(Photo Instagrammed by @hebasahili)

Caring about the future of your country can actually be pretty awesome. So step aside, haters. Here are 11 things we could do together to make Lebanon better:

1. Bicycle to work.

(Photo Instagrammed by @omaralnimer)

In 2011, an average of 5,352 cars used the Dora-Beirut highway during rush hour. Pop quiz, peeps: What would be so much easier if we started doing things like carpooling or using alternative methods of transportation? Short answer: everything.

2. Buy local.

(Photo Instagrammed by @matteoelkhodr)

Creating a sustainable future for Lebanon means investing in local products. If doing something good for our country is just an excuse to eat something delicious, then count me in.

3. Support our friends next door.

(Photo Instagrammed by @tonyekanaan)

A record 150,000 refugees fled Syria in February to escape the country’s conflict. Helping others in times of great need is truly amazing. Yup.

4. Resist the urge to litter.

(Photo Instagrammed by @neufchatel)

Good intentions: we all have them. Resist the urge to litter. Then, do one better and pick up the trash other people have dropped on the ground. Come on, people!

5. Love.

(Photo Instagrammed by @charlieisawesome1)
This is so basic, but not nearly enough people show unconditional, heart-meltingly wonderful love towards one another. Do this, and then congratulate yourself for acting like a decent human being.

6. Exercise your right to be heard.

(Photo Instagrammed by @yaroush)

In February, thousands of Lebanese took to the streets to demand a pay raise and better benefits. Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing.

7. Care about cultural heritage.

(Photo Instagrammed by @officina)

We Lebanese need to look our country in the eyes and say: “Screw this, I can do better.”

8. Vote.

(Photo Instagrammed by @yaramh)

I wish eating cookies would make the world a better place. Here's something that does: voting people into power who are truly looking out for the general public's betterment and welfare.

9. Treat women as equals.

(Photo Instagrammed by mermaid_travels)

Give the women in your life the gift they deserve most: your respect. You'll be a better person for it [Applause].

10. Cherish the land we live on.

(Photo Instagrammed by @graceyazbek)

Nature is the best. Think: sunsets, trees and the clear blue seas. Lebanon won’t stay this beautiful if we don’t take care of it.

11. Get an awesome sidekick.

(Photo courtesy of the European Union delegation in Lebanon)

When Lebanon feels like a place of irreconcilable chaos, just remember: we have cool sidekicks rooting for us on from the sidelines. The EU and its Member states are doing a number of things to help us work together to make Lebanon better. Find out more at the EU-Lebanon Cooperation Days 2013 event happening March 18-19 at UNESCO Palace.

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