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Whether it be about protests, politics, or coronavirus, the media’s constant negativity recently has been overwhelming. Despite many heart-warming moments during the recent crises, it sometimes feels like there is a relentless barrage of pessimism.

Well, there’s no better time than now to cheer us all up a bit, right?

For most people, COVID-19 has given us the best gift of all: time. Normally, we crave more time, saying “if only I had more time I’d ______” (fill in the blank with “start a business” or “get in better shape” or “spend time with my family”). But, in reality, many have wasted away this newfound time on Netflix. Instead of binge-watching the same old TV shows, why not invest your time productively into a new project?

Here are two fantastic examples of recent projects on Kickstarter:

Moo Pie Co.

A closeup of a baked pie

Moo Pie is more than just a food product; it’s the manifestation of a wonderful backstory.

Its creator, Marley Olson, makes pies entirely by hand with local, quality ingredients for the community, as – after a car accident that left her with a brain injury – one of the first things she re-learned was how to make pies, a huge accomplishment for her at the time.

It was a sign that Marley might yet recover.

She now uses Moo Pie to help improve the lives of others suffering from brain injuries, donating 5% of profits to the Brain Injury Association of America. The essence of it was to ensure her independence as a brain injury survivor, as she can no longer work at a standard 9-5 job.

Not wanting to burden her family, she needed to find a way to support herself throughout her recovery. The result was Moo Pie.

Viajando Ecologico

Three people backpacking during sunset

An ecological project started in Argentina, Viajando Ecologico focuses on promoting sustainable tourism through ecological-based activities. While their back story might not be as moving as that of Marley Olson, the two women who founded Viajando Ecologico are working for a very honorable cause, highlighting the importance of protecting animals and landscapes.

Travel is a great way to self-improve and grow, but we must approach it in the right way. Embracing real, authentic, local culture – rather than simply staying in a tourist resort, getting drunk and leaving a mess – is how we should all aim to travel, and that’s what Viajando Ecologico advocate.

Read more about Viajando Ecologico here.

If you’re not yet ready for Kickstarter

You may be thinking that, while both of these Kickstarter projects sound amazing and support two worthy causes, you would rather spend your newfound ‘COVID-19 time’ on something a little less grand.

Here are a few examples to consider:

  • learning to cook some new, tasty dishes
  • learning a new language
  • studying how to code
  • starting a new form of outdoor exercise (e.g. cycling/swimming/running/hiking)
  • getting into a new workout routine
  • starting a new business

All of the above are excellent skills and habits to add to your repertoire.

If you truly want to make a change in your community, you could choose a cause close to your heart and raise money for it by hosting fundraising events/participating in a marathon (or similar) to collect donations.

There will be two groups of people who will emerge from the current crisis; one who wasted their time and failed to improve themselves; the other who used the time to learn a new skill, establish new habits, and embark on a new project.

Which group will you be in?

Do you know of any other feel-good Kickstarter projects to look out for this summer? Let us know in the comments!

This article originally published on GREY Journal.