Green Connect was founded on permaculture values – earth care, people care and fair share. We have been living and breathing these values for nine years, whether it be in making festivals more sustainable, growing chemical-free produce in Wollongong, creating employment for former refugees and young people, or in operating an op shop to extend the life of everyday goods.

The world is facing an enormous health and economic challenge in the form of COVID-19, and like everyone we are doing our part to stay informed, practice good hand hygiene, have everyone stay home if they’re sick or have been exposed to the virus, and maintain social distancing. But in all the news headlines we’re seeing at the moment, we think there’s something missing – the kindness of people.

On Tuesday my family donated a veg box and the response through Green Connect’s social media was amazing. Stories of people doing it tough who could really use a box full of delicious produce home-delivered came in thick and fast, and then other people started donating boxes too! Four boxes went out last week and six more will go out next week. (Donate a box here if you want to do the same.)

Meanwhile, local Facebook groups offering help to neighbours started springing up, the postcard below that you can print out and deliver to people who live near you went viral, and we heard stories of people knocking on their neighbours’ doors for the first time in years to check in and offer assistance.

There are kind acts happening all over. If you want to put a little more kindness into the world, here are a few ways you could do so:

  1. Smile at people and say hello
  2. Check in on your neighbours (at a safe distance and if you’re well, of course), have a chat, swap details, make sure they know you can help if they need it over the coming weeks and months
  3. Give things away to people who need them more. You could put a box of goodies out the front of your house, for example. I’ve already seen a basket of toilet paper rolls, boxes of books, fresh flowers and vegetables, and even bars of soap being given away
  4. Get off social media for a while to be kind to yourself. Go for a walk – preferably somewhere your feet can touch the grass or the sand. You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel and how much you want to pass those feelings on to others.
  5. When you’re on social media, share positive news stories, acts of kindness, ideas for a better world, and things that make people laugh and smile. Facts and knowing what to do are important. Panic and misinformation is unhelpful. Be the person that adds a little more happiness to our online communities.
  6. Donate to your local food bank, homeless shelter, social enterprise or other not-for-profit. The work we do brings about so much good in the world, and every dollar counts. You can donate to Green Connect here.
  7. Support your local cafe, restaurant, fruit shop and farmer. Buying local is more important than ever, and business owners are doing it really tough right now. Everyone is taking so much caution when it comes to hand hygiene, social distancing and staying home when sick. Get takeaway (in a reuseable container of course) if you feel uncomfortable about dining in. But if we all feel safe in busy supermarkets, we should feel safe in quiet cafes. You probably know you can buy a chemical-free veg box straight from our Wollongong farm here – but if you don’t already, now is the time to help our local farm.
  8. Call a loved one and have a real conversation, not just messages. Or call a stranger via Quarantine Chat, an app that connects you to a random person somewhere around the world for a chat.
  9. Volunteer for an organisation that needs some help. There’s a lot you can do remotely! Volunteer with us here or check out volunteer opportunities all over Australia here.
  10. Smile again. There is so much to be thankful for in this world.

Be kind. Go well.