At Down to Donate we throw around the word Slacktivist a lot. If you’re not familiar with its meaning or origin, it’s essentially 90% slacker and 10% activist. You may have even taken offense to the phrase before, considering it’s basically USA Today’s way of saying, “Quit Tweeting and start acting.”
A Slacktivist is the kind of person that’s probably posted a photo of a mountain with the words, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” plastered over it, but also doesn’t have the time to dedicate their life to volunteering with a nonprofit in a poverty-stricken country.
And yeah, we get it. So we’ve decided to reclaim its meaning and show the naysayers that we can have our cake and donate too.
So, let me ask you, do you turn the water off when you brush your teeth? Are you not crippled by toxic masculinity and proudly pull out your reusable bags at the grocery store? Are you politically aware and ask yourself how you can do more but *also* still be able to pay the bills?
We hear ya. We’d much rather have fun with our limited free time and unimpressive salaries (that tend to flat-line while the cost of living goes up), so we made a solid list of 8 Easy Socially Conscious Habits to Form for the slacktivist who wants to create positive change with little effort.8 Easy Socially Conscious Habits to Form Be That Trash Girl
We’ve all seen her. Her name is Lauren Singer and she can fit all her trash from the whole year in a mason jar (and we’re not even talking a Costco-sized jar, it’s actually pretty small). She makes a conscious effort to minimize her waste and pays close attention to her consumption. Even Lauren says going Zero Waste Living doesn’t happen overnight, but we can for sure *start* now.
Consume less and save more money? We’re in.Hold People Accountable
Don’t go around trolling people IRL, it probably won’t bode as well as it does on Twitter. But truth be told, some people honestly don’t know that they’re being a trash human, and if you’ve got a few seconds to educate them, do it. They’re probably itching for some insightful tips that help them help the planet.
Consider this to be Down to Donate’s Hippocratic Oath: ‘Tis your duty to drop knowledge on those who are unaware, unable, and ignorant.
Let it be heard!
Tell your pops that it doesn’t take five minutes to ‘warm up the tap water’. And why is your Grandma still recycling pizza boxes? Time to learn how to compost, Norma!
From our experience, these conversations aren’t always comfortable. The key to holding people accountable is the way you deliver it. Will they always be receptive? No way. We’ve been conditioned to think this way of living is normal. Start your conscious consumer crusade with a super gentle tone.Practice Mindfulness
Our daily existence comes at a cost. And us Westerners often don’t see the impact it has on the environment or communities around the world.
We can’t always be there to police other people, nor should we have to, but we can start by calling ourselves out and practice being mindful. Every cause has an effect and oftentimes, it’s more than one.
Be mindful about the duration of your shower, water used while washing dishes, the food you eat, choosing transportation, where you shop – everything! Mindfulness is all about being self-aware, and that understandably takes time to develop. Starting with just one conscious act a day will absolutely make a big ol’ positive impact.Skip Single-Use Plastics
Nothing is less sexy than some who is aware, yet straight up just doesn’t care.
Don’t believe me? I seriously considered breaking up with a guy because he would buy 24-packs of small water bottles for his house rather than reusable gallon jugs KNOWING that it has a harmful impact on the environment.
Petty? Maybe, but I like my men *~*WoKe*~*
There’s cheap reusable stuff, bougie reusable stuff and custom reusable stuff. Either way, it’s all accessible reusable stuff.
Use it and don’t be like my ex. Or I’ll break up with you too.Rinse Your Recycling
Just last year, China was buying up recyclables from western countries and giving us a serious out-of-sight-out-of-mind complex.
Those days are over, as it just doesn’t make sense to haul our un-rinsed recycling to the Middle Kingdom only to discover the worst… trash juice.
Now that we’re stuck figuring out how to deal with our plastic consumption domestically, we can start by giving it a good wash so the good folks who filter through our plastics don’t have to come home smelling like a rotten mixture of America’s condiments. We love our mustard, but not when it’s mixed with yesterday’s watered-down latte.
Before you start scrubbing ketchup packets, be sure to check out this SUPER helpful NPR article about what is and what isn’t recyclable.
Feeling guilty for over-recycling? We did too. Live and learn, slacktivist. Live. And. Learn.Volunteer
Volunteering isn’t always an option for everyone, we get it. But teamwork makes the dream work, so get your Top 8 together and turn your next chill session into something impactful.
We may or may not be guilty of drinking White Claws while doing a small neighborhood clean up. Just try not to get arrested.
Head to your local animal shelter and get some free therap- I mean… walk a dog.
The more of us that pitch in, the less work it is for everybody else. And if that isn’t a slacktivistic approach to making a difference then I don’t know what is.Donate
Boyan Slat is the boy genius from the Netherlands who invented The Ocean Cleanup, a machine that skims and cleans the first meter of the ocean to remove the floating plastics. Bonus: it’s completely charged by solar panels. I, in no way shape or form, have the brains that Boyan has, but I’ve sure as sh*t got $5 on it.
There are tons of issues that need support and that’s exactly why Down to Donate was created, so you can live your life while knowing that you’re always giving.
Sign up here and subscribe to donate $8 bucks a month, with the option to split that donation between 3 different nonprofits that totally need our help.Spend Your Money Wisely
We’re all about treating ourselves. However, we’re also all about knowing where our money is going. We hold the buying power, and with every dollar we spend we have the opportunity to support companies who care about us and the planet, or companies who just want those Benjamins.
We’re as guilty as the next guy when it comes to putting our money into the hands of greedy conglomerates, but all it takes is a little bit of research to find out just what these companies do with your dollars.
For instance, is the companies mission a pipeline or renewable energy? Are they helping or hurting communities? Do they pay their employee’s livable wages?
In other words, are they ethical?
A Certified B Corporation is a for-profit business that not only holds itself to a high social and environmental standard, but they also make it their legal obligation to do so. Becoming a B Corporation is no easy task. However, the more consumers require companies to have sustainable practices, the more companies will follow suit and be socially responsible.
With over 2,000 companies that are certified in over 50 different countries, we have options to put our money where our values are.
Check the Certified B Corp Directory to find out which companies are making conscious efforts to be a force for good.The Takeaway
Is this shift from constant consumer to conscious consumer going to be easy? Nope. We didn’t even listen to the “Water – Use it wisely” ads back in the ’90s, and now look what’s happening!
But now more than ever, the information is flowing and all of the dirty secrets corporations thought we’d never find out about them is as available as the plastic water bottles they told us not to worry about. We have the power and we can quite literally make or break our own futures.
Feeling overwhelmed? That’s a-okay. Share this with a friend and brainstorm together on how you can go from hopeless to hopeful with these 8 easy socially conscious habits.
Want to hear more about for-profit businesses making a social and environmental impact? Check out the Good Work Podcast to hear Monica, founder of Down to Donate, interview some change-makers who are paving the way for a greener, more sustainable planet.