You can’t buy much for a quid these days, but you can change the world. As Positive News asks readers to support our convention-busting journalism from just £1 a month, here are nine other ways to have a positive impact while remaining quids in
As we head into autumn in the UK, hit up your local market trader or greengrocer and bag some seasonal vegetables to turn into a nutritious soup. You can make that £1 stretch even further by asking for a deal on produce that’s close to its best. Share your dish with a pal or a neighbour to make your tummy-warming meal a heartwarming one, too. There are more ideas for strengthening community ties through soup sharing from the Royal Horticultural Society and from the international aid agency Cafod.
Image: Nataliya Vaitkevich
UK-based charity Just One Tree plants a new sapling for every £1 donated. As they put it: “Trees are the primary method we have for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.” The organisation is involved in reforestation projects in South America, Africa and east Asia, and besides planting trees also provides agricultural education. If you dig the idea of rolling up your sleeves yourself, the Woodland Trust (and other organisations such as the Conservation Volunteers depending on the season) offer packs of saplings free of charge to community groups and schools.
Image: Ron Lach
Mini sewing kits can be picked up for pennies, while charity shops and jumble sales are a good source of thread and yarn oddments. While you’re there, keep an eye out for bargain scraps of material to work into patches. For sewing newbies, there’s a wealth of information online to help kickstart your repairs – as well as your sense of satisfaction for fixing rather than buying new.
Image: Darling Arias
Consider spending an extra £1 on your weekly shop to buy a couple of items for your local food bank. It’s worth checking with them first to see what they need, but staples like tinned veg, rice and pasta are usually a good start. Continue your giving streak by decluttering your wardrobe – bag up those unwanted garments and donate them to a clothes bank.
Image: Aaron Doucett
Our editors love sharing our uplifting stories with as many people as possible, which is why our articles are free to read, with no paywall. But good journalism needs funding, so we’re inviting readers like you to back our team. You can join our community of supporters for as little as £1 a month. You’ll be supporting inspirational, changemaking journalism that unearths solutions from all corners of the globe, while helping us prove that news doesn’t have to be bad.
The modern-day equivalent of the till point collection tin is – of course – digital, meaning that you don’t need pockets full of coppers to help make a difference. Watch out for chances to round up your tab and micro-donate at tills through partners like Pennies. They work with hundreds of charities and collect micro-donations everywhere from high street fashion stores to supermarkets.
Image: Blake Wisz
Eating less meat is one of the most powerful individual actions we can take to lighten our carbon footprint. Replacing some of our intake with beans and pulses means eating more sustainably, but still packs a protein punch. The NHS recommends eating 80g of cooked beans or pulses a day – that’s just a third of tin of mixed beans which should easily cost you less than £1. Stuck for recipes? Instagram has its finger on the pulse: suggestions include butter beans with roasted sweet potato and crispy sage, and lentil courgette lasagne.
Image: Süheyl Burak
Hedgehogs can struggle for food in dry, hot weather and also need a winter boost to layer on fat for the colder months. Help out by leaving a little meaty cat or dog food for them to munch on. You can also give garden birds a boost: a couple of fat balls will set you back mere pennies while you could club together with neighbours and buy a load in bulk.
Image: Piotr Laskawski
Talking of sharing, it’s caring, and it needn’t cost the Earth. A warm drink, maybe a biscuit or two and – most importantly – a friendly ear is all it takes to show someone that you care, and that they matter. For the price of a teabag, you’ll be helping combat social isolation while boosting wellbeing too.
You don’t need any specialist equipment to help monitor the health of your local pond, woodland or coastline: spend a few pence on a pen and give a little free time as a volunteer. The Wildlife Trusts and the Natural History Museum are good places to start for volunteering opportunities, and you’ll reap the rewards in fresh air and time spent in nature.
Image: Jon Flobrant
Main image: FG Trade/iStock
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