Give back to the environment

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:08

    When the subject of giving something back to a community comes up, many people forget about the environment. But giving back to the great outdoors is a great way to improve your community while enjoying some fresh air and soaking up some sun. For those who want to give back to their community while helping the environment, there are a number of ways to do just that. Park cleanup State and local parks rely on volunteers to perform a number of tasks that are ideal for nature enthusiasts who want to give back to the environment while enjoying the great outdoors. Among the tasks parks often need help with are trail and campground maintenance which helps keep parks free of litter and debris. Some parks even enlist the help of volunteers to lead park visitors on guided tours. Visit the Web site of a nearby park or contact your local parks department to find volunteer opportunities in your area. Beach cleanup Just like parks, beaches need cleanup, and communities often rely on volunteers to keep beaches clean, particularly in the offseason. Volunteers who love to soak up sun at the beach throughout the summer can help maintain and improve their local beaches during the offseason. Many people assume beaches are safe from debris and trash during the offseason when visitors are few and far between. However, trash travels to the ocean via storm drains and waterways throughout the year, and volunteers play an important role in cleaning up this trash. Visit Ocean Conservancy at to learn more about protecting beaches and waterways in your area. Advocacy Environmental advocacy is another way eco-conscious men, women and children can give back to the environment. Nonprofit groups are always in need of volunteers who are willing to help educate others about issues facing the environment. Groups are both local and national, and advocacy groups help inform people on issues ranging from global warming to something as simple as learning how to camp properly without leaving a negative impact on the campground. For those who don’t have much time but want to help educate their communities about national and local environmental issues, advocacy groups accept and often need donations. Encourage young people One of the best ways to give back to the environment is to encourage young people to appreciate and respect the great outdoors. Teach kids how to fish or camp, and encourage them to join local Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops. Such activities are both fun and educational, and kids will develop their own relationships with the planet, no doubt instilling a sense of environmental responsibility at a young age. TF11B444