4 Community-Centered New Year’s Resolutions for 2015

In this world so dominated by social media and virtual communication, it is more important than ever to retain real-life relationships. While the Internet is an invaluable resource, there is nothing as restorative and life-affirming as face-to-face conversations with friends and family. In the New Year, make a commitment to in-person interaction by writing resolutions, like these, dedicated to your community.

1. Volunteer and Donate

Your community needs you just as much as you need it. Though you might not see it, people and animals in your city are struggling to find reliable shelter and food; they have trouble reading and writing; they suffer from violence in the home and on the streets. You can help these individuals and families by working with local and national charities devoted to ending the problems your community faces.

If you don’t have time to spend directly improving the community, you can always donate your other resources. Every charitable organization will accept monetary donations, but most will also be glad to take less useful items off your hands. You can easily get rid of old clothes or devices, but some organizations will even take larger items, like boats and other vehicles off your hands. These charities can use these items directly to help the needy, or they can sell the unwanted boat or car for money to help other causes.

These actions need not be entirely altruistic, either. Volunteering and donating have been linked with increased happiness levels, which in turn can lead to a longer and healthier life. While you are out improving your community, you are receiving the best possible gifts in return.

2. Go Greener

Today, most people have to go far out of their way to avoid “being green” in some way. Organic food is the only choice at many supermarkets, and many newer cars come with some kind of hybrid feature to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. However, these are entirely passive ways to contribute to the environmental movement. In 2015, you can strive to effect real change and positively impact the Earth. Here are some ideas to get you started on your actively green lifestyle:

  • Avoid bottled water.
  • Hang clothes to dry.
  • Eat vegetarian once or more each week.
  • Plant a tree or other greenery.
  • Buy used items.
  • Recycle old technology.
  • Telecommute more often.
  • Reuse plastic items like bags, bottles, and cups.

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3. Experience Nature

It seems that the more entertainment we bring into our home, the more selfish we become. Because we are holed up away from the world, we lose our grasp on simple pleasures and the importance of community. You can avoid this slippage into apathy by consciously choosing to experience the outside world. Every city is has municipal parks and green spaces where families and friends can congregate outdoors, and most cities and states have larger preserves that boast hiking and camping opportunities for those so inclined.

Nature is what we came from, and it is what we need to survive and thrive. You should encourage the people in your community to visit nature more often and take in the uncomplicated beauty of the forest, fields, and desert. A profound appreciation for natural spaces is never a negative thing.

4. Host Events

The best way to get to know the people in your community is to have them over for old-fashioned face-to-face interaction. Neighborhood events seem to be a thing of the past, but you can bring them back into style by inviting the whole neighborhood to various events. If enough people get excited about the events, you might plan to make them annual occasions or increase the radius of people asked to attend. With any luck, you might even get the whole city involved in your affairs.

The kind of event you plan depends on your time and resources as well as what you hope to gain. Potluck dinners are flexible, casual, and easy enough to arrange; plus, they require the neighborhood to work together to craft a complete meal. You could even turn a potluck into a block party by holding them outside on the street during warm spring and summer months. Alternatively, you may organize a fun run in your community to raise funds for charity, or you could incite a friendly decorating competition for various holidays. There are endless possibilities when it comes to community events.

Article Submitted By Community Writer.