I’ve been trying to keep my head up and not let the abundance of holiday consumerism get into my head this year – like it does every year. We keep reminding ourselves that the holidays are about a little more than stacking gifts to the ceiling yet, I continue to see the products of 24-7 marketing work. I see stressed out people, who aren’t enjoying this time of year anymore, complain about the stuff, and the shopping, and the rat race. Why does this happen? Can we fix it? Then it occurred to me.
If you don’t want the holidays to be about consumerism, then don’t let it.
Could it be that simple? Do we just turn off our ingrained expectation of what the holidays have become and do something else?
Something came over me today while I was picking up a few veggies for dinner. I just got this strong urge to buy the groceries of everyone in line behind me. Everyone seemed very surprised I was doing this uttering over and over that I didn’t need to, but I assured them that I wanted to pay it forward and spread more kindness in the world. Yes, I did actually purchase two cases of bottled water tonight – not mine of course, but what I felt after was incredible. That’s when I got the idea that I should challenge myself this month to pay it forward every single day for the next 20 days hoping that I can inspire others to do the same.
I encourage you to follow along with me and try some of these yourself – you can even come up with your own ways to spread kindness. I will update each act with how it went for me as the month progresses, so stay tuned!
Use the Hashtag #zerowasteactsofkindness to be featured in this post!
20 (Zero Waste) Acts of Kindness
Day 1: Pay for Someone’s Groceries
I felt very strange doing this and that’s because I obviously need to show kindness to strangers way more often. However, when the lady whose groceries I just purchased grabbed my hand and whispered Merry Christmas to me, I knew I had made the right decision. Despite me only spending a total of $40 on everyone’s things, it was the action that I hope sticks with them to continue that cycle of paying it forward.
Day 2: Donate Items to the Animal Shelter
I love when I can utilize secondhand items in an act of kindness. I went to the local thrift store to find wish list items for the local animal shelter. I was able to find leashes, harnesses, and even a cat tree. We additionally purchased 120 lbs. of litter since, from experience, I know how in desperate need shelters are for it.
Day 3: Pay for Someone’s Things at the Thrift Store
My husband and I split up and conquered the thrift store today. We each took $40 and gave random, unsuspecting people $20 each to help cover their thrift store purchases. Another good idea would be to leave a couple dollars near the toys with a note saying that whoever finds it gets to keep it for a treat.
Day 4: Praise a Local Business Online by Writing a Positive Review
Day 5: Thank someone at work
Day 6: Leave Quarters at a Laundromat
Day 7: Donate Books to the Local Library
Day 8: Leave a Generous Tip
Tacos are seriously the best food ever. My husband and I went to our favorite Mexican restaurant in town for lunch and decided it was time to pay it forward by tipping generously. We couldn’t have thought of a better place to do it. I mean, these waiters and waitresses are crazy good. I have no idea how they learn to carry 6 plates of food on one arm but dang.
Day 9: Leave a Little Something in a Library Book
Day 10: Give to the Homeless
Day 11: Leave positive comments on 5 blogs
Day 12: Volunteer at a Food Kitchen
Day 13: Give your Mail Carrier a Gift to Show Your Appreciation
Day 14: Pay for Someone’s Meal
Day 15: Take a Coworker Out to Lunch
Day 16: Leave a Nice Note or Surprise in a Neighbor’s Mailbox
Day 17: Spend Time with Your Loved Ones
Day 18: Pay for Someone’s Coffee
Day 19: Donate Clothes to Charity
Day 20: Be Kind to Yourself
You can follow along with my Zero Waste Acts of Kindness by returning to this article every day or following me on Instagram or Facebook! Also, don’t forget to use the hashtag #zerowasteactsofkindness so you can be featured in this blog post!