Flash back to pre-COVID days:  good old February 2020. The hustle and bustle of our daily lives was beginning to pick up again after the leisurely holiday season. We heard inklings of a health crisis ripping through China, but it was far from our problem. Grocery shelves were stocked and there was enough toilet paper to wrap around the earth 10 times over. Face masks were for doctors and the occasional tourist that must have known something we didn’t. We took for granted the normalcies that would soon be whisked away, and we were just plain busy. The problems our society had been facing for years weren’t enough to infiltrate our daily lives outside of a passing thought.

In February, my husband and I had begun our journey into becoming vegan. Between both of our full-time careers and over 1-hour commutes, it left little to no time to sit down and figure out our game plan on how to completely make the transition. Growing up vegetarian, I understood the part about not eating animals, but I could never understand why someone would voluntarily give up cheese.

At the beginning of our dietary shift, COVID-19 hit the US and life as we knew it slowed down. When so many people were wallowing in boredom, we took the opportunity to research and really understand what it meant to be vegan. We discovered that it is indeed a dietary choice, but more importantly a total lifestyle shift.

While my husband and I were jumping into our new lifestyle amid a pandemic, the world continued to turn and made it more obvious than ever before that everyone needs their opinions and feelings to be heard. Some have taken to the streets in protest to do this, while others sit behind the screen looking for community on social media. I realized I needed a different, yet constructive, outlet to help make a difference in the topics I truly cared about.

I don’t know if it’s to my detriment, but though I like to have my opinions heard, I hate to stir the pot. Shifting to the vegan lifestyle ignited a passion and desire to learn more about the natural world and really think about the impact I was having on it. Coupled with my need to feel heard, I wanted to find a way to somewhat passively help/gain knowledge in my free time. Like any normal person would, I hit up Google trying to find something to fill my time; that’s when I came across a few good surveys that really made me think about my lifestyle and choices. I want to go through them with you, but instead of wasting time talking about the ones that wasted my time, let’s talk about the good ones.

Educational Surveys

ThinkEarth.org

This is an educational-based site that, like the title, wants people to “think earth” every day during basic household tasks. It asks questions such as, “What type of light bulbs are in most of the light fixtures or lamps in your home?” and “How long do family members spend in the shower?” The best part of this survey is it gives you facts and helpful tips on how you can improve your choices based on your answers to the survey questions.

LiveKindly

There are in-depth, educational survey panels that can take a lot of thought in order to answer the survey questions, so save these types for a day you’re extra bored. The surveys also eventually expire, so it’s important to keep an eye out for when the panel is actively collecting users’ opinions. Occasionally, you can also find different publications that offer reader surveys in which you can be entered into drawings to win prizes upon completion. For example, LiveKindly just had one that ended October 31st with the sweet prize of some vegan Adidas sneakers. LiveKindly is a good hub for articles and posts relating to eco-friendly products and current environmental issues, so a reader survey would be beneficial for them in keeping their content up-to-date and interesting to their readers.

Charitable Surveys

Next up, is a slightly different kind of survey. We’re used to seeing ads for surveys where you can earn money for YOU, but these are the best sites I found where you can take surveys to make money for charities and/or causes of your choice.

Survey Monkey

Unlike ThinkEarth.org, this site requires you to sign up, but it lets you sign in via Facebook in case you don’t want to get pelted with promotional emails. You can choose from 50+ different non-profit charities to which you want to contribute. They make it easy to find which charities you want to support as they’re all filed in helpful categories.  In addition, you’ll be in the running for other rewards and prizes as a bonus when you take their surveys.

Branded Surveys

This site uses a point system:  every 1,000 points is $10 to the charity of your choice. You earn points by taking surveys, participating in daily polls, referring friends or advancing through their loyalty program (completing offers). Though they only focus on US-based charities, they still have a good selection of ones to choose from like the American Cancer Society, the Clean Water Fund and the National Park Foundation to name a few.

Next time you’re on the hunt for some good surveys, try out some of these. They don’t always have to be paid to be worth your time because they could be helping something bigger than yourself.