31: Grow something for the future

Resolution:Possible; resolution possible; simple things; new years resolutionWe are told economic growth is the only way to have a healthy economy. However, if we continue growing at this rate, it will not be long before we run out of water, fresh air, primary resources and green spaces to support us.

Two raging grannies; economy; economic growth; sustainability

Watch the trailer for the film ‘Two Raging Grannies’. These two American elderly ladies try to understand why we are being told that that we must continue to shop, consume, amass, and keep the economy growing. Is economic growth a good thing in the end? Is there another way of having a healthy economy?

So rather than growing our economy, let’s look at growing something else. We hope that with Simple Things we have planted a seed. Now it is up to you to help it grow…

Grow a heart

Start to look beyond your own direct needs and look after someone else who may need you. Spend time with others, learn to understand other people’s points of view and try not to judge. Be aware of people around you. Regrettably, this isn’t easy at all, but it is important we try; prejudices cause damage. Watch this experiment conducted in Paris comparing people’s reactions to appearances.

Appearances experiment; Le poids des appearances; importance of appearances; experiment; NorniTUBE.

Le poids des appearances (The importance of appearances) experiment by NorniTUBE.

Grow a conscience

Simple Things will have hopefully informed you about one or two things you may not have known about before. Now that you know what the impact is of certain things you buy, eat, drink or wear, it is time to feel guilty! Not by hanging our heads in shame, but by becoming active and creative citizens. Have a browse through our Simple Things, we are adding new ideas all the time to help each other become more conscientious human beings. 

Second-hand clothing

Almost everything we do has an impact on someone else in the world. This can leave us feeling guilty, but let’s use that guilt to take positive action. Why not buy your clothes from a second hand-shop as well as donate your old clothes so they do not end up in a landfill.

Think about what food you’re buying, where the clothes you are wearing came from, who mined the gold you are wearing around your fingers or what happens to rubbish if you toss it in the bin instead of recycling it.

Grow a plant

Give nature a home; nature; urban; city; creatures; butterfly; beeThere is something very special about planting something and watching it grow. Plant something that gives us more air, something that provides food and shelter for animals, and something beautiful for everyone to look at.

Give nature a home – Human development is threatening  habitats and wildlife. But each and every one of us can do a few Simple Things to help protect our ecosystem. The RSPB offer a comprehensive guide about growing plants that are ‘useful’ to nature. You can learn more about how to make your urban space more creature and nature-friendly with Simple Thing #18.

Grow fruit and vegetables

Save money, save plastic, save a trip to the shop, save your health and save the planet. Check out the BBC Gardening website for sound techniques and information on how to get started!

Don’t have a garden? Don’t let that stop you! Even the smallest space can give you a tasty crop with a bit of planning. Here’s some suggestions and tips on growing vegetables in even the tiniest spot.

The Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens supports and promotes community-managed farms and gardens across the UK. Find out where you can volunteer and support growing local produce or even start your own!

Grow your mind

Simple Thing 12 - Read on your commuteExpand your horizons with our Simple Things – read books, find out about things that you have never really found interesting before, learn a new language and discover different cultures. Get lost in a museum or be inspired at a talk – find out what interesting talks are going on in your area. Learn about your local history, find out why things are the way they are and what historical events contributed to this.

Grow a community

Make some time to get to know the people who live around you. It can be as basic as inviting them over for a drink or as big as getting involved in a local community centre. All over the world people are getting together to re-establish a sense of community. Here are a few examples from around the UK, but please let us know about community activities where you are!

GoodGym is a great organisation that can get you more involved in the community. GoodGym helps you get fit by doing good. They connect you with physical tasks that benefit your community and help you keep fit. You can run in a pack to work on a community project, do one off missions to help vulnerable people or commit to visiting an isolated older person.

London’s Southbank Centre created a roof top garden for everyone to enjoy in the summer last year. Volunteers and members of the community worked together with staff from the Eden Project to create the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden and Woodland this home for nature and oasis of calm for humans. The Southbank Centre  frequently hosts numerous community projects you can get involved in.

Grow a community; The Sound Lounge; music; recording; arts; community project

Social enterprise The Sound Lounge in South London uses music to grow a community.

The Sound Lounge is another great example of a community project. They are a social enterprise that generates an income through their cafe, classes on sound recording, venue and recording studio hire. They record, produce, host festivals, and even deliver workshops. They create a support network for people in the local area, giving those who has lost hope something to look forward to and start contributing to society again.

Thank you for taking part in our

New Year’s Resolution(:Possible)


31 Simple Things, each equally important, each addressing numerous issues in the world that deserve our attention. Please carry on doing Simple Things. We will be adding more all the time so keep checking back in with us to find out what else you can do.

Resolution:Possible; Resolution possible; ResPoss; ResPosBetter understanding: better world


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