8 Ways to Help the Environment Through Volunteering
Volunteering outdoors is a win-win: spending time in the great outdoors while helping to protect it for the future. If you’re looking for an escape from sitting behind a desk or a way to reconnect with nature, environmental volunteerism might be for you!
Environment volunteers help to protect the flora, fauna, beaches and parks throughout our beautiful country. You don’t need to have a green thumb to become an environment volunteer, just a willingness to get your hands dirty and a passion for protecting our natural landscape. Plus, environmental volunteering opportunities that take place outdoors also allow for easier social distancing practices to take place.
So if you’re looking for a way to give back to planet earth, check out these eight examples of how to get involved in helping the environment through volunteering.
8 environmental volunteer ideas
1. Plant trees
To improve our wildlife and landscapes, many organisations rely on energetic environment volunteers to help plant and care for trees across multiple habitats and ecosystems. You will head out to a new habitat and work in teams to restore the landscape or plant trees that will hopefully be there for generations to come.
Another important role involves volunteering at a plant nursery to ensure seeds mature to be ready for planting. It’s a great ongoing volunteer opportunity for green thumbs!
Get involved with Greening Australia.
2. Host a clean-up
Hosting a clean up is a simple way to help the environment, but can be a nightmare to organise. Using volunteer management software such as Rosterfy can automate the entire process so that you can make the most of your volunteering opportunities that make the world a bit cleaner! Simply ask volunteers to register their interest through a custom form, then you can automatically assign people to roles and shifts according to their availability. The software even sends out shift reminders via email or text and check-in volunteers when they arrive on-site. Hosting a clean up is a popular type of environmental community service for sports teams, student groups and team building days.
Get involved with Clean Up Australia.
3. Volunteer at an animal shelter
Volunteering at an animal shelter is more than just walking dogs. You may also help out with office work such as posting listings on the website, cleaning cages, helping out with veterinary work and organising fundraising events or adoption drives. Animal shelters usually look for regular volunteers who can commit to an ongoing weekly shift. You don’t need any special animal qualifications, but you will need to be prepared to work hard, get dirty, and potentially work with animals that are sick or vulnerable.
Get involved with RSPCA.
4. Become a food waste warrior
Around one-third of the world's food is wasted, contributing to around 8% of global greenhouse gases. So by reducing food waste, we are also helping protect the environment and reduce the impact of climate change.
Food waste organisations such as FoodBank rescue food that would otherwise end up in landfill and redistribute it to people in need. Volunteers can get involved with the day-to-day operations in the warehouse such as packing boxes and sorting fresh produce, driving a truck to collect food donations or a number of other essential administrative roles.
Get involved with FoodBank.
5. Pitch in at a community garden
How can you participate in environmental activity in your community? Community gardens are shared plots of land used to grow fruit, vegetables and other plants for personal use, or in some cases for food charities, while building a strong sense of community and lifelong learning.
In most cases, no experience is necessary, and the tasks will include weeding, planting, potting up seedlings, building raised garden beds, composting and watering. It’s the perfect role for would-be gardeners who want to learn more about growing a vegetable garden while giving back to the community. The benefits for volunteers include improved mental and physical health and connecting with people from your neighbourhood, while hopefully heading home with a basket full of fresh produce.
Find a garden in your area at communitygarden.org.au
6. Keep waterways clean
With 71% of the earth covered in water, keeping waterways clean is a massive undertaking. There are many different organisations that you can give your time, energy and enthusiasm towards. Water environment volunteer opportunities range from monitoring local waterways such as creeks once a month, to donating your skills to help raise awareness to protect our oceans from pollution, mining, whaling and overfishing.
Get involved with Marine Conservation Australia.
7. Become a volunteer in national parks
Volunteering in national parks is an important step to help conserve the country’s special flora and fauna. Not only will you learn about native plants and wildlife, but you’ll also get to spend your days breathing in clean air and exploring pristine natural environments. You could join a regular group, or participate occasionally when you have some free time.
There are environmental volunteer activities for every fitness level, age, interest and skill type. Typical national parks volunteer roles include:
- Repairing or building habitats for wildlife
- Planting plants, collecting seeds and weeding
- Tracking endangered species and taking photos
- Taking visitors on guided walks along popular tracks
- Distributing information and collecting site fees in campgrounds
Get involved with Conservation Volunteers.
8. Care for injured wildlife
Each state has its own wildlife rescue organisation that rescues and cares for native animals including, birds, possums, lizards and turtles, koalas and snakes.
Normally, wildlife rescuers will need to be over 18 and have a car to be able to collect the animal and take it to a vet, while carers will need space in their home to care for sick and injured animals. Special training is involved with both roles.
While it’s a highly rewarding job for animal lovers, it can also be mentally challenging as many wild animals that are rescued are already very sick or injured and volunteers must work with vets and experienced carers to make decisions that are in the animal’s best interests.
Get involved with WIRES in NSW.
Ready to become an environmental volunteer?
Volunteering for environmental causes is good for the soul, the planet and your mental health. Spending time in nature, meeting like-minded people and getting your hands dirty working on an impactful project will leave you feeling reinvigorated.
If you’re ready to get involved, start searching for environmental volunteer opportunities such as these places to find volunteer opportunities.
Alternatively, check out these 12 other types of volunteering work that might be more your style.
Rosterfy exists to connect communities to events and causes they're passionate about through our end-to-end volunteer management solution.
If you’d like to learn more about how Rosterfy can help you recruit and manage volunteers with ease, why not book a demo of our product today?