Saving the planet has been important to me ever since high school when I was a member of the Nature Defense Club. I will never forget the river cleanup I did with them. That experience had such an impact on me that it was the subject of my college application essay. I went on to major in environmental studies in college, hold jobs focusing on a number of environmental issues such as energy efficiency and climate change, and now I raise my children to care about the earth. I am proud to say that I drive an electric car, which is so special to me since I wrote my masters thesis on fuel-efficient vehicles.
Volunteer Ideas To Help The Earth
In addition to encouraging your children to spend more time outside enjoying nature, they can play a role in improving and protecting it through a number of hands-on volunteer projects. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:
- Organize a program to educate and encourage your community to reduce their impact on the environment–you can focus on recycling, carpooling, buying organic and recycled projects, or using refillable water bottles instead of plastic.
- Help out at a community garden by planting or weeding.
- Organize a toy or clothing drive to ensure items are reused to help those in need as opposed to being thrown away.
- Participate in a trash clean-up at a beach, lake, park or other location.
- Identify nature centers where you can donate your time.
- Contact a local farm to see if they need help with weeding, planting seeds, digging, or watering crops.
- Find or organize a tree or flower planting project in your area.
- Collect and donate items listed on an animal shelter’s wish list.
- Participate in or organize your own fundraiser (e.g. walk/run, organic bake sale, selling seeds) to donate to a local or national environmental organization.
- Start your own eco-friendly company like Mikaila Ulmer did with her Me & The Bees Lemonade.
WeeWork For Good’s Wag A Tail Project
My children and I just completed an amazing community service project using a WeeWork For Good kit. WeeWork for Good is a social good business whose mission is to provide funding to WeeWork Foundation, their charitable arm which supports children’s programs and organizations that instill a lifelong spirit of compassion in youth of all ages. It was created by three moms who spent hundreds of hours helping others in their communities and learning how to teach children about compassion. They designed several creative project kits for children to make a difference in other people’s lives.
Sticking with our nature theme, we chose the Wag A Tail kit. We created a decorative doghouse-shaped plaque to serve as a leash holder that can be sent along with the dog leash and bowl to a beneficiary, such as a local animal shelter or humane society of your choice.
My children and I delivered the items to our local Tri County Animal Rescue, an animal shelter that has provided thousands of adoptions for neglected, abandoned, or abused dogs and cats. The staff were so excited to receive our gift, and said that the next person to adopt a dog will take it home with them. My children then had the opportunity to learn about the animal shelter and to visit with some adorable puppies.
WeeWork also provides a featured Spotlight Beneficiary that they have identified as being interested in receiving the gift. For this project, WeeWork chose the Humane Society of the White Mountains. Located in east-central Arizona, the non-profit houses over 1,000 animals every year that are available for adoption.
The WeeWork kit includes easy-to-follow instructions and a helpful booklet explaining why we were making these special items. It gives you the perfect talking points to have a meaningful conversation with your children throughout the activity.
The premise behind the Wag A Tail project is that it shows ways we can care for dogs. When children create this gift to give to a new adopted dog owner, they pass along a reminder that dogs need walks, food, clean water, and lots of love. Even though we are not dog owners, my children enjoyed learning about animals’ needs and how important it is to care for them properly. By donating the kit to an animal shelter, they also learned about neglected animals and how they can be adopted by people in our community who will protect and love them. The children will love the miniature doghouse keepsake included in the kit to remind them of the good they are spreading in the world.
Finally, a super bonus of every WeeWork kit is a card explaining how to reuse the packaging materials. I was particularly impressed by this environmentally-friendly aspect of the kit. It takes the project to a whole other level, giving you tools to teach your children about helping the earth. Some of the reuse/recycle suggestions include:
- Turning your shipping box into a gift box.
- Using the packaging material to enhance this project or for other art projects.
- Saving the folder to store craft supplies, school work, or other papers.
How Your Family Can Enjoy A WeeWork Project
WeeWork makes it so easy for families to do volunteer work together in the comfort of their home. Each kit contains a ready-to-make project containing educational activities and all the craft supplies necessary that conveniently arrive at your doorstep. In addition to the Wag A Tail project, you can choose from the following Family Project Kits (with more to come in the near future):
- Polar Bear Power: Create a good wish craft to send to a child who may need a little extra support or encouragement, such as a foster child or a boy or girl facing a medical challenge.
- Birthday Lights Project: Make a craft that helps a child in need celebrate their birthday and the light of life. The kit includes a party blower; birthday card; and all the supplies to create a birthday cake nightlight, a custom crown, and a birthday badge.
- Cards For Stars Project: Show your support for military men and women overseas. This kit includes all the supplies to create cards that military members can use to send back to their loved ones.
All of these kits would make an extra special gift for a child for their birthday, during holiday time, to celebrate a successful school year, or just because.
WeeWork also offers Group Project Kits that are great to use during birthday parties, sleepovers, playdates, and school functions or with sports teams, children’s organizations, religious groups, and corporate volunteer events.
What are some ways your family has volunteered to help animals or the environment?
*This post was sponsored by WeeWork For Good in the form of a complimentary product.