Every change needs action. Your eco-friendly home needs dedicated efforts in the reduction of plastic waste and water conservation. Likewise, your community needs passionate individuals to care for the environment. You’re at the right place if you are looking for ways to make a difference and volunteer to help the environment.
Over a million people in America share your love for restoring the Earth to its former glory. You could contribute your time and energy at an eco-friendly farm, or you could plant trees with the Arbor Day Foundation. The list is as long as the depths of nature.
Here are six excellent ways you can volunteer to help the environment:
No matter what the financial figures say, your city is as rich as its number of trees. If you are looking for an easy and quick way to volunteer to help the environment, you cannot miss planting trees. Trees provide oxygen and clean the air, conserve the soil and underground water, fight climate change, shade and cool the local environment, and give a home to wildlife. According to a study, the presence of trees can reduce your air conditioning costs by as much as 56%!
Arbor Day Foundation organizes an annual national tree celebration where people across the Tree City USA network come together and plant trees. The foundation also keeps track of deforested acres that need replantation and organizes drives to bring back the greens. A $10 membership in the Arbor Day foundation lets you plant ten trees.
You can always plant trees independently at your home. You can also take up the responsibility of caring for the existing trees by ensuring that they thrive. Take out the time to water them. You can also check if they need weeding and pruning.
Volunteer at a River Clean-up Facility
According to some estimates, about 1 million seabirds and 100,000 mammals and sea turtles die every year due to plastic waste. Government agencies may not regularly clean trash from the rivers. The safety of the water bodies for these animals then becomes our responsibility. Volunteering involves cleaning up the river banks by picking up broken glass, cigarette butts, plastic straws, and other trash that could end up in an animal’s body.
Community driven river cleaning drives work to ascertain that their rivers do not eventually become waste pits. You can join your local river cleaning drive or register with national-level organizations such as the National River Cleanup through American Rivers. In 2010, about 60,000 volunteers of the National River Cleanup Program cleaned up 6000 miles of a stream by collecting over 2 million tonnes of trash!
Volunteer at a State or National Park
Wildlife conservation is an essential aspect of the preservation of our natural ecosystems and biodiversity. Your time and effort could ensure their safety of survival and longevity. Numerous programs require volunteers in the U.S. and abroad to better understand and serve the special creatures of our planet. Volunteering at a state or national park is a great way to not only help the environment but also stay close to nature.
For example, The African Conservation Experience lets you volunteer to protect the endangered rhinos. Volunteers also help rehabilitate wild animals recovering from sickness or injury.
The John Muir Project in the USA is a non-profit organization that passionately ensures ecological management of forests. Our abundant forests require continuous research for the best sustenance of their resourceful ecosystems. Volunteers study the birdlife in these forests. They also help in spotting and eradicating invasive weed species of plants that threaten the native tree population.
You can also check out the National Park Service program. It calls in Volunteers-In-Parks (VIPs) that work alongside professional park rangers throughout the 390 national parks of the U.S. VIPs serve as guides on nature walks and help in the preservation of archaeological artifacts.
Join a Community Garden
Joining a community garden is not only a great way to volunteer and help the environment but also socialize with your community. Many neighborhoods harbor community gardens where the members work together in their growth and maintenance. The work involves plantation, care, and harvest action of the community-grown fruits and vegetables.
These small green spaces make the local environment more green while providing organically grown food and bringing in the sense of harmony with nature.
According to the National Recreation and Parks Association, the USA alone has over 18,000 community gardens. Many such gardens are known to donate their produce to the needy and homeless. Numerous food banks are known to receive all their supply from such gardens.
You can also start a community garden in your area by contacting the American Community Garden Association. You can start the work with the help of readily available garden startup toolkits.
Provide Environment Education
Environmental education is crucial in this day and age. Climate change hangs like a dread upon our skies, and many irresponsible leaders deny the scientific evidence. We need more people to be aware of the environment for more participation in sustainable efforts for change. Educating your community about the environment is another great way to volunteer to help the environment.
Environmental education must start at school so that eco-friendly habits eventually become lifestyles. Look for your local environmental organizations that volunteer at schools and conduct eco-friendly workshops.
If you have an environment-friendly idea or talent, you should share it with your community and the world. Be it your ability to make eco-friendly make-up, or homemade vegan recipes, community education centers are always looking for volunteers who can offer something new.
Work with an Environmental Advocacy Organization
Environmental advocacy organizations produce laws and policies to protect the environment. They campaign to bring these policies into action on federal, state, and local levels. The volunteer’s work includes organizing events, helping draft policies, promoting environmental campaigns on social media, managing websites, and often creating canvases on the streets.
Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Audobon Society are some national-level advocacy organizations that offer several volunteer opportunities every year.
Volunteering for the environment can also look like a beach trip where you pick up every last empty beer bottle and other harmful waste before it reaches the sea. The Earth needs us to go out and make a difference.