Author Topic: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig  (Read 3341 times)

Freida

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Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« on: March 28, 2015, 10:34:11 AM »
Hi all!

I have had a pretty special career that gives me a lot of varied social interaction and feeling that I am appreciated while working towards a sustainable future for my city. But I don't enjoy the hierarchy, competition and stress associated with my current position. In ER I plan to volunteer with a great environmental organization in my city a few days a week to replace some of my favorite parts of my job.

I have thought of a few:
local parks
Community garden
National parks
Local waterway and boating org
Library
Local government
Transition movement

I plan to try at least some of these out this summer before I make the leap (next year? When I figure out what I want to do more than work?) Does anyone else have environmental activist dreams and/or volunteer suggestions from their experience?

gaja

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 04:37:41 PM »
-What is the cause that is closest to your heart? Climate policy? Local pollution? City planning? Animals? Low carbon communities?
-Do you like the political and buraucratical "games", or do you prefer more hands on stuff?

I have the same type of dream for my FIRE, although I'll be putting in a few more years of work, building a stronger network. Then, I want to move towards some sort of lobbying/policy making/political advisor type of role. Maybe for youth activists; training them, providing back up in the form of contacts and knowledge, helping with practical stuff, etc.

kpd905

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 06:26:05 PM »
I am going to work on the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin.  It is a 1,000 mile trail, and there are always opportunities to clear downed trees and clear brush.

11ducks

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 11:25:44 PM »
I volunteered with a conservation group (Conservation volunteers Australia) that focused on creating a wildlife corridor linking areas of Qld - we worked in particular on clearing weed areas to plant a particular vine that a local butterfly uses for laying. It was awesome! Got to visit gorgeous country properties and spend time taking my anger out on lantana species. Was mostly university/travellers, great bunch of people, dirty, sweaty satisfying work!

11ducks

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 11:26:35 PM »
Umm, sorry, I don't know why the butterfly picture is so big, and am not sure how to resize it......

rpr

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2015, 11:37:47 PM »
Beautiful picture.


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Freida

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 07:12:20 AM »
-What is the cause that is closest to your heart? Climate policy? Local pollution? City planning? Animals? Low carbon communities?
-Do you like the political and buraucratical "games", or do you prefer more hands on stuff?

I have the same type of dream for my FIRE, although I'll be putting in a few more years of work, building a stronger network. Then, I want to move towards some sort of lobbying/policy making/political advisor type of role. Maybe for youth activists; training them, providing back up in the form of contacts and knowledge, helping with practical stuff, etc.
Thanks gaja for the clarifying questions. i think I would like to get back to hands on work, specifically waterfront/trails, although After a year or two maybe I will have regrown my patience with bureaucracy and will take on more responsibility?

Kpd905- thank you for the tip, I will look up the ice age trail, it sounds great!

11ducks- great photo! That sounds very restorative. I have been on a few cleanup days in the local parks but have been shy about introducing myself to people, that is part of my gauntlet. I will update here.


Penny Lane

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2015, 02:12:38 PM »
Is there a wild reserve in your area that offers programs for children?  I do fieldtrip walks at one, teaching kids about the special animals and plants, concept of watershed etc.  No relation to what I used to do, but so rewarding!  Sometimes I get a packet of thank you notes from the kids, a huge bonus.

Ripandel

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2015, 08:26:02 AM »
You could try a local Wwoof organization (willing workers on organic farms). The host also provides you with food and shelter in exchange for your work - usually 4 hrs/day. I did that a lot when travelling in New Zealand.

Bob W

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2015, 09:24:56 AM »
Start with creating an awesome  garden. 

I had one friend who did this at the Senior Nutrition Center.   He grew 7000 pounds of produce per year with very little time.  The produce was eaten fresh that day by the seniors.   Be sure to involve folks in sustaining the project.  (kids,  4H,  other seniors, etc..)  You could probably start one of these per year.  There are lots of grants for this type of thing.  You can do these type of gardens at churches, daycares, schools,  nursing homes,  vacant lots in cities, food pantries, etc..

In the winter time adopt some of the Seniors from the Center and become their goto person for home repairs,  transportation, meal prep etc..   


needmyfi

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2015, 11:54:07 AM »
DH and I used to take off a month every year , back when we were self employed, to be campground hosts at various state parks.  You are generally expected to put in 10 hours a week each, 20 hours per couple.  In exchange, your camping is free.  Tasks depend on the park, usually just checking that all campers are registered and cleaning up debris after the weekend

My best friend is 62-has done woofing 3 times in the last 2 years and loves it.  Free room and board. 

My current job description includes supervising volunteers-some at a conservation nursery, some at a public garden (same organization).  The people are fantastic and we have a few who qualify as "early retirees" by conventional standards (not MMM standards).  There are TONS of volunteer gigs like this. 

Freida

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2015, 09:22:20 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions!
 Needmyfi I have wondered about the campground host gig- worried it would involve confronting drunken campers chopping trees- glad you enjoyed it! I am taking the "citizen pruner" class and would highly recommend it to nyers- getting to know our environment better with like minded folks.
 Bob- I like the garden idea a lot! We'll see where I am next summer- my current neighborhood has no spare space, but I plan to be elsewhere next year.
Penny lane- working with kids outside sounds ideal! Enjoy- it makes me happy to hear the community minded side of mustachianism.

trailperson

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Re: Find satisfying Eco volunteer gig
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2015, 11:03:16 AM »
I've been doing volunteer environmental work for a few years. I love working outdoors and it's a good way to meet new people. I met my wonderful boyfriend while pulling up invasive species in a local park. I know how you feel about being shy introducing yourself to new people, I'm the same way. Volunteering has helped me though because I lead events so I'm forced to talk to people! Where I live, my city and state have great opportunities. You could volunteer at structured events or you could sign up to be responsible for a certain section of park or protected land by monitoring the native species and making sure it's kept free of invasives. Prior to moving here I worked building trails in a park in upstate NY for Americorps. It was a full-time volunteer backcountry living sort of thing, but Americorps might have some part time opportunities too. Also it sounds like you might be in NY, you might want to check out what the DEC has going on.