Volunteering to Save the Planet
Volunteering is an unpaid activity where time and effort are contributed to a not-for-profit organization or individuals. It is a sure and bold way of preserving mother earth as you get to align with the vision and mission of your chosen organization supporting environmental sustainability. In the past few years, young people have been making waves in environmental activism by volunteering. There are many organizations you can volunteer with. If you want to make an environmental impact, you can volunteer with us at Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability- REES Africa.
Passion and positivity are the major requirements for volunteering. It should also be understood that the most valuable skills any volunteer can bring to the table are an open mind, willingness to learn, activism, a positive attitude, and team spirit. If you are worried about distance and limited mobility, many modern organizations like REES Africa offer opportunities for virtual volunteering. Many projects can be promoted via digital skills such as writing, photography, social media management, graphics designing, email marketing, etc. With your phone or computer device and sometimes a few physical meetings, you can actively volunteer with your desired organization.
While there may be no huge financial rewards to volunteering, there are other benefits. Volunteers gain fulfillment from the impact created in the community, that’s why you must volunteer for a cause you are truly passionate about. It is never a waste of time to be a dedicated volunteer as you can gain marketable skills, valuable career experiences/opportunities, social skills, and a rewarding networking opportunity. Thus, as a volunteer, you will not only add value to society, but you will also gain from it.
Four Things Volunteers Should Do
- Get Information: With the right information you can be intimated with facts or news and ideas related to environmental development. Good research will help you discover and choose the best methods to employ as a volunteer, and organizations whose goals and missions align with yours. This will help you gain fulfillment from giving your resources to support the cause. You also need to know the roles or gaps you can fill to participate actively, while creating a balance with other equally important personal activities. At REES Africa, we advocate for change in our environment through strategic innovations and community projects to improve the state of our communities; organize and participate in environmental sustainability programs; share rich content related to renewable energy and environmental sustainability on our blog, Medium handle, and other social media platforms; and train ourselves to be better environmentalists.
2. Lend your voice: Speaking up, especially to the right people is one of the most powerful things that you can do as a volunteer. We ought to advocate for commitment to action in protecting our natural environment and social media is one of the most effective ways this can be done. Our interactions with friends, neighbors, or colleagues can foster positive changes and cause a ripple effect in preserving mother earth. As a volunteer, your stance about environmental issues must be clear to everyone around you. Your silence would not promote change, so Speak up, speak to everyone, and make your voice heard!
3. Be Intentional As a volunteer with a major goal of saving the planet, you need to be intentional about your sustainability practices. You need to eat sustainably by switching to a more plant-based diet. Reduce your wastage, recycle, upcycled, and dispose of the unavoidable wastes properly remembering that poor waste disposals are harmful to the environment. Be intentional about patronizing and supporting only eco-friendly products. Knowing how much harm can come from our harmful activities, a dedicated volunteer is not just passionate about being a part of the team but is also intentional in maintaining this lifestyle to save the planet. You can reduce your carbon footprint by cycling or traveling in a group. If the distance is walkable, please take that energetic walk.
4. Remember Your Community. As you contribute to the goals of your organization, you can also volunteer to help your community. If you take a look at your community, there must be something you can do to improve its sustainability status. A community garden of flowers, vegetables, fruits, and herbs would save the stress of shipping food, and generate income and it can turn out to be a place to bond with your neighbors. Community clean-up days are important to protect the neighborhood and promote an eco-friendly culture. You can start by encouraging/engaging the youths and making meaningful suggestions to the elders in your community. This could come with challenges but it’s better to make a move than do nothing at all.
Volunteering to save the planet may not come with financial rewards. The utmost goal is to create and build a future where people and nature interact and thrive without destruction and this is crucial for the future of our planet. You must know that volunteers don’t take the sidelines, they take charge, all for the greater good. The change we all seek begins with you and me, and there is no better time to take ACTION but NOW.
Author: Gift Ifokwe
photo credit: REES Africa