How Volunteering Helps The Planet

volunteering helps the planet....Credit: Daniel Thornton, FlickrCC

Volunteering is a great way to give back. It helps someone in need and can make you feel good! It can also have a positive impact on the environment. Here are seven volunteer ideas to get you started.

1.   Contribute to a Community Garden

A community garden is a great way to grow nutritious food and diversify plant life. They also reduce gas emissions from food transportation. When you plant new flowers, it can also help improve the air and soil quality.

Gardening is a good way to bond with other members of your community.  It can also provide you with additional health benefits, such as:

  • Helping to fight disease
  • Building your strength
  • Improving your memory
  • Boasting your mood
  • Reducing stress levels

2.   Plant a Tree

Trees are essential in producing oxygen, giving homes to 80% of wildlife, helping to conserve water and preventing soil erosion. They can also help filter out dust and pollutants from the air.  Trees roots can reduce the amount of runoff water to help with water pollution or flooding.

Consider looking for organizations within your area that aid in tree restoration, such as OneTree Planted. You could also join the annual Arbor Day tradition of planting trees.

Trees can also have communal benefits such as blocking unwanted views or complementing building designs.

3.   Join a Park Clean-Up

This is a good way to pick up litter from larger areas. By volunteering a few hours of your time, you can help remove a handful of waste. The trash left on the ground can be washed away by rainstorms or carried by the wind and pollute the oceans, rivers and soil. To help be part of the clean-up, you can either find an organization online or grab a group of friends and set up an event at your local park.

4.   Participate in a River Clean up

When it comes to clean-up efforts, rivers can often be a low priority, especially during the winter.

Taking out waste from the rivers helps protect wildlife from accidentally consuming it. Water pollution can also increase algae growth, reduce the oxygen levels in the water, and impact aquatic animals.

This activity is the perfect excuse to get out of the house and do some physical activity.   Volunteering also reduces stress levels.

5.   Help Out at an Urban Farm

This is a great way to enjoy nature while helping out the local community and the environment. Some of the activities you may do include planting, weeding, or pruning. You may also greet visitors or sell fresh produce. Community farms often focus on education and aim to inform people about nutritious diets and sustainable farming techniques.

Urban farms are also a great way to expand biodiversity, since they are home to pollinators, like birds and bees. They can also boost the local food supply and reduce the energy costs of food production. Tree coverage can help during hotter weather by providing shade.

6.   Work With Advocacy Organizations

These organizations create and lobby for environmental laws and policies at federal, state and local levels. Policies such as The Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act have had a positive impact on the earth.

The Clean Water Act helped to establish the structure for regulating pollutants discharged into the water. It also made it unlawful for people to dump pollutants into navigable water without a permit.

When you volunteer for the group, you may be canvassing on the street, organizing events, helping to draft policy, writing letters to editors, promoting the organization on your social media or working on their website.

Here are some organization to consider joining:

  • Sierra Club
  • National Audubon Society
  • Green Piece USA
  • The Nature Conservatory

7.   Become a Volunteer Trekking Guide

This is perfect for anyone who likes nature and adventures. As a guide, you will showcase beautiful landscapes. Trekking expeditions help people learn more about nature and be inspired to protect the planet.

Also, many eco-tourists organizations raise money to pay for environmental education programs and advocacy for land restoration within the community.

Give Back and Save the Planet All at the Same Time

Volunteering makes you feel good and helps protect the environment. Consider these activities to get involved in your local community and use your green thumb!