The Climate Crisis is one of the biggest adversities the human race faces to date. Climate change—which was once a vague theory—has become a reality. However, while it’s important to recognize the danger of climate change, many people are left with the question of what can we do about it? If the biggest cause for climate change is in the hands of the CEO, not the everyday person, then how can we do our part individually to protect the planet. Some people might give off a list of things you should stop doing right now: stop eating meat, stop driving to work, stop buying clothes. However, having to cut out various parts of our lives can leave people burnt out from their new sustainable lifestyle before they’ve even begun. For that reason, it’s more important that we add sustainable aspects to our lives, rather than taking away things we might not be able to commit to in the future.

One of the best ways a person can promote sustainability in their lives and the lives of others is through volunteering. There are a variety of people just like you who are concerned about the climate crisis; all you need to do is get out there and find them. It might seem small, but sometimes the best way to help the environment is to get out there and take an active stance on sustainability. 

One of the most common ways people volunteer to protect the environment is through the act of planting trees. As many people know, trees are our best defense against carbon emission and climate change. Unfortunately, deforestation and forest fires have weakened our vast forest and woodlands, thus weakening the planet as a whole. For that reason, we need to protect and replant our trees to ensure the health of ourselves and the Earth. Planting trees is often a common volunteering activity during holidays like Arbor Day and Earth Day, however that doesn’t mean that we have to stop there. There are a variety or organizations that offer opportunities for tree planting and maintaining volunteer work year-round. 

Another way that you can protect the planet and make our communities a little cleaner is through hosting or participating in a clean-up project. Pollution doesn’t just make our environment look drab and ugly, it’s also harmful for the animals living there. This is especially true for the ocean. According to statistics, there are currently 5 trillion pieces of plastic littering our oceans, which endanger the lives of marine wildlife and the environments they live in. Many people are taking advantage of these cleanup organizations to remove trash from natural areas such as beaches, rivers, parks, and forests. This effectively kills two birds with one stone: protecting the environment while also getting rid of the eyesore of pollution from our neighborhoods.

If you’ve got a love of animals, there are various ways you can aid in the fight to protect our planet, whilst also spending quality time with our furry friends. There is a variety of volunteer work centered around taking care of injured or sick animals, protecting the local wildlife, and rescuing animals for the effects of habitat destruction and pollution. There are a variety of organizations working locally and abroad for you to join to make a difference for the planet and for the lives of the creatures that live in it. Although this is often thankless and backbreaking work, you can take pride in the fact that you’ve made someone’s life a little better.

The fact is, sometimes the best way to live a sustainable lifestyle is to add aspects to your life, rather than take them away. By adding volunteer work into your daily life, you are not only helping to protect the planet, you are also giving yourself hope for the future. Hope is our best defense against the climate crisis, as once humanity’s hope dies, so too does our fight to protect the environment. By going out there and actively making an effort to volunteer, you are not only making a commitment to fight against climate change, you’re also keeping hope alive that we’ll see a better future here on Earth.