by Simon Hoskins
Lonely Planet Kids is supporting National Non-Fiction November with our new book: 101 Small Ways to Change the World. This fun and practical guide is packed with good deeds and thoughtful, kind-hearted activities to help make the world a better place.
In this blog post, we’ve pulled out eight ideas from the book for you to try this month. There’s a mix of ideas to help out family, friends and yourself, as well as green ones to help protect our planet.
At the end, you’ll find our ‘Change the World Checklist’ activity sheet. Download and print it, then tick off all the ways you’ve lent a hand this November.
- Donate food or toys
If you have old toys, books, clothes or sports equipment you no longer use, why not donate them to a charity shop or organisation that helps families in need. Or pass them to younger kids you know. Food banks always need boxed and tinned goods too, so check your local bank to find a wishlist of items.
Recycling is when you convert waste into reusable material. Why let something sit in a landfill when it can be turned into something else?
Here’s how to help:
> Glass: All glass can be recycled, including compact fluorescent light bulbs
> Plastic: Milk bottles, water bottles, juice bottles, yogurt pots, ice cream tubs, cereal box bags
> Paper: Newspapers, magazines, junk mail, receipts, greetings cards, paper cups, cardboard
> Metal: Aluminium cans, aluminium foil, bottle caps
Remember, you can’t recycle plastic bags, dirty paper plates, greasy pizza boxes, polystyrene containers, pet food bags, waxed or laminated paper and most juice cartons.
- Pick up litter
Litter is any kind of rubbish that’s dropped on the ground instead of placed in a bin. Fizzy drink cans and plastic bags are common pieces of litter. Invite some friends to help clean up your neighbourhood, local park or beach. All you need are some bin bags and rubber gloves!
Composting is nature’s way of recycling! It transforms decomposed items into nutrient-filled soil, which helps plants and gardens grow.
To start, put some items from the list below in a small section of your back garden. Compost heaps should be turned over with a garden spade every few weeks, and should be kept damp with a hose.
> Vegetable peel and fruit rind
> Tea bags and coffee grounds
> Egg boxes and eggshells
Remember, you can’t compost paper towels, brown paper bags and dry leaves and grass clippings.
When you reuse something, it means you’re not throwing it away – and that’s a good thing!
Make sure to say “no” to plastic by taking reusable cutlery in your school lunch and carrying a reusable bottle instead of buying bottled water. Plastic bags are really hard to recycle. Encourage your family to keep reusable cloth bags in the car and their handbag, briefcase or backpack.
- Plant a tree
About 15 billion trees are cut down each year around the world. Luckily, there is one simple way we can help – plant a tree!
You could plant a tree in your garden, a neighbourhood park, a community garden or your school. Visit a local nursery or garden centre to purchase seedlings or a small tree.
- Spend more time with those you love
Get closer to your parents, siblings, extended family members and anyone else who you consider family. Make memories, share stories and really get to know them. You may not be best friends now, but as you grow older your siblings will become a big part of your life. And you can learn a lot from your parents and grandparents, even if you sometimes disagree with them.
- Sign up for a walk or run
Organised runs are a really fun way to get active and support a great cause. There may be an entrance fee that goes to a charity or helps bring attention to an important issue.
A 5K is about three miles long and you can walk or run. You can train too, which just means practising a little bit at a time, together as a family, for weeks or months before the event. When you cross the finish line, you’ll feel like a champion! And loads of people will be cheering you on!
Click here for the ‘Change the World Checklist’ activity sheet: LPK_240_101 Small Ways Activity Sheet_v3
Want to make even more of a difference? There are loads more ideas in our book, 101 Small Ways to Change the World. It’s available in bookshops, online and shop.lonelyplanet.com.
This is a guest post from publisher Lonely Planet and the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCBG.