If you aren’t going on vacation this winter and have a lot of free time or if you are looking to earn some community service hours, consider volunteering for a green organization. Volunteering is great because it allows you to give back to your community, build your resume, do something you might fall in love with, and network. If sustainability is something you’re interested in, consider giving your time to one of these organizations.
Nonprofits– Nonprofit organizations almost always need help, since they have limited funds. Nonprofits exist in almost all sectors—policy, water issues, animal conservation, international development, climate change, etc. These groups constantly have new projects in the works that you might love working on.
Grassroots Organizations– If you are willing to get down and dirty, volunteering for grassroots organizations might be just the thing for you. Volunteers for these types of groups tend to do hard labor—like planting trees, installing solar panels, constructing buildings, creating gardens, working at farmers markets, or cleaning up parks. Examples of these groups are Habitat for Humanity, The Student Conservation Association, GRID Alternatives, and many more.
Political Groups– Public Interest Research Groups are always looking for volunteers to help their political campaigns. By working for a PIRG, you can see firsthand what environmental issues the political candidates are focusing on, and you can use your voice to push for green legislation. You could also work for GreenCorps, a year-long hands-on training program around the U.S. that breeds the country’s top environmental organizers and has really strong job placement program once the year is up.
Go Abroad– There are many programs that place students or recent graduates in different countries for volunteer work. Depending on your interests, you are assigned to a domestic nonprofit. You can design your own project, seek funding, and get hands-on experience all while visiting another country.
Conferences– Organizations that host conferences always need volunteers. If you know of a conference that is coming to town, look to see if they need volunteers. This is great because if the conference is about something you are interested in, you can usually attend sessions after your shift for free. Plus you get to meet people in your field and network.
Written by Alyssa Lemire, Class of 2017
Image found on Pixabay, kabaldesch0