This year will likely be the year, where we will look back and consider this to be when a global movement for the environment emerged. Across country borders, cultural backgrounds, beliefs and economic stature. The actions of one Swedish teenager has spread to the globe and now more than ever, youth is taking an active stance and forcing people to hear their protests against what we have done to our planet’s environment – and continue to do so. Something that will affect in particular them and how their future will look, which according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report published in October 2018 is not positive or optimistic if nothing more is done.
“Future climate-related risks depend on the rate, peak and duration of warming. In the aggregate, they are larger if global warming exceeds 1.5°C before returning to that level by 2100 than if global warming gradually stabilizes at 1.5°C, especially if the peak temperature is high (e.g. about 2°C). Some impacts may be long-lasting or irreversible, such as the loss of some ecosystems”
People now more than ever are needed to do something actively in their everyday life to stop the direction that our planet is heading towards. With just over 10 years till 2030, which is the date considered to be our planet’s turning point, we need to be bold, drastic and not afraid to go against what in many places is still the mainstream way of thinking and doing things as always done.
So, how can volunteers contribute actively to climate change mitigation efforts? While doing some of the little things like eating less meat (check out the link between meat and deforestation here), making your garden bee and insect friendly, buy from organic and conservation-oriented farmers, and supporting your local conservation and wildlife charities at home are the best active long-term contribution you can make. You can also focus your travels abroad on making a difference for the environment and wildlife that are in dire need of protection.
Besides all of the above, people have gradually realised that trees do way more than “just” create the much-needed oxygen that we all breathe in. Tree’s roles in climate change mitigation have finally hit the spotlight. Their roles as highly efficient and important carbon sinks might just (hopefully) make everyone realise that the pace in which we’ve been cutting trees down around the World is only increasing the rate rising temperatures and thus contributing actively to climate change.
Have a look at our TOP 8 Volunteer Projects that in one way or another have a positive impact on their local environment. Here volunteers actively contribute to different ecological and conservation efforts on a daily basis. From tree planting and other reforestation efforts to wildlife research and just preventing any deforestation from happening in the first place – there is something for everyone to choose from regardless of how far you can travel. Also, remember that your means of travelling has an impact on the environment when choosing where in the world to travel and volunteer. You can read more on the Slow Travel movement here.
These conservation projects are all actively working every day to protect our planet from further destruction from their corner of the world. We hope that you feel inspired from our list to take part, and by doing so, become another ambassador for the environment by then educating your family and friends – and even strangers – about the plight of our planet through your travels!
“Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that Homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases. Either we do that or we don’t. You say nothing in life is black or white. But that is a lie. A very dangerous lie. Either we prevent 1.5C of warming or we don’t. Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control or we don’t. Either we choose to go on as a civilisation or we don’t. That is as black or white as it gets. There are no grey areas when it comes to survival. We all have a choice. We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations. Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail. That is up to you and me.”