Getting Involved: Making Your Community a Better Place to Live!
You Can Change the World
Contrary to popular belief, one man or woman can change the world, and for the better! The number of organizations that need your help is endless. Choose one or two organizations whose purpose you feel is important to you, and concentrate your efforts on helping them.
There are many ways you can help: volunteer to work in one of their local offices; donate money to help their cause; lobby your local, state, and federal (national) politicians by writing letters or meeting with them in person; take part in rallies, forums, and discussions; help educate others about the issues your organization is involved with; get others to join the organization; etc.
You may be surprised as to how invaluable you become after a while. At the very least you will feel like you are doing something positive to help make this a better world to live in. That in itself may be the greatest joy you can experience!
Some worthwhile organizations that you may want to consider joining and helping are, as follows:
World Wildlife Fund
It is the largest privately supported international conservation organization in the world, operating in more than 100 countries. It is an organization that is dedicated to protect the planet’s endangered wildlife (for example, the “Save the Tiger” campaign in India) and to protect the areas where endangered species live (e.g. the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil).
Check out their website to see if this environmental organization has any projects operating in your country: www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework Its headquarters is based in Washington, DC, USA. For more information, go to the following main web site: www.worldwildlife.org
It is a wildlife conservation organization that operates in the United States and Canada. It has local chapters that people can join. The Sierra Club is involved in many projects, such as, protecting our wildlands, saving the Florida Everglades, keeping our water clean and healthy, stabilizing the earth’s population (now over 6 billion), and trying to stop global warming (which is changing the earth’s climate). For more information, go to the following website: www.sierraclub.org
Natural Resource Defense Council
This U.S.-based organization is involved in such issues as, preserving our forests and wildlands, setting up more parks, protecting our wildlife and fish, reducing air pollution, reducing the use of toxic chemicals, and eliminating the use of nuclear weapons and waste. For more information, go to the following web site: www.nrdc.org
Rainforest Action Network
This U.S.-based organization is dedicated to protecting the earth’s tropical rain forests and the human rights of those people who live in and around those forests. It is involved in saving endangered wildlife and promoting ecotourism. For more information, go to the following website: www.ran.org
This high-profile organization has offices throughout the world. It is involved in such issues as, saving the tropical and temperate rain forests, reducing the pollution of the oceans, stopping the slaughter of whales by the Japanese, educating the general public regarding genetic engineering and its dangers, stopping the use of toxic chemicals, reducing nuclear waste, and educating people about the dangers of global warming. For more information, go to the following website: www.greenpeace.org
Preserving the Great Bear Rain Forest – Western Canada
The Great Bear Rain Forest in British Columbia, Canada, is the habitat for the white bear, a rare species of grizzly bear that is entirely white. The native Indians have worshipped this bear as a holy entity ever since it was discovered hundreds of years ago. Until recently, this bear’s habitat was under attack by the timber companies who wanted to log the area. If they had been successful, they would have destroyed the rain forest and killed all of the bears. Only about 100 of these bears exist in the world, and all live in this one area. For more information, go to the following website and read about the latest good news or read the section below: www.savethegreatbear.org
Update: Good News! Your ongoing support has paid off! On February 1, 2016, several First Nations governments, the B.C. government, Greenpeace, Sierra Club B.C., 5 forestry companies, and ForestEthics Solutions announced that after 20 years of campaigning and negotiating, 85% of the Great Bear Rain Forest will be permanently off-limits to industrial logging. The size of the rain forest is immense: 3.1 million hectares of land have been saved. (Note: 1 hectare = 2.47 acres) This new park will have the largest tracts of temperate rain forests in the entire world. Can you imagine a rain forest that is larger in size than the entire country of Belgium! Supporters of this rain forest initiative never gave up hope. It is thanks to their efforts that such a great achievement has been fulfilled. Their sheer determination and will power made a positive difference!
The Nature Conservancy
Headquarters: Arlington, Virginia, USA This amazing environment group, headquartered in the United States, has protected more than 119 million acres of land and thousands of miles of rivers worldwide. Globally it operates more than 100 marine conservation projects. Its mission is to protect as much of the earth’s lands and waters as possible.
This environmental group is quite proactive: instead of just trying to convince someone to protect their lands from further development, this group will, if necessary, use their donations to actually buy the tracts of lands that need to be protected (this is being done in both the United States and Canada).
It Remains Committed tp Protecting America’s Great Landscape
This organization operates in every state within America and is committed to ensuring that America’s great landscape is maintained forever. An example of its work is the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado.
The Nature Conservancy was instrumental in promoting its creation. Worldwide, The Nature Conservancy is heavily involved in protecting a wide range of habitats: everything from the grasslands and savannas of Africa to the coral reefs in Australia. It now has over 1 million members.
Check it out to see if you are interested in becoming a member. With so many projects underway, there is certain to be something that interests you. For more information, go to www.nature.org
Americans Against Fracking
This organization is a national coalition of different groups all wanting to ban the practice of fracking.
What Is Fracking?
Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a practice used by oil and gas companies that involves pumping a combination of sand, water, and chemicals deep underground at high pressure to fracture (i.e. break) apart rock and force it to release any trapped natural gas.
The Side Effects of Fracking
Unfortunately, the side effects of fracking are quite severe: the chemicals used in the process contaminate underground rivers and streams, which poisons the water supply, and the process itself sets off earthquakes.
Fracking Can Induce Earthquakes
Many industry officials have denied the latter link, but on August 21, 2015 a gas fracking site caused a 4.6 magnitude earthquake to hit an area north of the city of Fort St. John in British Columbia, Canada. After an investigation by the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission, this link was verified as being correct: fracking did cause the earthquake. However, the oil and gas companies have chosen to ignore these dangers.
Fracking Can Contaminate the Water Supply
More and more communities throughout the United States and Canada are having their sources of water contaminated, and the frequency of earth tremors (earthquakes) both near and far away from the tracking sites is increasing. At some point one of these operation sites could set off a major earthquake, which would cause major damage to nearby towns and cities. Who will pay for such damage to life and property?
Help put an end to this unsafe industry practice. Your health and those of many others are being put at risk! For more information, go to www.americansagainstfracking.org
Human Rights Groups:
This website is dedicated to saving the country of Tibet, a country that has been under communist Chinese rule ever since Chinese troops invaded Tibet in the late 1950’s. China simply annexed this country and made it part of China. Chinese authorities have done everything possible to extinguish any dissent and eradicate this country’s existence.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is Tibet’s spiritual leader. He has been unable to return to Tibet since China’s occupation of his homeland. The website has suggestions on what you can do to help the people of Tibet. For more information, go to www.savetibet.org
This well-known organization operates on a worldwide scale and has campaigned for decades for human rights. Anywhere in the world where the human rights of individuals have been suppressed or eliminated, this organization speaks out. For more information, go to www.amnesty.org