.....save the world and be home in time for dinner - getting off your ass not required.....
recycling. being california, our deposit just does not add up enough to be profitable at all. a months worth of dirty cans might get you all of $3.00. that will mean nothing to us, but usually means a lot to a charity. at the california recycling centers that are in grocery store parking lots you can "recycle for charity". this is easy on 2 levels if you all ready recycle. one, you're going there anyway, and 2, you can just drop the bags off and tell the person in charge that you want it to go to charity and you don't even have to wait around in that stinky area for the cans to be counted.   something you believe in may just be a "better" alternative to what the rest of them are doing. at my work, i'm the only vegan or even vegetarian. the people have no idea what the real facts or alternatives are, so anything i tell them kinda blows them away. i bake dairy free cupcakes, and bring egg substitutes for other bakers, so they get to see what else there is to be had. many of them are older and health conscious, so these alternatives are a twofold godsend for them.
clothes you don't want should go to thrift stores. the clothes may still end up in the hands of affluent hipsters, but they'll have to spend their money which goes to the less fortunate. win, win. try to donate to small shops: the salvation army's of the world fund fear-based propaganda and charge greatly inflated prices for their items.   maybe you don't have anything good to give away. maybe someone else has tons. be the transportation. a guy at my work brings in an obscene amount of bread and bagels that there are always leftovers of. he brings a lot to food banks, and to us, but the left overs from that just sit around. he's done his share, so i do mine. bringing donations to different organizations is a great way to share the wealth, and all you have to do is drop it off.
this one actually costs something, but there are perks that make it more than worthwhile on your part. most non profit organizations have memberships that cost less than $30 a year, and you get some magazines and stickers and other swag. use these to educate others. sometimes you even get a 10% discount on merch. like a disneyland annual passport, if you use it enough, it almost pays for itself.   one of my favorite activities makes me feel like an urban guerilla. darting through the isles at the grocery store, i paste my "procter and gamble poisons animals" stickers on unsuspecting bottles of tide, downey, and pringles. just may stir some people to do investigative work of their own, and is so great on the "breaking stuff is fun" level.
let the causes come to you. you're going to come across the die hards no matter where you go. they're in front of target ringing a bell, or at the grocery store asking for your signature, or staging a hunger strike protest on the corner (i've actually seen that). don't be an ass and walk by next time. you've got 15 cents in your pocket, and enough time to sign your name so just take the 30 seconds to do it. be cautious, though, because if you don't notice who is ringing the bell you could easily end up supporting something you don't want to promote.   take advantage of freebies. this works all the way around. find a worthwhile organization that gives out free or super cheap resources like pamphlets, stickers, buttons, displays, novelties, etc. and talk to workers at places like a library or community center to see if they will display the goodies. both parties are usually more than cooperative.
don't let anyone tell you boycotts are a waste of time. the law of supply and demand is powerful and one kid here and a few kids there add up, causing demand to dwindle. hence, supply will dwindle. if you take this idea to the next level and spend the time and postage to write some letters, you end up representing a larger number than just yourself. companies view one complaint letter as a representative of a larger group of disgruntled customers, and in truth they do. for every one kid with the motivation to write a letter, there are 100 lazy ones who will complain and not do a damn thing about it. both boycotters help the cause, just one more actively and effectively. you can change the world by NOT doing something.   this almost seems too fun to be productive, but hot damn it is! also a good way to impress that activist kid you've had your eye on, and create an excuse to party with him or her. have some friends come over, possibly on a night that coincides with good tv shows or the week your parents are on a baking streak. anyway, have the kids bring envelopes and stamps and addresses (or gather them yourself if they will require less work to participate) and write letters to the groups, companies, organizations and individuals that are working against progress. this way when someone hits writers block, there are others to help pull them out. feel free to reuse the best phrases, but don't copy verbatim because it reflects badly when someone down at p&g headquarters looks at a stack of letters post marked from the same city on the same date with the same letter in it. smells like one kid trying to seem like 10.
open your eyes, and open your mouth. most people are just uninformed. they don't know there are alternatives to their 'madcap wastrel' tendencies. just tell someone a fact. tell them a little story that illustrates your cause, and how easy is really is to effect change. most people will be surprised there was anything wrong with their actions, and their ignorance was helping promote some greater evil. keep some of those free brochures handy for such people.   Compost! Up to 30% of total US waste comes from food and lawn garbage, and these are the ingredients to making nutrient-dense compost for use in the garden. If you're vegan all your wasted food can go to compost, otherwise just use your plant-based food scraps. Also, if you don't throw wet things to garbage anymore, you don't have to use plastic bags to hold waste. Instead, reuse the same bags to do your grocery shopping.

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