Welcome Back to Nova Conservation’s Blog!
This Friday our blog gives you 7 tips and tricks to help the planet (some from the comfort of your home!!).
If you have already tried any of these suggestions please let us know how it went, if you enjoyed it and would do it again on our Instagram @nova_conservation.
Rhonda Coontz (left) and Dr. David Aborn (right) banding purple martin chicks for a citizen science project.
If the Coronavirus pandemic taught us anything, it’s that humans are hardwired to connect to the world around us. After spending much of this past year in lockdown at home, you might be looking for a way to reconnect and find experiences that benefit yourself and the world. Luckily, you don’t need to look much further than your local community to give back.
If you’re a retiree, the lack of connection was compounded with the pandemic. It’s even more challenging as an empty-nester to touch base with peers, colleagues, and family. The tips below are for folks of all ages, but we’ll have additional insights for those of you who are 65 and older.
Finding local volunteer opportunities
Helping the planet can start in your own backyard.
Here are some tips to get started:
1. For the animal lovers
- Head to your local animal shelter to play with and care for cats and dogs. I’m not sure who will appreciate this more: you or the animals!
- If you have the ability to do so, offer to foster a shelter animal while it waits for its forever home.
2. For the passionate environmentalist
- Head to your community garden and ask how to get involved. A lot of the time they’re managed by volunteers and will gladly accept an extra set of hands.
- Join a local beach or river clean-up. Enjoy the serenity of the ocean or river, help protect the animals from encountering our trash, and beautify your local community.
- Organize a neighbourhood group that collects batteries & electronics for safe disposal.
3. For those who are eager to combat hunger and homelessness
- Donate non-perishable food items and clothes you no longer love or wear to a local organization.
- Volunteer at a local soup kitchen to help serve meals.
- Join a local organization that helps at-risk folk get back on their feet through job counseling, life-skills classes, and more.
Photo by Carol Von Zumwalt
4. For the community or citizen scientist
Time to channel your inner scientist! Citizen science is an amazing way to involve yourself with environmental stewardship and conservation research — right where you are. Even if you’ve never thought of yourself as academic, you can assist conservation research by collecting data that expands our understanding of the Earth & how it works.
Basically, you can help save the planet from your own backyard. Pretty cool, huh?
- April was Citizen Science Month, and we released a blog on 5 Ways You can Help Citizen Science, as well as an in-depth assessment on the difference between citizen and community science.
- The possibilities to help are almost endless! Contributions to iNaturalist, eBird, eButterfly, or Nature’s Notebook are welcome any time of the year and really make a difference and spread knowledge to more people. You can also visit SciStarter.com to find a plethora of citizen science projects near you.
- Another cool platform for citizen scientists living near oceans is a project called “Our Ocean in Covid-19.”
Infographic from NOAA on ways to be a marin citizen scientist
With some many non-profits out there, you might be wondering how to verify the ethicality of an organization. There really hasn’t been an easy way to establish how much a conservation group truly gives its resources and money back to the planet — until now.
Enter Nova Conservation: The world’s largest database for reviews for conservation organizations.
Our database offers a way for non-profits and NGOs to capitalize on their environmental work through our database of organizational reviews, which displays a company’s real reviews by people who have worked with or used the company before. Our reviews cover concerns like an organization’s ethicality, how conservation-focused the tour is, and more.
As a passionate & adventurous person who wants to give back, you can find the transparency and authenticity you’re seeking in a one-stop shop on our platform. Know the facts before you travel, volunteer, or give to any conservation group.
Have you researched an organization on our site and are eager to help?
We are also growing our convenient portal for our partners to post their opportunities, making it easy for potential volunteers and donors to find unique, ethical eco-experiences, both at home and while traveling abroad.
How to make an impact when you can’t leave your home?
Online opportunities allow you to make a difference, even if you can’t physically go places. That’s right, you can make a real impact through online action. All you need is an internet connection!
It’s safe to say most of us have spent hours upon hours binge-watching unstimulating movies and tv. So if you choose to stay at home, why not shift to viewing informative documentaries (instead mindlessly re-watching rom-coms like I do)?
5. Watch environmental documentaries
- Now is a great time to inform yourself on the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Pro tip: Ask a friend or family member to watch it with you virtually and discuss it afterward to share the knowledge.
- Check out our past blog on 5 documentary suggestions to start your binge!
6. Attend virtual webcasts and conferences
Knowledge is power. Why not gain some more information on topics that interest you? Attending virtual conferences and webinars are a great way to connect and network with like-minded individuals and professionals in the field.
- Websites like Eventbrite make it easy to search for topics that interest you. From yoga classes to climate justice work in American cities, there’s a webinar for everyone. Bonus: Many are free!
7. Take online courses
Speaking of knowledge: Have you ever wanted to learn about a new topic or skill? Now is a great time to take online courses from top universities to learn anything and everything you want.
- Interested in learning about food production, public health, and the environment at Johns Hopkins? Go for it!
- What about a deep-dive into organic agriculture theory and practice? Here’s your chance!
- Or maybe you want to become fluent in the world of environmental politics and law from experts at Yale?
- Or even study biodiversity and the meaning of human existence with the best professors at Duke?
Retirees, it’s never too late to go back to school! Taking online courses are becoming a popular choice among retirees who have some extra time on their hands and a willingness to learn more about topics that interest them.
So what are you waiting for? Take this incredible time in your life and fill it with experiences that give back to the community.
The planet says thank you!