Volunteering is a great way for you to give back to your community while you help protect your local environment. Whether you want to take in a little nature or lend a helping hand to give used items a second life, green volunteering provides countless opportunities to Do Your Part.
Make a difference and discover the local environment when you sign up to clean up the waterways where you live. You can volunteer to pick up trash or collect data about the water quality. It's an ideal project for a group or family and you'll likely be amazed (and appalled) by the amount and type of trash that can be found in our creeks, streams, rivers and oceans. It's easy to generate a list of local opportunities by typing in the keyword "water" at allforgood.org. The site also has other environmentally focused volunteer opportunities and it is searchable by zip code. You can also post information about events you are organizing where volunteers are needed.
If digging in the dirt is more your style then volunteer to plant trees. The Arbor Day Foundation has a database of volunteer opportunities listed by state at arborday.org/programs/volunteers. Planting trees can reduce storm water runoff and erosion, improving the local water quality. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, improving the local air quality.
If you prefer to do your green volunteering indoors, Habitat for Humanity ReStores are always in need of volunteers. ReStores accept donated home goods - everything from lighting to flooring, usable furniture and even leftover materials from your home improvement projects. There are hundreds of locations across the country and their goal is to keep working items out of the landfill and put them back to use. Habitat's Restores need volunteers to help run the stores, do repairs, or even help with their website. Best of all, the money made through the sale of items in the ReStores stays in the community to build Habitat For Humanity Homes. And if you're looking for a good buy on home goods you need to check out your local ReStore. You can find a listing of ReStore locations at Habitat.org/env/restores.
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When it comes to protecting the environment, we all have a role to play. One way to Do Your Part is to seek out and participate in green volunteering opportunities in your community.