Those who want to live a greener and more ethical life often wonder whether they should travel at all. What they forget is that a vacation does not have to be a selfish undertaking on which you are merely in the pursuit of happiness. It can also be a wonderful opportunity to do some good in this world. There are plenty of ways to do good on your next vacation. Here are some of the options that you might like to consider. www.travelrows.com
Our planet is in peril. The fragile ecosystems upon which life on earth depends are under threat from many different angles. Global warming devastates certain areas, caused by man-made climate change, while in other areas, poor land management, deforestation, overgrazing, and pollution in various forms threaten plant and animal life.
Considering helping out on a conservation, re-foresting, re-wilding, or watershed restoration project could be the perfect way to make sure that you are part of the solution and not part of the problem. Working on a conservation project (there are plenty to choose from) will allow you not only to do your bit for planet Earth, but also to enjoy some truly beautiful spots, and enjoy the natural world in all of its breathtaking majesty.
Volunteer for Social Projects
Another way to do good on vacation is to focus on humanity. The world is unfortunately rife with inequality, and many others around the world do not have it as good as we do. Volunteering to help others through a social project – building water sources, schools or community gardens, for example – could be a great way to make this world a better place.
There are plenty of travel agencies and other organizations who will be able to help you find the right volunteering opportunity for you. They can often help you find the place that you can do most good, by matching you with an opportunity for volunteering that is well-suited to your skill set.
Take Up An Opportunity on an Organic Farm
Organic gardening or farming is also a wonderful way to make this world a better place. You could and should, of course, consider growing your own food where you live, in your garden, on your roof or balcony, or at sunny spots inside your home. You should also consider whether you might be able to set up a community garden for your neighborhood. But even if you cannot do much where you live, you can still consider helping out on an organic farm somewhere in the world on your next vacation.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) offers opportunities to help out on organic farms around the globe, in some truly stunning spots. Whether you are already green-fingered, or a complete growing novice, a farm-stay vacation could be the perfect way to give back.
Help With a Sustainable Building Project
Another way that you could consider both learning and doing good is by seeking out an opportunity to help out on a sustainable building project. Whether or not you have a construction skill set already, you could consider doing some good by helping others to create their sustainable homes, and help them on their path to a greener future.
Even if you cannot live the sustainability good life just yet, you can still help others move in the right direction. Not only is this a way to do some good on your vacation, it could also help you in future, when it is time for you to make the transition to a greener way of life. The POOSH is one organization that matches up those who want to help with those with sustainable build projects.
Attend a Bioblitz / Beach Clean or Other Event
Not all of us will have the energy to work hard on our vacations. Sometimes, we do just need some time to relax and recharge our batteries. We all need a little R&R from time to time. And that is not something that we should feel bad about. But even when we are taking a relaxing vacation, there could still be small opportunities to do some good.
For example, depending on your destination, you might be able to take a day of your vacation, or even just an hour or two, to help locals clear plastic and other waste off a beach, or from a river.
While clearing plastic can do little to curb plastic pollution, every little does help and it will certainly make things better for those enjoying the area. Even if there is not an organized beach clean, simply picking up a little litter as you stroll along the sands, for example, could help you feel that you are doing your part.
What is a bioblitz?
Another way in which you could do good is by participating in citizen science projects, such as bioblitzes. A bioblitz is a data collection event at which the plant and animal life on a given site is documented. Finding out about the biodiversity in a given location can help scientists understand trends and help to protect and conserve our ecosystems. By becoming a citizen scientist on your next vacation, you could be contributing to scientific knowledge and data that could help make the world a better place and help halt its destruction.
Of course, there are plenty of other little ways to do good on vacation. Simply smiling at a fellow traveler, or saying hello to a local person in their own language, could be a good thing to do. You never know how much the little things might brighten someone’s day. Wherever you go and whatever you do, put out good into this world by always doing your best, and being kind and generous to people and planet.
Author of our ‘green’ articles is Elizabeth Waddington – a professional writer and a consultant on topics related to permaculture, sustainability, green living and eco travel.