Living and Giving

Be an Unofficial Volunteer

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We\’ve put too much pressure on ourselves. From so many of our interns I hear \”I want to do good now, I don\’t want to wait.\”
That\’s a great calling to have; we should all have that mindset. However, it doesn\’t mean everyone can go off on a mission or volunteer trip today. So what can we do?
Today I was at Stanford working at the Starbucks before a meeting. We were at the long tables, and many people would eat their lunch, and leave their takeout box on the table. Pretty soon the takeout boxes were stacked up on the table. It became a model for everyone – just leave your leftovers there.
But the trash, recycling, and composting were only 15 feet away.

Every time I went to the restroom or got up to get a drink, I simply took a couple of the boxes and composted them. I am sure that the Starbucks personnel are responsible for cleaning up any messes. But how nice if we could help them by doing so ourselves, and providing a good example.

Singapore, Switzerland, and Canada provide good examples of this. In their culture, it\’s not acceptable to litter. In fact, in Singapore, there\’s a minimum $500 fine for littering a cigarette, and as a result, you don\’t see that litter. In Switzerland there isn\’t litter because they value order, high standards and the preservation of nature. (They also leverage heavy fines.)
We can do good today, right now. Be an unofficial volunteer. Help clean up the area around you. Provide a good example for others.
And the good news? It doesn\’t cost a plane trip to go volunteer 🙂