A year ago my friend gave me a book called ‘Change The World For A Fiver’. A must-have and at a bargain price – it promised a lot! The book...

A year ago my friend gave me a book called ‘Change The World For A Fiver’. A must-have and at a bargain price – it promised a lot! The book contains ‘50 actions to change the world and make you feel good’, and is printed on ‘chlorine-free paper from trees grown in sustainable forests’. We Are What We Do is the Community Links project behind this straightforward but brilliant book (see website below).

The actions contained within it are diverse, ranging from Action 46 ‘Use both sides of every piece of paper’ to Action 19 ‘Learn one good joke’. Some of them would appeal to thrifty people, ‘Turn your thermostat down by 1º’ (Action 10), and some actions are very simple ‘Smile, and smile back’ (Action 5). My favourite action is ‘Reverse Haggling’ (Action 27), where the book advises you to ‘confuse the wonderful people who work in charity shops – pay them more than they bargained for’. I have tried and tested some of the ideas in this book, particularly declining plastic bags in shops, watching less TV, and registering online as an organ donor. Hopefully this book will inspire more of us to ‘Give blood’ (Action 26) and to ‘Do something you think you can’t do’ (Action 32), even if being ‘the change you want to see in the world’ (Action 28, thanks to Gandhi) seems a bit daunting.

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