As a PR practitioner, I am sure you are already familiar with the term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). But, are you familiar with the term Personal Social Responsibility (PSR)?
According to Arvind Devalia, an author of ‘Personal Social Responsibility’ book that was published in 2008, PSR is all about doing to others what you would like others do to you, recognising how your behaviour affects others, and holding yourself accountable for your actions. It is also about having integrity and doing the right thing for the right moral reasons.
Arvind said that a socially responsible person will endeavour to have a positive effect on others and enrich his environment. He will strive to make a positive contribution, and will not pollute the atmosphere, both physically and metaphorically.
So the question is, how can we start implementing PSR? These following simple activities that I’ve been doing might give you an idea:
- Collecting plastic waste
Reducing plastic waste is very important nowadays, especially during this difficult time. Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) notes that the amount of household plastic waste increased from 1-5 grams per day per person to 5-10 grams during the Covid-19 outbreak. If reducing plastic waste seems difficult, since most of the packaging comes with a plastic, you can try to collect your plastic waste and donate to the organization that receives it. You can read my previous article here to learn more about an organization that focuses on collecting plastic waste.
- Bringing my own tumbler
Sounds cliche, but bringing your own tumbler is very beneficial to you and the environment for sure. As we know, the brand that is really committed to encourage its customers to bring their own tumbler is Starbucks. Based on Starbucks 2019 Global Social Impact Report, they implemented new ways to track reusable cup usage, and they tracked a 2.8% reusability rate in-company operated stores in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and EMEA. This meant that customers received a discount for bringing their own cup or used ceramic mug offered in store, saving more than 105 million disposable cups. Now imagine, if every individual is aware and brings their own tumbler.
- Thrift shopping
Thrift shopping is beneficial for all parties involved, the buyer can save money for buying second-hand products while contributing to save the environment. The latest YouGov Omnibus research reveals the extent of clothes waste in Indonesia. It finds that two thirds of Indonesian adults (66%) have thrown away clothes at some point in the past year and a quarter (25%) have thrown away more than ten items of clothing in the past year. Three in ten (29%) have thrown away an item of clothing after wearing it just once, and in the past year alone 15% have thrown away at least three items that they’ve only worn once. This has caused serious damage to the environment. So, imagine if most of us do thrift shopping, we’ll be able to extend the life cycle of clothes, save money and the environment!
- Donating unwanted clothes
Another thing that you can do to save the environment related to clothing, is donate your unwanted ones! Nowadays, there are so many social communities or charity organizations that are willing to receive your donation. One example is Street Store Indonesia. Street Store Indonesia was founded and designed to give those in need a proper shopping experience. They will display all clothes donations that they received in a certain area, and those in need will be able to choose items they fancy as in shopping in the actual store. This experience will give the recipients a sense of dignity as well.
- Teaching voluntarily
Being a volunteer teacher was one of the best experiences that I’ve had. In the past, I regularly visited schools in the rural West Java area once a month with friends in one of the social communities, Komunitas 1000 Guru. Being able to help others and teach kids gives a sense of happiness and serenity for us who have done it.
Corporate Social Responsibility benefited companies, same goes with Personal Social Responsibility which benefited the individual. So, what’s you been waiting for?
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash