I'm a member of a website called 'A Year of Living Generously'. The link is http://generous.org.uk which I would add as a link to the blog but can't work out how. Anyone want to help me out on that? Anyway, it was set up originally as a small community of people posting ways of being more generous for a year, but word got out and it got bigger, and carried on after the first year.
I became a member after a woman at my old church in Reepham, Lincoln, gave out some leaflets during a a family service about a recent action added to the website. I thought it looked interesting and got totally hooked! Once you've signed up you can commit to actions and set your progress with them. It's full of great ideas to help the environment, other people, and the world in general. Here's the actions I've committed to so far ...
Stop taking carrier bags from shops - a self-explanatory one, my progress is marked as 'currently focussing on' as it's quite a new one. I'm having limited success, today I went to Argos and turned down a bag, but then went to a shoe shop and they bagged up my new trainers before I could protest!!
Give your unwanted/ unworn clothes to charity - again, self-explanatory, and something I've done since I was a young'un, so it's marked as 'Still Doing.' I currently have a bag of clothes in my bedroom ready to give away, as well as helping charity and recycling, it also makes more space for new things in my wardrobe!
More tea vicar? (Don't overfill your kettle) - This one's about making sure you only put as much water as you need in the kettle, saving electricity as it boils quicker. This one's also a 'Still Doing'. I find using a mug to pour in the water is a good way of doing this.
Get someone to join the Generous Community - This one I have as 'Lapsed' (oh the shame) because, apart from my husband, I haven't managed to persuade anyone to join. Although if you see this and join as a result, do let me know!
Perfect Your Pasta - This is an interesting one. Apparently, if you bring your pasta to the boil (or potatoes, veg etc), then cut the heat and put a lid on, the food will cook if you leave it for long enough. We tried it with pasta and it actually came out nicer. This one is also 'Lapsed' as I don't do the cooking in our house!!
Love Books? Join the Library - It's important to support libraries as a source of free literature and often internet access, as well as an important part of community life. This one I've marked as 'Done' although I've not borrowed anything on my new card yet because I'm still wading through years of unread birthday and Christmas presents!
Become a Blood Donor - Done! I did it for the first time a few weeks ago and was so proud of myself! This is something which everyone who is old and healthy enough should do, the knowledge that could well have saved a life is the best feeling you can get.
Unplug Your Chargers - Chargers still suck up electricity even when nothing's attached to them, so I always take mine out after charging. This one's a 'Done'.
Turn off the Tap when Brushing Your Teeth - last one, and another 'Done'. I've done this ever since I saw a cartoon on Sesame Street where a boy ran the tap and his pond outside emptied, with a scared looking fish trying to get to the water.
So there we are! I'll keep a journal every week of how I'm doing, new actions committed to, and hopefully a few people will be inspired to join!