Environmental Volunteering Could Be the Key to Saving the Planet
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If you’re passionate about recycling, education, wildlife or clean water, environmental volunteering is right up your alley. And even if you aren’t particularly enthusiastic about these things, you can be. All it takes is a single volunteer experience to change the way you see the Earth and find a new appreciation for all it provides. Plus, your actions truly do benefit the planet. In fact, they might even help save it.
By getting involved, you take one step towards a cleaner, healthier Earth. Furthermore, you inspire others to join in and do the same. And global participation will, more likely than not, result in worldwide change. Below, you’ll find a few key components to a healthy Earth and ways in which you can begin to manifest and inspire lasting change.
These green beauties are Mother Nature’s gift to humankind. Stretching tall into the sky, they provide habitat to 80% of the world’s land animals, filter carbon dioxide out of the air, prevent soil erosion and produce sweet, sweet oxygen.
By volunteering to plant trees, you can create a healthier and more breathable environment for everyone. One Tree Planted is one of the many organizations offering volunteer opportunities that aid reforestation efforts. Sign up to become a Tree Ambassador today and learn how you can lead your own local tree-planting initiative.
Speaking of environmental leadership, one of the best ways to encourage others to volunteer is to teach them the importance of getting involved. Make it your personal goal to share your values and educate others on environmental conservation.
One fun way to do this is by getting involved in eco-tourism. Become a trekking guide and lead hikers on expeditions that educate them on natural habitats and landscapes and the importance of preserving them. Find treks right in your area with the American Hiking Society or travel abroad for more adventurous opportunities.
Give a voice to those who don’t have one by donating your time to help protect wildlife. International Volunteer HQ offers a number of opportunities to volunteer abroad. Spend time in Sri Lanka working with wild elephant conservation. Or, serve in Guatemala by rescuing sea turtles or working in an animal shelter.
You might also volunteer your time in a zoo by working with exotic animals and researching their habits so scientists in the field can better conserve and protect wildlife.
While it may not be the most novel way to save the planet, cleaning up rivers, lakes and oceans is one of the most valuable things you can do to preserve wildlife, water quality and the Earth’s natural beauty.There are no federal agencies in place to clean trash from waterways. Therefore, change depends on you. If there isn’t a trash cleanup crew in your community already, start one yourself. Gather friends and family for a weekly or monthly cleanup of your local rivers, lakes and beaches.
More than half of Americans don’t know which items they can and cannot recycle, admitting that this lack of knowledge is causing them to recycle incorrectly. However, you can help to educate others by volunteering with Recycling On The Go. This program gathers volunteers for the St. Louis Earth Day Festival in April. Help attendees properly sort their waste and change out recycling bin bags throughout the event.
You can find similar opportunities on America Recycles Day in November, which includes about 2,400 events across the country.
Preserve the planet for future generations by becoming a climate change hero. It doesn’t require any special skills or a huge bank account. You only need a passion for conservation and a willingness to be the change.
Live on a boat and help protect the Great Barrier Reef, spend time on rural Ugandan farms and help improve sustainable and green farming techniques. Or, start your own volunteer program right here at home. Whatever you’re most passionate about, immerse yourself in it in the name of mitigating climate change.
Help cut down on carbon emissions and minimize the effects of climate change by dedicating your time and knowledge to the development and installation of green energy. Look for unpaid internships and opportunities in your local community to install solar panels, work on wind turbines or simply shadow an expert in the field and learn from them.This will help others adopt renewable energy and give you real-world experience if you’re interested in working in green technologies in the future.
Environmental Volunteering: A Difference Worth Making
Environmental volunteering may or may not be free. However, dedicating your time, skills, money and passion to benefit the environment is always a good decision. By simply getting involved and learning more about service opportunities, you can create a ripple effect that may inspire your friends, family and neighbors to join in the cause.
Then, your individual actions become a catalyst for change as those around you unite to support and accomplish a movement that may just save the planet.
About the author
Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co. She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.