Becoming an Environment Volunteer
Keen to volunteer for the environment? Here’s what you need to know!
Why should I do environmental volunteer work abroad?
Plastic Pollution in Africa
Across Africa, unmanaged waste and pollution are becoming serious problems. Each month, approximately five hundred shipping containers of trash are dumped in Africa, having devastating effects on wildlife and communities.
In nature, the negative impacts of excess waste are undeniable. With the growing use of single-use plastics, garbage is entering our oceans and environments at unprecedented rates. With about seven hundred species globally affected by this increase in waste, precious ecosystems are hurting.
Annually, about eight million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans worldwide. As this plastic breaks down at prolonged rates, it enters marine species’ food chains, damaging sea life. Above land, wildlife is not immune to plastic’s negative impacts, where consumption of these products can be hazardous. For communities, the effects of untreated waste and plastic products are equally harmful. Increased exposure to untreated waste can negatively affect the health of communities.
Opportunities for Environmental Conservation
Despite these concerning statistics, there are many reasons to be hopeful for the future of environmental sustainability. Africa is a world leader in banning plastics, with many African countries heading the movement to ban single-use plastic products nationally. Through impressive innovations and environmental creativity, there are many exciting possibilities to reduce waste in local communities. Volunteering for the environment is an incredible way to get involved in this inspiring movement!
Why Join an Environmental Volunteer Program?
As a volunteer on one of our environmental sustainability programs, you’ll work alongside local communities to make a difference in the fight for the environment. With programs focusing on prevention, practical action, and creative innovation in environmental stewardship, joining a volunteer project is the ultimate adventure for anyone looking to make an impact on our planet.
How can I volunteer for the environment?
Environmental volunteering with African Impact is an exciting opportunity to get on the front lines of protecting the environment. Our environmental sustainability volunteer programs aim to reduce waste and support healthy communities in three ways: waste prevention, waste reduction, and community-led innovation. When you join one of our programs, you’ll participate in unique volunteer opportunities to make an impact in these three areas!
Preventing waste from entering the environment is one of the best ways to support environmental conservation. Discussing waste pollution is a delicate subject in Africa, as many communities living in poverty do not have access to proper waste management. During our volunteer programs, we aim to empower local communities by engaging in education and awareness workshops to discuss the impacts of waste. These workshops are incredible volunteer opportunities to work with residents to discover ways to reduce waste and single-use plastics.
To effectively reduce waste in communities, prevention is undoubtedly the most sustainable and long-term solution. However, there is still a great need to reduce plastic pollution in communities now. During our environmental sustainability programs, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities to get your hands dirty in community clean-ups. Teaming up with keen locals, you’ll work together to make an immediate and valuable impact on waste reduction. Community cleanups are an exciting volunteer opportunity to get outside and build relationships with residents while creating a practical impact on the environment!
With access to waste management facilities often limited, creativity is key to creating sustainable and innovative waste reduction solutions. Volunteering with us, you’ll become involved in developing income-generating opportunities for local communities to reuse plastic and turn it into profitable products. Innovations such as EcoBricks – packing plastic bottles with clean plastic garbage to create dense bricks for building – create opportunities for locals to get involved in sustainable solutions for reducing waste. Working with locals is a unique opportunity to get creative and discover new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle!
How can I volunteer to save the planet?
Saving the planet is a complex issue that is greater than any single individual or action. At African Impact, we believe volunteering requires deep community involvement to make genuinely sustainable positive impacts. On our environmental sustainability programs, volunteers work with local communities to combat the global issue of plastic pollution and environmental waste.
This volunteer work is incredibly beneficial to the environment, promoting healthy ecosystems and fighting climate change. Volunteering for the planet goes far beyond the environment, however. Empowering local communities to find long-term solutions to environmental issues can create profitable jobs and opportunities. This increase in employment can support community development, funding for education, and foster excitement about environmental sustainability, among many other benefits!
Collaborating with fellow volunteers, community leaders, and locals together, you’ll discover creative ideas for solving complex problems and make tangible impacts on the environment. While your work as a volunteer may not single-handedly save the planet, you will create cascading positive impacts on various issues local communities are facing. We believe in the power of volunteering to transform the lives of both volunteers and communities. With this international collaboration and cultural exchange, together, in our own way, we can change the world.
How can I volunteer to help climate change?
Waste disposal is one of the driving issues of climate change. Changing plastic consumption and disposal habits is an impactful way to make a difference in the fight against climate change.
Having limited or no access to waste management, many communities in Africa have no option but to burn waste, dump it or leave it to decay. Improper waste management can be harmful to not only local communities but the global fight against climate change.
Plastic is a petroleum-based material, requiring chemicals from fossil fuels for manufacturing. As fossil fuels burn, they release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, driving global warming. Single-use plastics are particularly hazardous. Only being used for a matter of minutes to hours, single-use plastics can take hundreds of years to break down in the environment or release harmful gases when they burn.
As an environmental volunteer on one of our projects, you’ll work with communities to implement innovative methods to prevent excess waste from entering communities, reduce waste in communities, and find solutions to reusing and managing waste. This work is precious in the fight against global warming and climate change! If you are looking for a volunteer adventure while taking climate action, these programs are a life-changing opportunity to do so.