Today’s Solutions: November 26, 2021

We all want to make a positive difference in our communities, but where to start? Fortunately, small changes can have a big impact on your block, your neighborhood, and even your city. Here are just a few great ideas to get you started. 

On your street, you can redesign a crosswalk to make crossing the street safer and more visually appealing. You can also build a bench, create a free library, add bike parking, plant a tree, pick up dog poop (or provide free bags), or create a community art project. 

On the neighborhood level, you can create a community garden. This can be as simple as giving neighbors access to the one in your own front yard. You can also make an alleyway into a public art studio or create an outdoor coworking space. If you want to get creative, you can make community t-shirts to sell for a good cause. Cleaning up an abandoned lot or “depaving” a lot are also great contributions. Check out this guide on how to “depave.”

In your local parks, you can fix up playground equipment, start an urban orchard (check out The Chicago Rarities Orchard Project for inspiration), create a pop-up dog park, or just commit to picking up litter. 

You can also make a difference while driving. A person is twice as likely to die if they’re struck by a car traveling at 30 mph instead of 25 mph, so just slow down. You can also map walking routes around the community, bike to work, organize a car-free day, or set up a carpool group. 

With your neighbors, you can organize a socially-distanced block party, start a meatless Monday movement, create a volunteer group, buy a homeless person lunch, paint a mural, screen an outdoor movie, shop local, write an op-ed, and vote! 

Even something as small as taking ten minutes out of your day to get to know a neighbor better or smiling at a stranger at the grocery store can make a difference in someone’s day. There are so many ways to get involved, but the most important thing is that you are showing up and taking action for your community. We didn’t quite cover all 101 ways to make a difference, but check out the link below for the full list!

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