23 Ways to Do Good and Find Inspiration Next Year

February
22nd, 2017
Camryn Walton
February
22nd, 2017
Camryn Walton
23 Ways to Do Good and Find Inspiration

“Kill ‘em with kindness” is one of our personal philosophies, and we believe it should transcend into the workplace as well. Spreading kindness can be done in a myriad of ways, and in this post we’re going to focus on living a more sustainable lifestyle at home and at the office. Not only does this result in a smaller ecological footprint, but also a healthier and more productive place to work.

Here are some of our favorite ways you can paint new colors of kindness next year, doing good for your community, co-workers, and environment, while seeking inspiration, challenging your creativity, and ultimately producing better work.

Create a Good Mission Statement
Having a solid mission statement is like making a great first impression. It sets the tone for the relationship between you and your customers and serves as the backbone to your entire brand.
  1. Spread kindness with a stranger or co-worker. Print out one of your favorite photos (or simply use a post-it note), write a positive affirmation or your favorite quote and leave it for a stranger or coworker to find. (Inspired by National Park Quest.)
  2. Calculate the carbon emissions you as an individual or your business puts off each year, and make a donation to an organization of your choice through Carbon Fund.
  3. Invest in solar projects through Wunder Capital, which actively manages everything from the sourcing of commercial solar opportunities to the underwriting, contracting, and construction of each project. Diversify your portfolio, while doing well and good.
  4. Consider using small solar chargers to recharge your phone, tablet, computer, and any other electronic devices at home and at the office. Find the right product for you at GoalZero.
  5. Create a wishing tree outside your home or office. and encourage passersby to write down their wish and tie it to the tree to spread kindness, share inspiration, and put positive intentions out into the world.
  6. Make a commitment to sustainability and become a B Corp. This means meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency and joining a community of over 1,600 companies in 42 countries.
  7. Eat less meat—one of the best things you can do for your health and the environment. Start by being vegetarian just one day a week. When catering office meals, choose meatless options. Reward employees for participating in Meatless Mondays.
  8. Plant a community garden. Take advantage of any green space around your office and plant a community garden for your employees and neighbors. Encourage employees and the community as a whole to plant and take any produce they want, ultimately promoting healthy and sustainable eating habits.
  9. Take time every day to be still. Just 10 minutes of prayer and meditation every day has been shown to help your thought process. Practicing mindfulness changes the way you react, helps you better handle stress, and increases your feelings of empathy.
  10. Walk, bike or take public transportation to work. This one is obvious, but here’s a refresher on the health and environmental benefits of ditching your car.
  11. Create a lawn library outside of your house or office. Encourage employees to bring in their used books, then build a little free library where the community can exchange physical copies of books (remember those?).
  12. Create a vision board at home or at the office and encourage employees to post about issues and organizations they are passionate about. Then once a month, choose something off the board for your company to contribute to as a whole.
  13. Kick-start volunteer roulette. Once a month, allow 4-5 people from various departments of your company to take a half or full day off work to volunteer at a local organization. Use the vision board idea above for project inspiration!
  14. Create a “do good” recognition website where employees can give shout-outs to fellow co-workers. Each shout-out is worth a certain number of points, and each milestone of points is worth a certain number of volunteer hours or money to donate to an organization of that person’s choice.
  15. Launch an annual pro-bono hack-a-thon. Seek inspiration from The Nerdery, an interactive development firm that hosts an “Overnight Website Challenge” each year, supporting local nonprofits. Hack-a-thons are a great way to enable your employees to use their skills to do good. Think beyond tech skills too, and challenge your company to incorporate all of their various skills, such as branding, public relations, content, photography, etc.
  16. Promote healthy minds and bodies through Charity Miles, an app that helps you earn charity when you walk, bike or run. Encourage your employees to participate and take it a step further by matching the donation of the person with the most earned charity each quarter.
  17. Donate while surfing the web. If you’re anything like us, you probably have a million tabs open right now. Introducing the genius team at Tab for a Cause who have created a browser extension that replaces your new tab screen with a page that raises money through ads while you go about browsing the web. You can even customize your pages and choose exactly where your dollars go once you accumulate enough cash.
  18. Support sustainable brands and stock up the office kitchen with these products and these food companies that benefit charities and environmental causes. With gelato, chocolate bars, and coffee on the list… your employees will thank you and so will the environment.
  19. Take after Indy-based marketing firm SmallBox and put the power of corporate social responsibility into the hands of your employees. CEO Jeb Banner entrusts his team with $5,000 each year to donate to the charity of their choice. And so was born: Nice Grants. A micro-grant program that gives $1,000 each year to five people or organizations who are doing something “nice” for the community.
  20. Donate old cell phones and laptops and other electronic equipment. E-waste is a growing concern, especially when industrialized countries send old electronics to poorer nations, harming both the impoverished individuals who salvage them and the environment that must sustain the waste. When it’s time for an upgrade, donate your used electronics or deposit them at e-waste collection centers.
  21. Promote local businesses. One of the best ways to be sustainable and support your community is to help out other businesses in your area. Buy local as often as possible and set aside an area of your website to link to your favorite local companies.
  22. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. CFLs are more energy efficient than regular incandescent bulbs. Although they may be a tad more costly, they use 75% less energy than regular light bulbs and last six times longer.
  23. Track your sustainability efforts to ensure your company follows through on its goals and commitments to doing good. Check out apps like Corporate Knights Ranker, which helps small businesses monitor and evaluate their progress on sustainability initiatives, and allows them to compare their performance with industry-leading firms.
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