Improving the quality of life


Each day we browse the internet or turn on our TVs, and usually we find ourselves reading about terrible occurrences throughout the world. Recently we’ve heard of the unrest in Ferguson, the Ebola virus and protests all around the world.

With all of the negative current events, how can we improve the quality of our lives?

With the holiday season in full swing, many companies worldwide have taken on the idea of buy one, give one. Consumers buy one of their products, and in return the company donates an equivalent product to a child, adult, animal, etc. in need. It seems like the perfect way to improve the quality of our lives; not only does it better the lives of people in need, consumers receive a sense of gratification for helping someone in need, no matter what the season is.

There are many buy one, give one companies to support, and one of them is Warby Parker. For every pair of glasses purchased, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need. BoGo Bowl is another one-for-one company. For every bag of pet food purchased, BoGo Bowl donates an equal share to shelters and pet fostering programs for cats and dogs in need of quality nutrition.

Although this seems like the perfect idea to improve the quality of lives globally, it has several faults.

Buy one, give one companies can potentially do more harm than good to the local businesses in the affected area. Donated items hurt a developing country’s economy by creating a dependence on the aid.  If people of a developing country are getting necessities and other items for free, it destroys the chance for area’s businesses to develop and provide for their own.

Some buy one, give one companies only temporarily solve problems instead of realizing the big picture. One example is the TOMS Company. People in developing countries run the risk of contracting hookworms, other diseases and injuries by not having proper shoes to wear, but giving a pair of TOM shoes to them is only a temporary and short-term solution. How far can companies go until they’re no longer able to give?

The only true way to help those in need is to find the root of the problem and give towards actually solving that problem.

To improve the one-for-one companies, a way is to include local businesses. Instead of just giving to those in need, companies could manufacture their products in those underdeveloped countries. By sourcing from developing nations, jobs are created and economic boosts begin.

Another way to improve buy one, give one is to have more ways to introduce education. More companies including education in their concept can help solve the root problem of many of those in need. ESPEROS is one company that already does so. With every customer’s purchase of a backpack or tote, ESPEROS helps fund a child’s education.
With these suggestions for long-term improvements, quality of life can be improved not with the satisfaction of knowing we have truly helped those in need but also actually helping for those around the world as well.