Take a look at these tips to see what changes you're willing to make to be a better global citizen.
Fewer people are willing to make changes in their life to improve the lives of others, but there are still many that are prepared to do everything it takes to make the world a better place. As the Earth’s well-being rapidly declines, so does the health of the poorest citizens in the poorest countries, but there is still hope that people can combat climate change and its effects.
Rather than continuing to advocate only for people with similar backgrounds, people need to make an effort to help as many people around the world as much as they can to improve the planet overall. Here are 5 ways that you can be a better global citizen and impact the world positively.
1. Join the fight against climate change
Climate change truly is the world’s biggest collective threat right now, and without any change to the way people conduct their lives there will be even more devastating consequences that we’ll see in this lifetime. War, poverty, famine, and disease, which are all horrible problems that the world faces, will only worsen as the Earth’s climate changes dramatically. Here are some small ways you can actually help:
- Get your home better insulated and use your heat and air conditioning as little as possible. This is one of the appliances that sucks up the most energy in your home, which is generated through practices that are harmful to the environment.
- Eat less meat. Whether this means only going meatless on Mondays or cutting back a few days a week, going meatless (especially without beef) can help the planet because raising livestock contributes greatly to greenhouse gas emissions and water usage.
- Donate to eco-friendly charities. You can check out this list on Project Greenify to see which charity is right for you (and Earth).
- Vote for politicians who don’t deny climate change and want to enact policy changes to combat it.
2. Donate to charities that fight global poverty
Poverty has always been a major problem throughout the world, but the good news is that the continuous effort to fight it has proven beneficial. According to The Atlantic, 2015 was a great year for humanity because the ebola outbreak was contained and extinguished in Guinea and Sierra Leone, child mortality halved since 1990, and world hunger is decreasing.
Despite this good news, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done to nip hunger in the bud. If you check the website GiveWell, you’ll find the top charities in the world that are thoroughly invested in helping people than themselves. For helping poverty-stricken people, GiveDirectly is the best organization to donate to because they literally transfer the cash you give to extremely poor households.
Other popular ways to donate are through Kiva, which allows you to give loans to those-in-need and looking to open businesses, go to school, etc., and allows you to get repaid or Oxfam, which works on long-term solutions to poverty.
3. Support global education
The right to an education is often taken for granted in wealthier nations, as it is usually state-mandated with public institutions that require no tuition. However, this is not the case in a number of different countries for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s because girls are not allowed to receive an education or local children are unable to afford even primary school, it’s best to support education for all children in all countries. A smarter world is a better world, and making the world a smarter place starts with making it a better place by ending poverty and supporting women’s rights. If you want to help directly, GiveWell has given approval to Pratham, which supports children in India and has an effective model that can be used elsewhere.
4. Support women’s rights
As mentioned above, supporting women’s rights has a trickle effect that improves other areas of the world. By supporting gender equality, more girls can get an education, contributing to a smarter and better-adjusted world with less poverty and violence. In countries where women are given control of the finances, they are more likely to use the money to improve the lives of their family and lift them out of poverty than men are. Educated women are more likely to avoid unwanted pregnancies, which will lead to less overpopulation and children that cannot be cared for by women who aren’t ready financially or mentally to be mothers. Oxfam has 5 simple ways you can support gender equality.
The final way you can be a better global citizen is the simplest and yet often avoided solution: get out and vote for politicians that want to take up arms against climate change, support gender equality, and fight poverty by supporting effective welfare programs. This doesn’t mean just paying attention to the presidential race; research which members of Congress, your state legislature, and local government will address these issues and be sure to cast your vote in their favor.
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