10 Everyday Ways to Give Back
It's easier than ever to pay it forward.
(SPOT.ph) New Year or not, it's always a good resolution to be selfless. But investing in making your community better or paying your blessing forward to those in need doesn't have to be grueling. Whether you're eager to jump into the giving lifestyle with both feet or simply want to try it out, here are a few suggestions for anyone looking to be a little more generous.
Go on an adventure.
Put that selfie stick away and just be in the moment. With Trail Adventours, an off-the-beaten-track tour package aimed at bolstering the economy of rural and tribal communities, you and your friends can discover the Philippines' breathtaking vistas and have meaningful interactions with the locals. This social enterprise isn't just about getting you a new geo-tag on Instagram—it's about letting you have a deeper understanding of our beautiful country and the people who inhabit it.
Eat a gourmet meal.
Sorry dieters. Foie gras pasta, triple chorizo paella, and pili nut fudge brownies are just a few of the tantalizing items on the GourmetGypsy Art Cafe menu. But this eatery-slash-gallery is not just about indulging your food and art cravings. When you eat here, you'll also be supporting an establishment that offers employment opportunities to young adults with special needs and autism. GourmetGypsy works with the Open Hand School for the Applied Arts to place students in a working environment where they can develop skills and thrive.
Catch some waves.
Surf's up! With locations in La Union, Baler, and Zambales, The Circle Hostel is an eco-friendly getaway that brags a unique business model. While creating a free-spirited home away from home for travelers, the hostel also partners with entrepreneurs in the local community to provide food, surfing lessons, rentals, and more—thus contributing to the entire community.
Have a cup of coffee.
If your daily moment of Zen comes in the form of caffeine, you're in luck. The accurately named Coffee for Peace is a social enterprise that provides sustainable employment in Mindanao's war-affected areas. It also ships locally grown coffee beans internationally. Moreover, this company ensures that indigenous farmers receive fair wages, and it also provides conflict resolution and mediation training to the locals.
Get a new pair of shoes.
New year, new shoes. Habi Footwear makes chic and comfy sandals and slip-ons for women, men, and children. Their brand of "responsible fashion" is both socially and environmentally conscious. The company provides employment to women in low-income communities in Quezon City while also using recycled materials.
Play with your kids (and nieces or nephews).
Learning is always good. But with JoomaJam, the educational app that helps children learn through Original Pilipino Music, you and your child can bond and discover new things—without the cumbersome feeling of studying. JoomaJam is a social enterprise that believes in each child's right to be educated. A portion of their income goes to Republikha, a non-profit organization that makes educational material free to all children.
Give a gift.
It's true: Retail therapy can now be therapeutic to more than just yourself. With fair trade shopping sites like Gifts and Graces, where they have everything from practical houseware to gorgeous decor to novelty items, you'll find that your shopping spree will delight you and your friends, as well as benefit local artisans from impoverished communities. In addition to providing a market, this organization also provides livelihood training for their beneficiaries.
Bask in the sun.
Who knew sunbathing could be environmentally friendly? Regular beach-goers and rare visitors alike contribute to sand erosion by carrying the little grains away in their mats and clothes. But with Lagu, a fast-drying, sand-repelling towel, the beach stays where it belongs. Portions of this company's profit goes to beach conservation efforts throughout the Philippines.
Wear your cause on your sleeve.
Bracelets with a cause aren't news—but adorable handmade ones are worth talking about. By upcycling office supplies and knit shirts, Olivia and Diego offers a line of colorful fashion accessories that is environmentally friendly and socially conscious. The company employs people from rural communities in Mindanao to create their products, providing them with skills training and sustainable income. Their jewelry is available online.
Spruce up your outfit.
This isn't your lola's banig. Banago, a social enterprise that employs artisans affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), is bringing the local textile to the world's stage with its stylish purses, totes, and laptop cases. Each design recalls the tattooed skin of Pintado warriors, representing Filipino resilience.
Photos from the establishments' and brands' official websites and Facebook pages