It pays to give: 5 ideas for investing in the world around you

(Family Features) In a world plagued by social, political and environmental conflict, a mindset that involves a more community-focused approach can make a significant difference. Everyone’s contributions to improving the land can have a ripple effect that ultimately transforms communities and the people who live there.

Consider these examples of actions you can take, some more important than others, that benefit the whole community.

Create shared common spaces

Almost every community can benefit from the addition of resources that benefit multiple families. Examples include community gardens, playgrounds, parks, and sites for regular farmers’ markets, to name a few. These can be greenfield projects or restoration of facilities that have deteriorated over time. Acquiring the space is often the biggest challenge, but if you’re inspired to lead such an effort, forming a committee of like-minded peers can be an effective step towards fundraising to create a project that benefits the community as a whole.

Donate to charitable causes

Supporting the efforts of existing organizations that help fill gaps in your community is another way to make a difference. Volunteering your time is an option. You can provide extra hands for relatively simple tasks like sorting food or clothing donations, or if you have a special skill, talent, or training, volunteering your time and expertise could help offset the expense. administrative and help the organization run more efficiently. This ultimately means that the organization can more effectively fulfill its mission.

Financial contributions are also a meaningful way to support a worthwhile cause in your community. Writing a check may not seem as personal as putting aid into practice, but without the support of financial donors, philanthropic organizations simply could not provide the community resources they provide. Many organizations will tell you what level of contribution would be most helpful based on their current fundraising needs, and you may have options for a one-time or ongoing donation.

Smarter snack

When thinking about how to improve your community, your food choices may not be on your radar. However, what you eat has a major impact on the community in several ways. That’s why you hear so much about the sustainability of food production, which affects the environment in many ways all along the food supply chain, from air pollution to waste to food consumption. ‘energy. By choosing ingredients and foods that minimize environmental impact, you can show food manufacturers that consumers want responsibly sourced and produced products.

An example is Airly Oat Cloud crackers; each box explains how many grams of carbon dioxide you are helping remove from the air by supporting an innovative farming technique, which makes farming a solution, not a contributor, to climate change. Sustainable can also be tasty. Made with real, wholesome ingredients and 100% delicious, all four flavor varieties (Cheddar, Sea Salt, Chocolate and Salted Caramel) make for satisfying and convenient snacks anytime.

Support local businesses

Particularly over the past two years, local businesses have fought to stay open, changing their services, adapting to the times and generally trying to keep themselves and their local employees afloat. Rewarding these efforts by shopping at their stores and using their services helps keep your money in the local community while keeping your friends and neighbors employed.

These benefits aside, there are practical benefits to shopping locally, such as reduced emissions and energy consumption for transportation to and from the store or business. Additionally, businesses that thrive tend to be stronger corporate citizens, supporting community development and philanthropic needs for a real domino effect.

Clean public spaces

Beautification projects not only make your community a more inviting place, they can actually be good for the planet. Trash removal allows natural vegetation and wildlife to thrive, reduces health risks and promotes safety by sending a clear message that the community cares about its space.

Waste management can also boost tourism and economic benefits, as more attractive places attract more people. Additionally, cleanup initiatives bring neighbors together for a common cause, and this goodwill typically transcends the one-time event to create a greater sense of connectedness among residents.

You can learn more about taking personal action to promote a better world at

A recipe that tastes good while doing good

Even the tastiest desserts can be made with thoughtful ingredients and habits that promote sustainability. This banana pudding recipe from Better Than Mama features responsibly sourced products, compostable ingredients, and other eco-friendly options, including recyclable packaging.

Better than mom’s banana pudding

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 stick of butter, cut into 4 tbsp
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla
  • 1 box of Airly Chocolate or Salted Caramel Crackers
  • 4 medium bananas, sliced
  • whipped topping (optional)
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk the sugar, brown sugar, salt, flour, evaporated milk, milk, butter and eggs continuously until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap touching the pudding. Leave to rest for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  3. Layer 8×8-inch pan with crackers, reserving some for garnish; sliced ​​bananas; and pudding. Repeat layers then top with whipped topping, if desired, and sprinkle with crushed crackers.

Advice: Banana peels and eggshells can be composted. The can of evaporated milk and the can of crackers can be recycled.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (gardener and volunteers)

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