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30 Things You Can Do to Change the World in 30 Seconds

Part of the reason so many people blog is to help change the world. So I’m starting a new competition. The reward? Convincing people to change the world in 30 seconds or less.

The task?

I challenge all bloggers to blog about 30 things that can be done to change the world in 30 seconds. Before you freak out, that’s 30 seconds for EACH of the 30 things. 30 for 30.

There is a lot you can do to change the world in 30 seconds. In thirty seconds or less, what are things you can do to make the world a better place through your conscious decisions not automatic behaviors and habits? Here is my list.

1. Smile at a stranger.

2. Hug someone.

3. Pick up a piece of trash and throw it away.

4. Let someone else cut in front in the grocery line.

5. Let a car merge in front of you in traffic.

6. Smell a flower, don’t pick it.

7. Put the shopping cart in a shopping cart receptacle or return it to the store.

8. Pet an animal.

9. Say something nice.

10. Gargle.

11. Turn up the temperature on the air conditioner and down on the heater by 1-2 degrees (saves electricity and energy).

12. Stop smoking thirty seconds at a time.

13. Purchase rechargeable not disposable batteries.

14. Buy fruit not candy.

15. Use your car blinker.

16. Park your car farther from the store and walk.

17. Choose NOT to park in a handicapped stall even if you are handicapped – leave it for the more handicapped.

18. Take your children to the park not the store.

19. Drop $5 on the sidewalk and walk away fast and don’t look back.

20. Don’t wear perfume or cologne.

21. Wear less makeup.

22. Wave hello to your neighbors.

23. Reuse paper in your printer (print on the back).

24. Give money to pet charities.

25. Turn off the television.

26. Shut up.

27. Tell someone “I love you”.

28. Tell someone you care about them.

29. Look behind you.

30. Tell someone when they have snot hanging out of their nose, their fly unzipped, food on their face, their shirt unbuttoned, or any other thing you wish someone would have said to you.


  1. Posted October 20, 2005 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Not fair!! You took almost everything.

    Oh well, I guess that’s why they call it a challenge. You’re on.

  2. Posted October 20, 2005 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I had over 50 and had to edit them down. 😉

    So there are still some left out there. I expect you to do even better than me!

    • hannah
      Posted September 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Wow, that helped me in my english homework (: Thanks and heres another, A Little money, change 50 cents, can turn a homeless frown upside down ❤

  3. Posted November 6, 2005 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    🙂 its actually spreading round the web 🙂 this is an awesome thing you thought of 🙂

  4. Sarah
    Posted May 16, 2006 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I saved my wages, stood in line at a supermarket behind a young mother with two screaming kids and paid for all of her grocerys. To be fair the standing in line took me more than thirty seconds, but her face definetly worth it.

  5. Nero
    Posted July 2, 2006 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    One way to change the world is to spread the word and bring people with the same intentions together.
    I want to share a site I found
    They are starting a similar list of what you can do to change/improve life on Earth for all.

  6. jb
    Posted August 14, 2006 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    i think 15 points cover it

    1. Cancel all world debt globally
    2. Equal rights for women and men, white or black, muslim or atheist
    3. Assemble all world leaders and terriosts and talk things over 😀
    4. Help the poor
    5. Imprison criminals
    6. Listen to U2
    7. stop wife beating
    8. stop child beating
    9. get the entire human race to watch, or just listen to the head of the UN asking for everyone to unite
    10. Help the disabled more
    11. Destroy every Weapon of mass destruction worldwide
    12. Make wars illegal
    13. Make people realise we’re all part of teh same species and taht its actually possible for humans to get along without fighting
    14. Create electricity that runs on air/solar, burning fossil fuels to become illegal
    15. Equal trading, fair trade

  7. Posted August 14, 2006 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    jb: great sentiments, but I think you missed the point. I think I found only one item on the list you, and only you, could do in 30 seconds or less. The rest are too dependent upon making others do the work. How about rewriting the list to list only the things only YOU could do to change the world in 30 seconds or less?

    And then do them. 😉

  8. clotaire
    Posted September 19, 2006 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    hello, frenchies can write too??
    i’m sure you’re nice people
    but but can’t change THE WORLD if only you change your world
    do you really thing that if you smile at a stranger, the starvation will be eradicated?
    i thing if you just eradicat money, the wordl will be better

    • Christina Pruett
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      I also agree with you on the eradicating money idea. I think it was more fair when we used trading and negotiations as a means to attain the things we needed. It just seemed like a nicer system. Not to mention it seemed far less greedy. I think greed has corrupted A LOT of people…. It’s sad… I’m only 25 and I am watching my world, my planet, my society!- fall apart to all these crazy people. It’s just sad…

      • Posted May 28, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        While I agree with you in theory, humans will always need some form of value for trade and exchange of goods. Greed as a concept is bad. Sharing is good. Finding the compromise between the two is key to the struggle. If education were free to all, I think we’d be closer to a new truth when it comes to that compromise. As long as education is held as a stick for only those who can pay, we all lose.

  9. Posted September 23, 2006 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    This is just wonderful. I followed Mandarine here, and am so glad I did. I’ll be thinking about this for a few days, and sharing some of these lists with my children. Best, BL

  10. Posted November 13, 2006 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    this is a great idea!

  11. Posted November 22, 2006 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    i thnk thsi web site is great every 1 shoudl change teh wolrd i plan on being president and making oil morecheap and affordiable for teh common person

  12. Posted November 22, 2006 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    That’s a nice idea, but it’s clear you didn’t read the rules for the challenge. 😉

  13. Posted May 2, 2007 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Now these 30 are things to make people SMILE more and for all us not to be alone but become 1… I do everything on your list every day cause thats the type of person I am… But your right…

    I was looking for real ways to really change this Earth to become what it’s really to be… What every one before us died for…I want to one day make all SMILE…Make all FREE…

    Joshua Echoff

  14. Posted June 30, 2007 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    Ah item 31 on my list should be …. write a list of 30 things you can do to change the world.. Took me slightly more than 30 seconds, but made me think and it changed my world.

  15. Catherine
    Posted July 19, 2007 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    1. At the arcade, give a child that’s looking at the games and obviousely has no money a few dollars.
    2. Give to the salvation army, not just with money, but time.
    3. Turn off the TV at night.
    4. Recycle metal. Did you know they actually give you money?
    5. Take the money from your recycled metal, go to MacDonald’s, Buy a burger, fries, and a drink, and give it to a homeless person sitting on the street. Don’t be scared, they’re only people, just like you and me.
    6. Make extra food one day a week and take a plate or two to the elderly couple on your block.
    7. Paint that old fence so it looks nice. One that’s not yours.
    8. Carpool.
    9. Organize a bake sale and give the money to a local free clinic. Trust me, they need it.
    10.Donate blood.
    11.Don’t throw away your old clothes, take them to the homeless shelter instead. Look in the phone book, their listed.
    12.If you don’t have a baby, buy diapers anyway a few times a year. Then take them to a food bank.
    13.Plant a community vegetable garden.
    14.Walk to the corner store instead of driving.
    15.Play with your kids as often as you can. You are the one that will keep them off the streets when they’re older.
    16.Take in a foster kid. All they want is to feel like they belong, and it’s us or gangs.
    17.Cook instead of takeout.
    18.Plant a tree. We all need to breathe.
    19.Help someone reach a top shelf.
    20.Learn something new.
    21.Accept yourself. You can’t love anyone else until you do.
    22.Don’t leave the water run.
    23.Stop standing in front of the fridge with the door open.
    24.Unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Wastes about $150 a year on average. Not to mention the exess pollution.
    25.Help keep the local park clean. If you don’t have one, help the city raise money for one. The kids will love you for it, and it’s not that hard to do.
    26.Buy real food at the grocery store. You can’t save the world feeling like a slug.
    27.Volunteer at a hospital, fire department, food bank, etc. “I don’t have time!” Well, is one day a month going to kill you?
    28.Help Meals on Wheels. Yes, they’re everywhere. And sometimes, the only food the people get to eat is the one meal every three days they deliver. Your own neighbor could be going hungry, right here in the good old USA.
    29.If you see a stray animal, give it a good meal (it’s probably hungry) and give it a lift to the local shelter. If it looks mean, call the shelter to come pick it up. If you ignore them, they will not go away. They will multipy.
    30.Help your own family, every chance you get, no matter what they or you may have done. Accept them, love them, and respect them. You only ever have them for as long as God is willing, and when they are gone, you do not want to have regrets. They are your family.

    I could keep going, but I should leave some for others. And most of the stuff on here, I’ve done. And I plan to continue doing. This world will not change with us sitting by complaining about it. Our kids deserve better than we had, and our parents deserve better than they’re getting. Until every man, woman, and child on this planet understands the value of ourselves, eachother, and the planet itself, we as mankind have not lived up to our potential.

  16. Posted October 7, 2007 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I think that these is a wonderful list. the hardest part is actually doing them. By the way clotaire, smiling at a stranger or eradicating money will change the world because one step at a time all those little changes will make one big change.

  17. Sara
    Posted October 27, 2007 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Most of these thigns are great ideas, but by no means can change the world.
    I hate this title.

    • gina pel
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      Have you ever smiled at an sad person in the supermarket, saying it’s ‘smile day’ and then seen him/her smile at the next person, saying the same thing? You might be the only person who has smiled at that person in ages.
      You’ll be surprised how many people end up smiling.

  18. Posted October 28, 2007 at 6:22 am | Permalink


    If you believe in the old saying that a butterfly can flap its wings in South American and cause a tornado thousands of miles away, every small thing you do might help change the world. If you don’t, I’m sorry your vision of the world and the power of change is so narrow.

  19. mason dickinson
    Posted December 27, 2007 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    The only way to change the world is to for the people to see their is a growing problem. the blind, deaf and bame way our society fumbles through the day is a painful sight to see. once the people not the become aware and define and construct positive systems of humain development for new generations we may as a society just make a change for the better one positive statement, action or idea at a time.

  20. mason dickinson
    Posted December 27, 2007 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    sorry for the type o’s

  21. Posted February 25, 2008 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    i hope we will change our attitudes…

  22. Kayla
    Posted March 16, 2008 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    this is a great idea because alot people are mean and they need to realize that your not perfect.

  23. limes
    Posted June 6, 2008 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    say hi to a neighbor when they never say hi first.

  24. limes
    Posted June 6, 2008 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    pay for the guy behind you at the toll booth
    stop when you see an accident to help
    do something nice for someone you don’t like

  25. Aimee
    Posted November 3, 2008 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    1. If you see rubbish anywhere pick it up it only takes 15 seconds.
    2. If you see someone got hurt on the street go and help them.
    3. Don’t step on plants and grass help them grow.

  26. Rachel Jennett
    Posted August 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    1. Visit with the elderly at a nusing home. It brightens their day =]
    2. Try going to church every sunday
    3. Read one proverb a night
    4. Pick up someone’s tab. Especially at a fast food restaurant you can pick up everyones behind you in line.
    5. Donate clothes and stuffed animals in your house to shelters.
    6. Make cookies for neighbors
    7. Volunteer at pet shelters
    8. Mow the lawn of an elderly perosn or someone unable for free
    9. Also shovel snow for free
    10. Tell your family you love them every night
    11. Forgive easily
    12. Don’t hold grudges
    13. Be thankful for every breath you take
    14. smile at everyone
    15. pass it on

  27. Posted December 29, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I am journalist and editor and heard about the “30 things…” in a talk-show (but unfortunately had not informed the address of the blog). Since then I started a search and now I met. WOW! Now, I tell what can I do to change the world in 30 seconds: spread this initiative and make a bridge between you and my magazine. Nice! I already practicing many of these good practices, but can always do better. Could the author of the initiative send me a photo with permission for publication? I ask the same question here in Brazil and then we can exchange experiences. A wonderful 2010 for all of you and thanks for the beautiful cooperation. “YES, WE CAN!” – Tina Andrade

  28. Posted December 31, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. Not sure exactly what you are looking for as this isn’t a “movement” as much as it was a blogging challenge done many years ago and still has value today to help people expand their thinking process. Just write your own list and maybe give a link to this article as inspiration.


  29. Linda & Mark Ross
    Posted March 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I was looking over the 30 Things to change the World, I think this is a wonderful idea. Actually my husband is going to use this tommorrow in our Sunday School class he is teaching our adult Sunday school and is always looking for new things to inspire people.
    This is very inspirational. Thank You and we hope we can inspire the people that come to Church. We are going to have fun coming up with our own.
    Thanks again we look forward to posting ours.

    Linda & Mark Ross

  30. Alex
    Posted April 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    30 seconds is too long. Increase your awareness. Become aware of the breath, of this moment, of the fact that now, this moment, you are alive. You cannot do this in 30 seconds. You can only do it now. Stop thinking and become acutely aware of this moment. NOW. Realize that compulsive thinking is the source of all problems, and cannot be solved by more thinking. Create space in your mind, in your life, create a gap, from which you can become free of compulsive thinking. If you want to change the world start with yourself, then all the work is done, because the world is a mirror of yourself.

    So here’s my one thing. For 30 seconds become aware of the breath flowing in and out of your body. Without any other thought, just observe this process that nourishes our life, day and night. Follow the breath going in and out of the body, perfectly content and without any goal or expectation. Only do this for 30 seconds. Then next day add another 30 seconds, and again. Just like we learn to brush out teeth, make it a habit to create this gap in your life, were you are not looking to get anything out of it. Do it for 30 days. And see the change in yourself and in the world around you.

  31. Linda Chu
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    🙂 this is a great blog! i’m doing my persuasive speech for my communications class on changing the world.

    One thing i like to do is help older people or women with babies bag their groceries. or just offer to help. i can tell it brightens their day

  32. Theresa
    Posted August 18, 2010 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    I started a blog just last night titled, Can I change the world in 1 year? I am determined to “do” something everyday for someone else. Maybe we all can take to heart this idea of change and each one “do” what we can, getting ideas from wherever we can and make a change. What if we only change us? well that is changing the world, one person at a time..

  33. Dawndaniels
    Posted December 5, 2010 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    I believe that if we can only motivate and inspire others to be their best, the more people you inspire, the more change you are sure to see.

  34. Michaela
    Posted December 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    This is a great idea and reminds people that the responsibility to change the world is ours. Changing the world does feel daunting and we certainly can’t fully do it without our Heavenly Father. But there are big things and little things that can be done and the idea of doing things that take only 30 seconds is a wonderful start. People will soon notice how good it feels to do and they might just want to spend more of their day changing their little part of the world. If we all change our little part of the world than yes we can change the world.

    My 30 things:

    1. Love others more than you love yourself
    2. Say hello to the people you walk by
    3. Give away small amounts of money every chance you have- don’t think your one dollar wont be enough!
    4. Offer to look after someone’s children for free
    5. Don’t be quick to judge- ignore your first impression if it is negative
    6. Be kind to someone who is not kind to you at work- you may be surprised at their change of attitude
    7. Humble yourself- sit with the homeless and listen to their story- giving them money and food is good, but giving them time and love is better
    8. Sign a petition for something you believe in- you can do it online and it does make a difference
    9. Respond to anger with joy
    10. Respond to hate with love
    11. Compliment someone- especially girls- it makes their day!
    12. Be patient when waiting in line
    13. Work hard and take pride in what you do- it is all important in God’s eyes
    14. Listen to someone else rather than talking about your self
    15. Be joyous!
    16. Tell your family you love them
    17. Let everyone go in front of you in a line
    18. I do love and think its worth repeating the “drop some money and don’t look back”
    19. Offer to do a neighbour or friend a favour in your area of expertise… if you are a mechanic take a look at their car, if you are a maid clean their house, if you are an accountant offer some free advice…
    20. If you are creative make something beautiful (painting or something else) and give it to someone who needs cheering up. (i know it takes longer than 30 seconds)
    21. Learn to have empathy
    22. Stop for the one, do not walk past. Ignorance may be bliss for you but it is not for the cold woman on the side of the road.
    23. Don’t think “oh the will spend my money on alcohol and cigarettes” when giving to the homeless- it is not for us to judge
    24. Give someone a surprise hug
    25. Volunteer somewhere- great way to make friends and to do something you are passionate about
    26. Ask God what he is doing right now and join him
    27. Throw a surprise party for someone for no reason except you love them
    28. When something bad or annoying happens begin to laugh- even if its a fake laugh often that sets off a real laugh and the situation doesn’t seem so bad
    29. Read about whats going on in the world
    30. Mourn with the sad, rejoice with the happy, spread the God News of Jesus 🙂

    Yay! That was fun!

  35. Audrey
    Posted December 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    well i think that we should do more like help somebody get there mail if they are handicapped or you could take the swirly light bulbs and use them you can change them in 30 seconds or you could help an old person across the street or you could help a classmate in school or if you have a school that lets kids with autism in you could be a friend say hello or something.I think those idea are great.

  36. Gabbie
    Posted April 30, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Your website helped me with a report about changing the worls and i got a E (exellent)!!! I used number 12 🙂

  37. roja
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    i like the statement “pick up a piece trash and throw it away” today onwards i will try to do it

  38. dmceo71
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on U.L.C. and commented:
    A simple article that may help our endeavors to #makeachange in the world!

22 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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