Just wanted to share a project with you that I've been a part of for several years. World Community Grid is an organization that allows users to participate in grid computing through the well-known Berkley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing.
The short non-technical description of all of that is: When you aren't actively using your computer, you can donate computing time to academic projects like developing solar energy technology, or fighting cancer. It works like a screensaver so you don't even notice that your computer is being used. The software downloads data that needs to be crunched, and when you aren't using your computer, it spends CPU time working through the data. When you come back to use your computer again, it pauses computation.
Hundreds of thousands of people donating CPU time, allow projects to accomplish tremendous amounts of computation, even more than what they'd be able to accomplish renting time on expensive super computers! To date, I've donated over 435 days of runtime on 2 computers and an android phone to projects that help develop drugs to fight childhood cancer, develop drugs to fight AIDS, fighting Malaria, creating clean energy, etc. It's a small, easy way that everybody can help make the world a better place.
Just wanted to extend an invitation to everyone out there to help make a difference. If you'd like to join my team click this link. (I'm not getting anything out of it, just good vibes!)