2-minute read

Five Ways Your birthday Can Change the World

Creative ideas on how you can celebrate your birthday more meaningfully.


Mai Tatoy

Mai is happiest when she finds meaningful ways to involve the community in the stories we tell. She gets a thrill at seeing a story transform people’s lives. Mai loves to sing in church, bake at home and eat anywhere.

Your birthday’s coming! What are your plans?  Are you sharing a meal with family and friends? Going to the spa? Maybe splurging on an item you’ve been eyeing for a while? When it comes to celebrating our natal day, we do things that make us feel good. Things that make us happy.

This makes a ton of sense. And although all those things do make us happy, did you know that science has found another way to happiness that we can use to celebrate our birthdays with meaning, fulfillment and joy?

Science has found that being generous makes us happier. Not only that, it can add more years to your life. Which means more birthdays to celebrate!

Here are five ideas on how you can celebrate your birthday generously and change the world (and your world) at the same time:

1. Have a different kind of birthday party

My Birthday Foundation in Manila is a party organizer with a purpose: it provides you the opportunity to celebrate your birthday with the less privileged in places such as orphanages, homes for the aged, prisons or temporary shelters. You don’t even have to be in Manila! Contact them here.

2. Buy yourself some chocolate 

What better way to celebrate your sweet life than with chocolates? Not just any chocolates, but ones that do good for cocoa farmers in Indonesia. Reach out to Krakakoa for orders.

3. Adopt a pet at an animal shelter

If you love animals, supporting a shelter is a great way to exercise your generosity muscle. In Defense of Animals in Mumbai allows you to adopt a dog and you don’t even have to live in India to do this!

4. Buy yourself a work of art

If you love art, you can buy yourself a handcrafted birthday gift at iPhilosophise in Kuala Lumpur and a percentage will go to causes that save wildlife, animals and the environment.

5. Go on holiday

Yup, you heard us. Take a trip where your visit alone helps the local communities. Go on a homestay in Kerala with SaveAGram or visit the untouched Indonesian island of Sumba.

As you can see, there are many ways to celebrate your life!  Then again, why wait for your birthday? You can do any of these and more any time of the year.

These ideas were inspired from the following Our Better World stories:

How to throw a party for a good cause

Does your chocolate do good?

They get letters from a three-legged dog

Her artful way of helping wildlife

What happens when you stay in India with SaveAGram?

What responsible tourism can look like in Sumba

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