You hear the stories every day, in fact just recently we blogged about a similar story, a small group of people making a big difference through little acts. Some examples of such projects are a group of friends who work together to fight illiteracy in rural parts of India or individuals who use maps to make the lives of rural villagers much easier. Little acts to make large differences.
Now while you might not be able to travel half-way around the world or take time off work to give your time or money to causes that desperately need it. There are other ways you can give back that donâ€™t take a lot of time or effort.
What makes a small idea turn into a big impact? It is something that is casually called â€œthe ripple effectâ€. This is the idea that each action has a chain reaction. For example, building a well in a community will provide accessible drinking water to locals, which in turn will improve the local health and hygiene of the area, which will then improve general living conditions and allow people to focus on income generation versus just getting by each day, which will lead to more economic activity in the region, and which in turn will lead to more infrastructure and educational opportunities. This is in an ideal world of course.
So why arenâ€™t wells transforming lives everywhere? I believe the answer is that it takes a combination of factors to spark this ripple effect. So you donâ€™t need to necessarily be on the ground, building a well, to make a difference. You could be on the other side of the planet, going about your daily lives, and still make a difference.
How? One way that we advocate for is social consumerism â€“ choosing to spend your money on goods and services that are eco-friendly, sustainable and/or fair trade. For example, this Valentineâ€™s Day considering buying anything from fair trade chocolate to eco-friendly fashions for those you love. By spending your dollar carefully, you could help ensure the ripple effect is sustainable. Those individuals in impoverished regions receive access to the opportunities they need to pull themselves out of the poverty cycle.
While the ideas I propose in this article are lofty in nature, they have a contrastingly simple call to action: Take opportunities like Valentineâ€™s Day to show you care about people who need it and give from the heart. However, be efficient in how you give back â€“ consider how far your dollar will go and the best way to further that ripple effect.
We at Shopanthropic believe a great way to do so is by purchasing ethical and eco-friendly products which help artisans become sustainable entrepreneurs in the developing world. Join us in spreading love till February 14th, 2012, by supporting the #Globallove campaign. Visit http://shopanthropic.comÂ for more information and tweet #Globallove in support of this cause.