I Love Green

Give voluntourism a go to help preserve nature

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More from Outdoor Living Newsletter August Outdoor Living Newsletter
Lady collecting trash on the beach
Lady volunteer collecting garbage on the beach

Whenever you go camping, do you ever find yourself in awe with nature, with its profound beauty and wonders? Do you ever find yourself wishing that beauty to be preserved for your grandchildren and great grandchildren to witness? You are not alone - millions of Americans experience that, too. What you should know is that you don't have to stop at wishing as there is actually something you can do about it. What exactly? Voluntourism, that's what.

Voluntourism appears to be a fairly new concept, with the term being introduced to the modern lexicon only in the new millennium. However, the spirit of voluntourism, though not having been properly termed yet, has existed since the 1960s, the "hippie generation". Back then, people trooped to different states and countries doing some social and environmental work like introducing backyard farming, cleaning up, teaching English and helping to raise the standard of living.

Don't be confused, voluntourism is known in many terms: volunteer vacations, volunteer travel and vacanteerism. But, all these names refer to just one thing: combining the perks of a vacation with volunteer work. Voluntourism has many facets, but the perfect form for a camper and nature lover like you is eco-tourism. How does voluntourism work? You choose a cause or an organization that you would like to support, pay for the vacation and do some volunteer work on the side. A lot of good souls wish to do something for the care and preservation of nature, but not everyone knows how and where to start. So, we at CampingRoadTrip.Com have made a list of voluntourism opportunities across America to help jump start your volunteer vacations:

1.  Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider Foundation is comprised of water babies, surfers, men and women who aim to preserve and protect the oceans, not only in America but also in 14 other countries. If you love the ocean, pack your swimwear, take your tent or RV down to the coast and help out

2.  Tampa Bay Watch

Tampa Bay, Florida, has gone through a series of devastating events in the last century and that is why residents gathered in their effort to restore the state's largest open water estuary. One of their main activities is installing oyster domes, which are a great help in cleaning the waters of Tampa Bay. If you fancy a trip to Tampa and want to learn more about estuaries and oysters this could be the perfect combination for you. Voluntourists are encouraged year-round.

3.  New Orleans City Park

The New Orleans City Park is a sight to behold - colorful flowers, abundant trees and stunning shorelines ensconced in a massive 1,200-acre park. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and didn't spare the City Park. The City Park experienced budget cuts and staff reduction, so voluntourists are very much welcome to help in park activities like tree planting. For RVers and campers who like to get their hands dirty whilst visiting the "Big Easy"!

4.  American Hiking Society

The hiking culture is prevalent in America and the American Hiking Society works on preserving that culture by building trails on the country's public lands. They hold volunteer vacations in 30 states throughout the year, so it is easy to join a trip that is convenient for you.

5.  Sierra Club

Sierra Club has been making a world of difference since the 1892. Some of the issues the organization has worked on are the protection of American waters, wildlands and wildlife, fighting against the use of coal and supporting the EPA's Clean Air Act. There are over 40 trips from Montana to Rhode Island where you can make a difference.

So the next time you want to jazz up an RV or camping trip, and do something a little different, think about investing some time voluntouring. Not only will you be doing something good for generations to come, you are sure to have fun and learn something new too. Who can ask for more on a vacation?!

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