In 1982, Anne Herbert wrote, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty,” on her placemat at a diner in California. Inspired by the phrase “random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty,” Anne began to think that kindness could build on itself just as much as violence has. In 1993, she published her book, “Random Acts of Kindness,” which has since brought popularity to the phrase and the actions behind it. In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17, here are a few ways you can spread kindness to the environment around you and inspire others to do the same:
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
We’ve all heard it before: “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” Each helps cut down on the amount of waste we throw away, and conserves natural resources, landfill space and energy. Plus they save the land! Reduce: When traveling to work or running errands about town, carpooling not only gives you company, but cuts down on the number of cars and vehicles on the road. Fewer cars means there is less carbon and pollution getting into the air, protecting the environment by keeping the air, water and land cleaner. When purchasing products, look for items without excessive packaging that has to be recycled, or worse, landfilled. Reuse: Take your time spring-cleaning this year and be creative; think about finding another use for items you no longer need and give them a new life! By upcycling old items, you are reducing the amount of waste that goes into the landfill, which helps the environment greatly! Recycle: No list claiming to improve the world would be complete without mentioning recycling. We all know it matters. When you’re done with that aluminum soda can or plastic water bottle sitting next to you, make sure you put it in the recycle bin! And the same for cardboard and paper containers, plus the newspapers, periodicals and mail that you receive.
Take a walk and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Pick up any litter you see and dispose of it properly. By taking time to appreciate the Earth and all it has to offer, the more we will value it. Plant a garden and grow your own greens or, if there is no space for an outdoor garden, grow a mini herb garden in a windowsill. Gardening is not only good for the soul, eating what you grow is good for your health and highly satisfying! A garden will also beautify your yard, while providing for you at the same time.
BE YOUR OWN CLEANUP
Each spring, Keep Arkansas Beautiful hosts the Great American Cleanup in conjunction with Keep America Beautiful. While this campaign yields amazing results annually, our environment needs help more than just once a year, and you can take a lead role on the front line of one of the world’s most preventable problems by doing your own cleanup. Next time you’re headed out to the park, river or lake, take along a trash bag to collect the debris you find and dispose of it properly. Every little act of kindness you do to preserve our environment allows others to enjoy it as well!