“What do you want to be when you grow up?” As a kid, this was the question I dreaded hearing because I could never come up with an answer. I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world, but I didn’t really know how.
In college, I found myself drawn to International Studies. I learned about the many, many problems in the world—what they are and why they came about—but not so much how to solve them. I then went on to study social work, figuring it was a more practical field for someone like me, someone with a desire to help people, driven by either kind-heartedness or the guilt of white privilege (I’ll never really know which). This turned out to be a good fit for me, but I had trouble honing in one particular issue to study or type of job to seek out. I felt overwhelmed by all the issues I encountered, and I didn’t really know how I was best suited to help.
Fast-forward a few years, and although I love my current job, I definitely don’t feel like I’m saving the world every day. I want to do more to make a difference, but I don’t want to go all the way back to square one.
Recently, while browsing at a local fair trade shop, I came across The Better World Handbook. It’s a “guide for busy people who care about making the world a better place but don’t know exactly where to begin.” I bought it and immediately began to feel inspired. Many of the items on the “action checklist” were things I could actually do without having to turn my life upside down.
I then decided to create this blog as a way to document my experience of trying to make the world a better place through everyday actions. I figured that 1) documenting my experience will force me to actually do the things I say I’m going to do and 2) I might just inspire someone else along the way.
I am by no means trying to tell anyone else what to do or how to live their life. I am simply creating a space where I can record my own journey to a more ethical, sustainable lifestyle that is kind to others and kind to the earth. Undoubtedly, I will make mistakes along the way. I am by no means an expert in the lifestyle I am trying to cultivate. I’m just an ordinary person taking small, simple steps to build a better planet.
 Jones, Ellis, Ross Haenfler, and Brett Johnson. The Better World Handbook. Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2007.