It’s hard to think that a single person can make a difference when it comes to taking care of the environment, but the thing to keep in mind is that every movement began with a single person who was passionate enough to demand change.
There are some simple things that have probably been said your entire life, but they do really make a difference:
- Use renewable energy
- Take only pictures, Leave only footprints
- Leave it looking better than when you found it (campsites, trails, etc)
- Bring your bags
A big concept for anyone who has experience with outdoor activities (hiking, backpacking, bike touring, rock climbing, etc) is that of Leave No Trace. Leave No Trace has 7 points that help to make sure that the environment says as pristine as possible for every guest into nature. In Scouts in America all outings follow the principles of Leave No Trace and it is a big part of how we were taught to interact with the environment. I am so much of a follower of it that I was certified to run official Leave No Trace classes.
- Plan ahead and prepare
- Travel and camp on durable surfaces
- Dispose of waste properly
- Leave what you find
- Minimize campfire impacts
- Respect wildlife
- Be considerate of other visitors
Doing as much as you can while both at home and out on adventures will make a difference over time, as well as a ripple effect through others who you introduce to the idea of conservation!
Anza-Borrego Super Bloom 2017
Lets keep these beautiful places beautiful!
In addition to making more environmentally conscious changes in your life, making donations to charities and agencies that actually put your money to real use makes a big impact. If your looking for a place to donate there are many Zoos that contribute to international conservation/breeding programs to reintroduce populations back into the wild such as the California Condor, and even Bald Eagles!
- The San Diego Zoo– San Diego California.
- The Woodland Park Zoo– Seattle Washington.
- Scripps Institute of Oceanography– San Diego California
- Project Wildlife– San Diego California
- San Diego Audubon Society– San Diego California
These are all facilities I’ve been too and donated either time or money too myself, there are a lot of organizations across the country and the world that do good work. I would recommend that before you give any money to a charity to be sure that they support things that you ethically agree with, just because an organization is well known (PETA) doesn’t mean that it is good to donate too, and just because an organization has been given a bad rep (Seaworld) doesn’t mean that it’s bad to donate too. So read up on an organization and make sure that your values align.
If there is interest in a list of good places to donate resources for a particular area wanted I can come up with a list of local or national charity organizations for you.