have 51 indicators drawn from trusted sources to measure these concepts. And also, what we can do because it’s an index, is add together all those indicators to give us an aggregate score about how we’re performing against the total package of the SDGs. Now, one caveat. The Social Progress Index is a measure of quality of life. We’re not looking at whether this can be achieved within the planet’s environmental limits. You will need other tools to do that.

So how are we doing on the SDGs? Well, I’m going to put the SDGs on a scale of zero to 100. And zero is the absolute worst score on each of those 51 indicators: absolute social progress, zero. And then 100 is the minimum standard required to achieve those SDGs. A hundred is where we want to get to by 2030. So, where did we start on this journey? Fortunately, not at zero. In 2015, the world score against the SDGs was 69.1. Some way on the way there but quite a long way to go.

Now let me also emphasize that this world forecast, which is based on data from 180 countries, is population weighted. So China has more weight in than Comoros; India has more weight in than Iceland. But we could unpack this and see how the countries are doing. And the country today that is closest to achieving the SDGs is Denmark. And the country with the furthest to go is Central African Republic. And everyone else is somewhere in between. So the challenge for the SDGs is to try and sweep all these dots across to the right, to 100 by 2030. Can we get there? Well, with the Social Progress Index, we’ve got some time series data. So we have some idea of the trend that the countries are on, on which we can build some projections.

So let’s have a look. Let’s start with our top-performing country, Denmark. And yes, I’m pleased to say that Denmark is forecast to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Maybe not surprising, but I’ll take a win. Let’s look at some of the other richer countries of the world — the G7. And we find that Germany and Japan will get there or thereabouts. But Canada, France, the UK and Italy are all going to fall short. And the United States? Quite some way back. Now, this is sort of worrying news. But these are the richest countries in the world, not the most populous. So let’s take a look now at the biggest countries in the world, the ones that will most affect whether or not we achieve the SDGs.

And here they are — countries in the world with a population of higher than 100 million, ranging from China to Ethiopia. Obviously, the US and Japan would be in that list, but we’ve looked at them already. So here we are. The biggest countries in the world; the dealbreakers for the SDGs. And the country that’s going to make most progress towards the SDGs is Mexico. Mexico is going to get to about 87, so just shy of where the US is going to get but quite some way off our SDG target. Russia comes next. Then China and Indonesia. Then Brazil — might’ve expected Brazil to do a bit better. Philippines, and then a step down to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, and then Ethiopia. So none of these countries are going to hit the SDGs. And we can then take these numbers in all the countries of the world to give ourselves a world forecast on achieving that total package of the SDGs. So remember, in 2015 we started at 69.1. I’m pleased to say that over the last three years, we have made some progress. In 2018, we’ve hit 70.5, and if we project that rate of progress forward to 2030, that’s going to get us to 75.2, which is obviously a long way short of our target. Indeed, on current trends, we won’t hit the 2030 targets until 2094. Now, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to wait that long.

So what can we do about this? Well, the first thing to do is we’ve got to call out the rich countries. Here are the countries closest to the SDGs, with the greatest resources, and they’re falling short. Maybe they think that this is like the Old World where goals for the UN are just for poor countries and not for them. Well, you’re wrong. The SDGs are for every country, and it’s shameful that these wealthy countries are falling short. Every country needs a plan to implement the SDGs and deliver them for their citizens. G7, other rich countries — get your act together.

The second thing we can do is look a bit further into the data and see where there are opportunities to accelerate progress or there are negative trends that we can reverse. So I’m going to take you into three areas. One where we’re doing quite well, one where we really should be doing better and another where we’ve got some real problems.

Let’s start with the good news, and I want to talk about what we call nutrition and basic medical care. This covers SDG 2 on no hunger and the basic elements of SDG 3 on health, so maternal and child mortality, infectious diseases, etc … This is an area where most of the rich world has hit the SDGs. And we also find, looking at our big countries, that the most advanced have got pretty close. Here are our 11 big countries, and if you look at the top, Brazil and Russia are pretty close to the SDG target. But at the bottom — Ethiopia, Pakistan — a long way to go. That’s where we are in 2018. What’s our trajectory? On the current trajectory, how far are we going to get by 2030? Well, let’s have a look. Well, what we see is a lot of progress. See Bangladesh in the middle. If Bangladesh maintains its current rate of progress, it could get very close to that SDG target. And Ethiopia at the bottom is making a huge amount of progress at the moment. If that can be maintained, Ethiopia could get a long way. We add this all up for all the countries of the world and our projection is a score of 94.5 by 2030. And if countries like the Philippines, which have grown more slowly, could accelerate progress, then we could get a lot closer.

So there are reasons to be optimistic about SDGs 2 and 3. But there’s another very basic area of the SDGs where we’re doing less well, which is SDG 6, on water and sanitation. Again, it’s an SDG where most of the rich countries have already achieved the targets. And again, for our big countries — our big 11 emerging countries, we see that some of the countries, like Russia and Mexico, are very close to the target, but Nigeria and other countries are a very long way back. So how are we doing on this target? What progress are we going to make over the next 12 years based on the current direction of travel? Well, here we go … and yes, there is some progress. Our top four countries are all hitting the SDG targets — some are moving forward quite quickly. But it’s not enough to really move us forward significantly. What we see is that for the world as a whole, we’re forecasting a score of around 85, 86 by 2030 — not fast enough.

Now, obviously this is not good news, but I think what this data also shows is that we could be doing a lot better. Water and sanitation is a solved problem. It’s about scaling that solution everywhere. So if we could accelerate progress in some of those countries who are improving more slowly — Nigeria, the Philippines, etc. — then we could get a lot closer to the goal. Indeed, I think SDG 6 is probably the biggest opportunity of all the SDGs for a step change.

So that’s an area we could do better. Let’s look finally at an area where we are struggling, which is what we call personal rights and inclusiveness. This is covering concepts across a range of SDGs. SDG 1 on poverty, SDG 5 on gender equality, SDG 10 on inequality, SDG 11 on inclusive cities and SDG 16 on peace and justice. So across those SDGs there are themes around rights and inclusiveness, and those may seem less immediate or pressing than things like hunger and disease, but rights and inclusion are critical to an agenda of no one left behind. So how are we doing on those issues? Let’s start off with personal rights. What I’m going to do first is show you our big countries in 2015. So here they are, and I’ve put the USA and Japan back in, so it’s our 13 biggest countries in the world. And we see a wide range of scores. The United States at the top with Japan hitting the goals; China a long way behind. So what’s been our direction of travel on the rights agenda over the last three years? Let’s have a look. Well, what we see is actually pretty ugly. The majority of the countries are standing still or moving backwards, and big countries like Brazil, India, China, Bangladesh have all seen significant declines. This is worrying.

Let’s have a look now at inclusiveness. And inclusiveness is looking at things like violence and discrimination against minorities, gender equity, LGBT inclusion, etc… And as a result, we see that the scores for our big countries are generally lower. Every country, rich and poor alike, is struggling with building an inclusive society. But what’s our direction of travel? Are we building more inclusive countries? Let’s have a look — progress to 2018. And again we see the world moving backwards: most countries static, a lot of countries going backwards — Bangladesh moving backwards — but also, two of the countries that were leading — Brazil and the United States — have gone backwards significantly over the last three years.

Let’s sum this up now for the world as a whole. And what we see on personal rights for the whole world is we’re forecasting actually a decline in the score on personal rights to about 60, and then this decline in the score of inclusiveness to about 42. Now, obviously these things can change quite quickly with rights and with changes in law, changes in attitudes, but we have to accept that on current trends, this is probably the most worrying aspect of the SDGs. How I’ve depressed you …

I hope not because I think what we do see is that progress is happening in a lot of places and there are opportunities for accelerating progress. We are living in a world that is tantalizingly close to ensuring that no one need die of hunger or malaria or diarrhea. If we can focus our efforts, mobilize resources, galvanize the political will, that step change is possible.

But in focusing on those really basic, solvable SDGs, we mustn’t forget the whole package. The goals are an unwieldy set of indicators, goals and targets, but they also include the challenges our world faces. The fact that the SDGs are focusing attention on the fact that we face a crisis in personal rights and inclusiveness is a positive. If we forget that, if we choose to double down on the SDGs that we can solve, if we go for SDG à la carte and pick the most easy SDGs, then we will have missed the point of the SDGs, we will miss the goals and we will have failed on the promise of the SDGs.

Essentials for ENGL-121 Copyright © 2016 by David Buck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How to Make the World a Better Place

Updated 06 April 2023

Subject Sayings

Downloads 62

Category Life

Topic Making The World a Better Place

Making the world a better place

is something that many people want to do, but may not know how to get started. It is a daunting task, but the truth is that small and simple changes can make a big impact.

The first step: Set a goal

The first step is to think about what you would like to achieve in your life. Then write that goal down on paper. This will help you focus your energy on what matters most in your life, and inspire you to work towards that goal.

Helping others

One of the most effective ways to make the world a better place is by helping others. This can be in a variety of ways, including donating money to charities or volunteering your time.

Reduce waste and pollution

Another way to make the world a better place is to reduce your waste and pollution. This can be done by limiting the amount of garbage that you throw away, and by choosing to reuse or recycle whenever possible. This is not only good for the environment, but it also helps to reduce your own carbon footprint, which will save you money in the long run!

Buying less and using more locally produced goods is another great way to make the world a better place. This is a great way to support local businesses and will help reduce global environmental problems, such as pollution and overfishing.

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, and can be an excellent way to improve your own mental health by spending time with people who need your help. If you are looking to make the world a better place, consider giving your time to volunteer at an animal shelter, soup kitchen, or other charitable organization. You can help them out by bringing food, cleaning, or by giving them a listening ear. Doing these things is also a great way to spend your free time, and you will feel rewarded at the end of the day by knowing that you helped someone else.

Kindness matters

Treating other people with kindness is a great way to make the world a better and more beautiful place. This can be as simple as saying hello to a homeless person, or as serious as donating your time and skills to a charity. This is a great way to make the world better because you can actually see your impact. You can show other people what a difference you make, and it will inspire them to be more compassionate as well.

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The world could use more people who are willing to give their time and resources to other causes. The more people who make the world a better place, the more we can do to change the world.

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How to Make the World a Better Place Essay

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Topic: The Role of Education for A Better and Fairer Future

“Real education enhances the dignity of a human being and increases his or her self-respect. If only the real sense of education could be realized by each individual and carried forward in every field of human activity, the world will be so much a better place to live in.” D.R A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Much has been written about education, its importance and how the current system of education is not helping us get anywhere. So, to talk about this matter of significant value we need to understand what it truly means. Education is a process that doesn’t only facilitate learning, but above all focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and skills hoping, to change our beliefs and habits for the better.

The world we live in has no shortage of problems. These problems are complex, pervasive, and affect all of us. We all have legitimate ambitions for a happier, fairer and more humane life. Addressing these issues represents a major challenge that calls upon the active and collaborative effort of all sectors of society and a clear awareness of the central role of education.

Since the beginning of the history of man itself, the role of education has been unclear and in times like ours, its function has remained ambiguous. See when we talk about education we mainly observe that there are people divided on what it means. Some who believe that knowledge is more important while others who would argue that No, learning is the more important one. Engaged in these futile arguments we forget that we’re only seeing one side of the story, one piece of the puzzle. Education requires a perfect balance of both, learning and knowledge. A mix of the rigid and the flexible, the rigidity of concrete fact and the flexibility of creative imagination. A Yin and Yang if I would say. In fights like these, we have yet again proved the impossible (in a sinister way that is) we’ve managed to divide ourselves on another level.

These arguments have arisen over the current education system, dividing us into two groups, the people who support it, mainly teachers and the people who are against it, the students. We, as students need to realize the importance of time management for coping with huge amounts of portion and the parents and teachers should not pressure the students so much. And above all we all need to realize that true learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom.

Riddle me this, if we didn’t argue as much as we do and try to convince the other side to see the sense in ours, but instead put in an effort in working together, realizing that we all have our differences, but united on the simple fact that we’re all human, where do you think we would be right now?

Making the World a Better Place

Every individual’s life is influenced by the choices they make. When we’re concerned about matters like food, survival, shelter and other resources we’re making the most basic choices ever. Education helps us to make better choices. Education is a constructive way to provide answers to the questions we look for. It fulfills our curiosity, helping us learn. Consequently, we have a deeper understanding of the world around us than we did before. This deep understanding enables us to dive deeper, to be fearless and to ask questions that have never been asked before. That is the single, most fundamental reason we make progress.

I mean, think about it, we live in the most revolutionary period of man. Why? It’s mainly because education and facts are available to a large section of our society. When we look back at the history of man, we realize something We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?

In the long run, standards of living are determined by productivity. Without education, people are limited to poorly paid manual labor or even subsistence agriculture. Just to work in a modern factory today, you must be literate and numerate. Even agriculture today requires understanding which seed varieties to choose and how and when to apply water, fertilizer, and pesticides.

Furthermore, education is vital to understanding important life decisions such as understanding the importance of family planning and human life we all share. Sure, there are a lot of problems, but we can solve them, together.

We must understand that the importance of education cannot be measured. Its value is unmatchable. Without it stems from ignorance, frustration, anger, and demise. With it, solutions, alternatives, and new ideas can be brought forth to further improve the evolution of mankind. With each generation, we are taking one step forward in a direction that will further address world issues such as environmental awareness, famine, disease, and war. Education can help immensely in achieving this seemingly utopian future. From hunters and gatherers to people who can theorize how the universe works, building a peaceful, efficient, and growing species is all based on the evolution of our education. There is no purpose nobler than putting mind over matter and using our brain for the betterment of everyone.

Moreover, when we get educated we influence others in our life, directly or indirectly. We all know a man is a social being and craves the approval of her/his fellow beings. This has developed a sort of herd mentality and while it is true that we should “break the mold” and nothing ever good came from the following someone, we need to be aware what that mold is and how to break it. That and so much more can be achieved by education. It is our saving grace, which will lead us all to a brighter and bolder future.

And if history is any indicator, our present has been influenced by the choices of the past. And despite all its problems, modern society has hope and potential to grow.

So, let’s not squander this opportunity given to us by our forefathers and make a change in our demeanor for the better. One thing that we must do and do well is balance societal goals (curing diseases, building things, world peace, etc.) with the pursuit of material wealth. We need both; but, of course, traditionally people are too concerned with the latter. We need to create a society where we will be able to achieve this balance. For only then will we truly understand the importance of education because it isn’t a big fat paycheck or a promotion you get from your senior, it’s more than that.

Education is our passport for tomorrow, a better tomorrow.

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13 Ways to Make the World a Better Place (Big & Small!)

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Updated on October 15, 2023

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  • Small actions, like picking up trash, can inspire others.
  • Spreading happiness and positivity benefits you and others.
  • Your individual actions, especially when inspiring, can create substantial change.

If I said that the world is currently suffering and it needs your help, would you agree with me? The growing gap between the rich and the poor, the climate crisis, conflicts all over the world: these are just a couple of examples of a world that needs our help.

While this list can go on and on, I’m going to focus on the positives today. Mainly, how can you help make the world a better place? What can you do to help the world, as an individual? Even though your own actions can sometimes feel insignificant when looking at the grander scheme, you still have the power to change the world for the better.

This article discusses 13 things you can do to make the world a better place. Interestingly enough, most of these things are proven to make your life more interesting and happier in the process. So let’s get to it!

Can you really make the world a better place?

Why inspiration is so important to make the world a better place, why being good translates to being happy, 1. stand up for equality, 2. stop consuming animal products, 3. be happier, 4. spread your happiness to others, 5. allow yourself to be vulnerable, 6. be a volunteer, 7. pick up trash, 8. don’t judge others too soon, 9. try to think positive and spread your happiness, 10. help someone out for free, 11. donate to good causes, 12. practice active listening, 13. reduce digital waste, wrapping up.

We all want to make the world a better place, right? Not just for ourselves, but also for future generations.

But to think we can solve all of the world’s problems seems naive.

I’m always reminded of a meme that shows a person who’s proud of banning the use of plastic straws, while someone else crushes that sentiment by showing a picture of the great Pacific garbage patch.

Such comparisons always raise the question: “Do my actions have any meaningful consequences?”

I recently read Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land” and one passage really stood out to me:

… On every issue, it seemed, we kept bumping up against somebody – a politician, a bureaucrat, some distant CEO – who had the power to make things better but didn’t. A Promised Land – Barack Obama

He wrote this to explain his motives for becoming a politician. I don’t want to turn this post into a political one, but I do want to say that I really respect Barack Obama for believing in change.

But we don’t all have the set of skills required to enter politics or to become a CEO of a big company. The question remains: can we still make the world a better place?

💡 By the way : Do you find it hard to be happy and in control of your life? It may not be your fault. To help you feel better, we’ve condensed the information of 100’s of articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet to help you be more in control. 👇

Cheat Sheet Download Thumbnail

Don’t Miss Out On Happiness

Find happiness with this 10-step mental health cheat sheet.

Even though you don’t have the power to single-handedly abolish racism, solve income inequality or clean the great pacific garbage patch, you do have the power to inspire others.

Your power to inspire others is the key to making the world a better place.

Here’s a fun example that always comes to mind: at the start of 2019, my girlfriend decided to become a vegetarian. I was initially hesitant, as I was afraid it would interfere with my own habits.

But over time, I noticed how easy it was for her to not eat meat. In fact, I was too lazy to prepare 2 different meals each night, so I joined her in her vegetarian diet. One year later, I officially declared myself a vegetarian!

Some months later, my girlfriend decided to try a 100% plant-based diet. This time, I thought, there’s no way in hell I’m ever going to follow suit. “It’s just too big of a pain in the ass”, or so I thought.

Long story short: she eventually inspired me to join her in the vegan life. We’re both trying to live a life free of animal consumption, and we’re happier for it . In fact, we’ve inspired some of our friends and family to also lower their consumption of animal products. And that’s how the power of inspiration can help you make the world a better place.

You have the power to do good on a small scale. Your actions are able to inspire others, who will then spread those actions to their friends and family. This snowball will continue to grow, and can eventually have a big impact on the world (with or without your awareness of it).

There’s a beautiful synergy that I want to highlight here. Most of the things that I’ve included in this article are beneficial to your own mental health as well.

So even though picking up trash might sound like a total bummer, doing so still has a positive impact on your own mental health! Being a good person is often proven to result in being happier and healthier, even though doing good deeds doesn’t always seem like fun.

I’m not making this up! I’ve done my best to reference as many studies as possible that show how being a good person translates to being a happy person.

This means that making the world a better place doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice to you. We can all benefit from these things.

13 ways to make the world a better place

Here are 13 things you can to make the world a better place, some small and others big. What they all have in common is that these things can all inspire others to follow suit. Whatever way you choose to help the world become better, your actions have the power to inspire the people around you.

And that’s how you can make the world a better place.

A lot of the world’s human conflicts can be traced back to inequality. Whenever a group of people is treated unfairly, there is going to be a conflict eventually. And the world will be a worse place because of it.

Whether that’s:

  • Deep-rooted racism.
  • Mistreatment of anyone who doesn’t follow the rules of the Bible.
  • The (still existing) gender pay gap.
  • Hate speech.
  • Corruption.

You have the power to speak up about it.

Even though you are not directly experiencing any negative effects of these inequalities, you can make the world a better place by speaking up and acknowledging your own stance.

So the next time your colleague makes a slightly sexist joke, or you see someone being mistreated because of their sexuality, just know that you have the power to show your disapproval.

I recently shared a newsletter in which I talked about my personal view on sustainability in the world. The newsletter included some – admittedly – harsh truths about why I am now a strong proponent of embracing a 100% plant-based life.

As a result, a lot of our subscribers said “ screw this shit, I’m outta here! ” and clicked the unsubscribe button. In fact, it was the worst email newsletter I ever sent if you looked at the number of unsubscribes and spam complaints.

It showed me that a lot of people don’t want to be faced with the urgent message that we need to reduce our consumption of animal products.

So I won’t bother you with those pesky details in this article. If you want to know more about how your consumption of animal products impacts the world, here’s a decent resource . As I stated in the introduction, I want to focus on the positives, so here goes:

Did you know that embracing a sustainable lifestyle is linked to happiness ?

We recently surveyed over ten thousand Americans and asked about their lifestyle. We found that people who don’t consume meat are actually happier than those who do , by as much as 10%!

If you want to make the world a better place, I would argue that sustainable behavior is a fairly safe gamble. You don’t have to go all-in at once, because success is achieved with small steps. While it may require some sacrifices, rewards like psychological well-being and satisfaction, and the continued existence of natural resources, make at least trying worth it.

I started Tracking Happiness (this website) a long time ago. At the time, it was just a small one-man show. A tiny blog.

This tiny blog was entirely focused on happiness. Its message was that the most important thing in life is – you guessed it – your happiness. Nothing else. Wealth, success, love, adventures, fitness, sex, fame, whatever. It all doesn’t matter, as long as you’re happy. After all, happiness is correlated to all kinds of positive things, from confidence to creativity.

It’s because there’s a lot of proof that shows that more happiness in the world would lead to fewer conflicts. Also, being happy at what you do makes you better at what you do.

The point I’m trying to make here is that the world is not only better with you in it. The world would be a better place if you were as happy as you can.

We all deserve to be happy . If you focus more on your own happiness, you’re indirectly making the world a better place.

Now that we know that a happy world is a better world, it must be clear why it’s important to spread happiness to others.

Studies have found that  laughter is contagious and that  the act of smiling can help make you feel happier . Our tendency to mimic the facial expressions and body language of those around us can have a  powerful effect on our moods .

But spreading happiness is not only a great way to make the world a better place, it’s also surprisingly effective at making ourselves happier. By trying to lift the mood of others, we will indirectly lift our own happiness as well.

How can you put this to practice?

  • Smile to a stranger.
  • Try to laugh when you’re around others (not in an awkward way!). Laughter is one of the best remedies for sadness.
  • Do something nice for somebody else, a random act of kindness.
  • Make a compliment to somebody else and notice how it affects their happiness.

Being vulnerable is often thought of as being weak. This is especially true for men, even though most of them are probably not aware of it (including yours truly).

I’ll use myself as an example: I often find it hard to show my emotions, especially around people that I don’t personally care about. If a colleague has a terrible day at work, I’m probably the last guy in the room to give that person a hug.

It’s not that I don’t want to be compassionate, it’s just that I grew up with the idea that needing support is a sign of weakness. As if asking for help is somehow bad.

Terrible! This train of thought has kept me from showing appreciation , love and compassion, even though I really wish I should have. I try to get rid of this notion, and it’s proving to be a challenge so far.

But I believe the world would be a better place if more people tried to let their guards down. Here’s a great article that contains actionable ways to show compassion .

Most people see volunteering as a good and noble endeavor, but many are reluctant to actually volunteer. Our lives are busy as they are, so why should you spend your time and energy on something that doesn’t pay?

Volunteering is a fantastic way to make the world a better place. Most volunteers spent their time helping those who need it most. By doing so, they are indirectly reducing the amount of inequality in the world (which was the first thing to do in this article).

It may not come as a surprise that volunteering is also proven to positively enhance your own happiness .

A  2007 study  found that people who volunteer consistently report to be healthier both physically and mentally than those who do not.

Another important finding of this study was that those who were less well socially integrated benefited the most, meaning that volunteering may be a way to empower groups who are socially excluded otherwise.

Picking up trash is probably the most actionable way to make the world a better place, from an environmental and ecological point of view.

There’s simply nothing that stops you from going out right now, to bring an empty trash bag and to fill it by picking up trash. Depending on where you live, you can fill one or two bags of trash by just going for a 30-minute walk around the block.

Even though this may seem like an inconsequential thing to do, you should not underestimate the power of inspiration here. Whenever I’ve gone out to pick up trash myself, I’ve had multiple people stop by for a quick chat. They all let me know how much they think that it’s amazing that somebody spends their (free) time picking up trash.

As an indirect result, I believe these people are more inclined to think twice before throwing out their garbage on the street. In fact, there’s a growing movement of people that go out there to pick up trash in their free time. There is even a subreddit with over 100,000 members that talk about their experiences picking up trash.

That’s probably because picking up trash is one of the simplest and most actionable ways to help make the world a better place.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to judge others, without actually knowing what they’re dealing with?

I’m unfortunately a perfect example of this questionable habit. I recently saw an overweight man riding a bicycle. The shirt he was wearing was undersized and his pants were a little down. As a result, he showed a massive buttcrack to everyone he passed on the street. According to most standards, this was not a pretty sight. 😅

I was quick to make a jokey comment about it to my girlfriend. “Hey look, he’s probably on his way to the nearest McDrive”, I laughed while sneakily pointing to the man.

My girlfriend – having a better functioning moral compass than I have – quickly pointed out that I have no idea what shit he may be dealing with.

She was 100% right. It’s so easy to judge others for the way they look, dress, behave or appear. What we don’t know is how quickly our way of thinking becomes adapted to those negative judgmental thoughts. Especially when nobody ever speaks up about your negativity.

I’m happy my girlfriend made me realize how judgmental I was. Hell, maybe I should have asked her to write this article instead of me.

I recently saw this image on Twitter, that perfectly encapsulates what I mean here:

pic.twitter.com/RQZRLTD4Ux — the Awkward Yeti (Nick Seluk) (@theawkwardyeti) June 11, 2021

My point here is that judging others comes easy for most of us. It’s tempting to point out flaws in other people, as it makes us feel better about ourselves . But it’s really important to realize that this behavior is not making the world a better place.

Instead, the world would be better off if we’d focus more of our energy on highlighting someone’s strengths. Being a judgmental person all the time won’t help the world.

This one expands on the previous tip. Instead of being judgmental all the time, why not spend that same energy in trying to be more positive?

There’s plenty of proof that positivity makes the world a better place. Here’s a simple example from the Medical University of Rochester :

Researchers reviewed the results of over 80 studies to look for common findings. They found optimism had a remarkable impact on physical health. The study examined overall longevity, survival from a disease, heart health, immunity, cancer outcomes, pregnancy outcomes, pain tolerance, and other health topics. It seemed that those who had a more optimistic outlook did better and had better results than those who were pessimistic. Can Optimism Make a Difference in Your Life?

While this proves the impact that positivity has on an individual, there’s also science that shows how positive behavior can increase happiness in those you interact with. This study found that your happiness can spread to your friends, which then spreads to their friends, and so on.

As we discussed earlier, a happy world is a better world to live in. So by thinking positively and spreading your happiness, you’re making the world a better place!

Whereas the previous tip lacked an actionable takeaway, this tip is super easy to implement.

By helping someone out for free, you’re spreading your positivity to others while also closing the gap between those who are in need and those who are well off already.

What can you do to implement this idea and make the world a better place?

  • Help out a colleague with a project of theirs.
  • Do some grocery shopping for an elder.
  • Give some of your food to a food bank.
  • Provide your support for a good cause at a rally.
  • Find opportunities to give compliments.
  • Give someone a lift.
  • Offer a listening ear to your friend or colleague.
  • Give away some of your stuff to a thrift shop.

This idea applies to everything. Even though your help is not requested, and you don’t stand to profit from giving away your time, you’ll be making the world a better place.

Especially when you lend out your free help to someone who needs it most (like a group of people that’s treated unfairly).

The last tip in this list is also relatively simple and actionable. Donating money to a good cause is one of the simplest ways to make the world a better place.

You are probably reading this from a Western country. This means that you’re already better off than >50% of the world. As we discussed earlier in this article, there are a lot of people in the world that haven’t had as much luck as you.

So whether it’s the environment you want to support, animal welfare, refugee care, or hunger in Africa, you must know that you can make a difference.

And even when you won’t benefit directly from donating to a good cause, you will still feel happier as a result.

A well-known study once organized around 500 participants to play 10 rounds of a word-puzzle game. In each round, they could win 5 cents. They could either keep it or donate it. Afterward, they had to note down their level of happiness.

The outcome revealed that those who donated their winnings were happier compared to those who kept their winnings for themselves.

Another interesting series of studies by Michael Norton and Elizabeth Dunn  had similar results. More than 600 people were interviewed in one of the studies. They were asked questions to find out how much they made, how much they spent, and how happy they were.

It was again discovered that people who spent more on others felt happier than those who spent it on themselves. The studies showed that the amount of money given hardly had an impact. What mattered is the intention behind it.

So if you want to make the world a better place but are still not sure what to do, think of a good cause you believe in and donate.

In a world filled with distractions, taking the time to truly listen to someone can be a powerful way to make a difference.

Active listening involves fully concentrating, understanding, and responding to what someone is saying, rather than just passively hearing them. By practicing active listening, you show empathy , understanding, and respect, which can strengthen relationships and foster a sense of belonging.

Next time you’re in a conversation, resist the urge to formulate your response while the other person is speaking. Instead, focus entirely on their words, ask clarifying questions if needed, and give feedback only after they’ve finished speaking. This simple act can make the person feel valued and heard, promoting positive interactions and understanding.

While we often think of environmental conservation in terms of physical waste, our digital habits also have an impact on the environment. Every email sent, photo stored, or website visited requires energy, contributing to our carbon footprint.

By being mindful of our digital consumption, we can reduce unnecessary energy use and promote a more sustainable digital ecosystem.

Regularly clean up your email inbox, deleting unnecessary emails and unsubscribing from newsletters you no longer read. Additionally, consider using cloud storage judiciously, deleting duplicate or unnecessary files. By adopting these habits, you not only declutter your digital space but also contribute to a greener digital environment.

💡 By the way : If you want to start feeling better and more productive, I’ve condensed the information of 100’s of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. 👇

Cheat Sheet Download Thumbnail Clean

This Cheat Sheet Will Help You Be Happier and More Productive

Thrive under stress and crush your goals with these 10 unique tips for your mental health.

If you made it all the way to the end, you’ve probably found a few tactics that you can use to help make the world better. In the end, your impact as an individual is always going to be small. But it’s through inspiring others that your actions can snowball into an actual change. Start small and eventually you can make the world a better place to live in.

What do you think? Was there something I missed? Something that you’ve found helpful in the past that needs to be shared in this article? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


Founder of Tracking Happiness, with over 100 interviews and a focus on practical advice, our content extends beyond happiness tracking. Hailing from the Netherlands, I’m a skateboarding enthusiast, marathon runner, and a dedicated data junkie, tracking my happiness for over a decade.

17 thoughts on “13 Ways to Make the World a Better Place (Big & Small!)”

Great article, very inspiring!

Thanks, Sonia 🙂

By writing this article you made a lot of people’s day and better the world. Thanks for your great insights and time. This article really inspired me. Keep doing the great work! All the best. 🙂

Thanks Jinji!

don’t judge people but also just deal with it

What makes me worried about following a vegan diet is that if everyone did it our local butcher’s would be out of work. They employ about 10 people — do we mind if they’re starving and homeless?

Hi Henry! Thanks for your comment. I understand your concern! In the end, though, life on earth will have to grow and develop to embrace more sustainable ways. People are luckily resilient creatures and able to adapt to new circumstances!

The world is evolving! There are plant-based vegan “meats” & other options that don’t involve animal cruelty & exploitation. There are even vegan ‘butcher’ shops that strictly carry vegan ‘meats’. If you look at slaughterhouse workers, they have one of the most dangerous jobs. Higher risk of amputations, because of high speed slaughter, PTSD from slaughtering animals all day, increased drug & alcohol abuse & higher crime rate performed in the form of slaughter. What about those people? Here’s to creating a kinder, more compassionate world for ALL beings. Going vegan is better for your heath, the environment & the animal. The Future is Vegan! ♥️🙏🌈✨🌱

I’ve tried & failed so many times to follow a vegan diet. I have a lot of food sensitivities which makes it especially difficult. Do you have any resources to recommend to help me out? Thanks

Thanks for your comment. Maybe this article can be of help to you: https://happyherbivore.com/2013/04/dealing-food-allergies-make-it-work/ ?

Luckily, there are other ways to make the world a better place. I hope you find something that works for you!

All the best,

Regarding judging too easily: “Instead, the world would be better off if we’d focus more of our energy on highlighting someone’s strengths.” I liked that one a lot! I do think it is important to also raise a voice. But you can also do that by giving good examples not by only judging. So simple. Thanks for that. <3

Thanks for your comment, Bianca. Glad you liked it!

Thank you for these helpful and bright ideas! I agree with you that your own example of making the world happier inspires other people and that is already a great benefit.

This ROCKS!! You nailed, as usual! Thanks for sharing your insights and talent.

Thank you so much Shirley! 🙂

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Making the World a Better Place Essay Examples

Presenting an idea of how to make the world a better place.

I strongly believe that the topic that I am writing about in “How to make the world a better place?” essay is the one you should mostly focus on. The topic I am writing about is the environment, the environment is the main source of...

How Can We Make This World a Better Place

The desire to make the world a better place is a shared aspiration that transcends cultural, geographical, and generational boundaries. It is a call to action that stems from a collective sense of responsibility to address the challenges facing our planet. In this comprehensive essay,...

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