Environmentalism isn't just about the big things – swimming with dolphins, saving the panda and all the other famous examples of conservationism. It's as much about the small things, about looking after the habitats and natural environments in our local areas. While there's plenty of worthy charities involved in preserving rainforests and species in distant lands, anyone seriously concerned about the state of the environment would do well to give a thought to the state of their own back yard and consider volunteering.
There are literally tens of thousands of charities and voluntary groups across the world concerned with the welfare of their local ecologies and almost all of them are constantly looking for new volunteers to help them with their work.
Depending on the charity, this can range from all sorts of work, from the hands on preservation of habitats and boundaries to the backroom administration needed to keep such groups functioning. Given the vast range of potential groups you could volunteer for, it shouldn't be too hard to find something of interest to your personal interests and skills.
While it's probably the wrong attitude to have, given that volunteering is supposed to be an altruistic activity, volunteers nevertheless stand to benefit in many ways from giving their time to worthy causes. Some of the benefits include:
Real Practical Experience: If you're doing an online course with us, or if you're thinking at all of taking up a career in conservation or environmentalism, volunteering your time to organizations is a great way to get some rudimentary experience and skills under your belt. Good conservation is about doing, and by putting the time in you'll learn exactly how to do it.
Meeting People: You'll not only get the opportunity to potentially make new friends, but you may get the chance to meet individuals who can further your aims at a career working in the environment as many voluntary groups have connections with companies and local governmental agencies who they may work with.
Skills and Training: Charities are a great way to get some practical experience and skills in key areas of conservationism. While this will vary based on what the charity does, it's great practice not just for learning but for keeping the brain fresh.
It looks great on your CV: Volunteering is a fantastic way to promote yourself in the eyes of an employer. Not only do you look benevolent for giving up your time for a good cause, but being able to show you are a volunteer proves you are a go getter who doesn't just sit on their backside all day. Employers wants employees who are able to act on their own initiative, and volunteering is a great way to communicate that you have this ability.
Your Course Benefits from It: Many of ADL's online courses ask that you undertake practical tasks to build your skills and demonstrate your knowledge as part of our problem based learning approach.
How To Volunteer
Many towns and cities have volunteer bureaus covering their local area who you can approach. However, if you don't have such a thing, an internet search for conservation volunteering in your area is almost certain to return some results. Contact any groups that appeal to you.
When offering your services, be specific about what you can offer, and what you want to do. It's in both your interest and that of the organization you volunteer for to ensure that you're happy with your volunteering. After all, a happy volunteer is one who sticks around!