Wednesday, March 28, 2012


 This is part of my series20 Ways to Go Green that Make a DifferenceThis series discusses practical ways we can go green in our lives, that will have a measurable effect on the environment.  This is an alternative to the many lists that offer 100+ suggestions, many of which are not easily applied to our lives or the impact is minimal. 

One of the most green things that you can do is to volunteer.  Many of the things you can volunteer to do, such as clean up the local parks or just the city where you live will make a meaningful impact.  Or you can choose to help others.  During the time that you are volunteering, you will not be using electricity to watch video games or driving to the mall to buy goods made halfway around the world.  Even if the activity you are doing is green neutral, you will still be making a huge difference in someone's life.

There are so many different ways to volunteer.  Every year on Thanksgiving my family volunteers at a local homeless shelter.  We get together to serve the homeless a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Instead of sitting at home, with the heat on, television on the football games and all of the accompanying environmental damage, we are out in our community, interacting with the downtrodden.  It feels absolutely great to give up a couple of hours of your time for a good cause.

There are many other activities that you could volunteer in if you would rather be outside, volunteer with the local parks department.  I am sure they would be willing to have a helping hand clean up one of the local parks.  This helps to keep our green places fully natural and avoids disturbing the local ecosystem as much as possible.  In addition, you get a chance to be outside, enjoying making a beautiful place more beautiful.

Even if you are simply volunteering your money, by donating, make sure to donate to a good cause.  There are many causes that help the sick, hungry, and downtrodden.  Also money can be donated to keeping the outdoors clean.  Volunteering your riches can help to facilitate others to take up the cause, even if you do not have the time to do it yourself.

The most important point is that this does good in a world filled with cruel people.  This series is all about making a difference, and there is no better way to make a difference than to volunteer to help others or the planet.  Even if the volunteering you are doing has no environmental effect, it is likely that you are at least not doing anything negative, environmentally speaking!

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