This week I found myself getting a little overwhelmed and depressed. News in the environmental arena was grim. There were reports on the badger cull and horrifying statistics about the level of Elephant poaching in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
I have been environmentally aware since I was quite young, in primary school in fact. I can remember making mini newsletters on wildlife like the Leatherback Turtle for the rest of my class. Back then childhood innocence made me think that all of these problems were easily solved but sadly many of the issues I cared about then (Mid-1980's) are still a problem today. Only the ban on CFC's and the Dolphin friendly mark on Tuna were the significant wins.
With so much still wrong with world and issues seeming unsolvable by politicians and those in power it is hard not to feel despair and wonder how we mere mortals can make a difference.
Not everyone has the time or money to do much but as certain supermarkets say - 'Every little helps'. So to help you dispel some of the gloom here are 5 easy ways to help the conservation movement.
Raise money as you shop - http://www.easyfundraising.co.uk Easy fundraising allows you to buy from your favourite online shops and for every pound spent the company donates a percentage to the cause of your choice. When I began my palm oil campaign I signed up to raise money for Act For Wildlife. Over the past 6 months I have raised £12.83 for the charity just be shopping online and it didn't cost me an extra penny.
Write to your MP - We all have campaigns that are dear to our hearts so why not express them, Find out who your MP is and write them a letter asking them to support your cause in parliament.
Sign a Petition - In the UK the government have set up a public petition scheme whereby if a petition gets 10,000 signatures the government will respond to the petition and if it gets 100,000 signatures then the government will hold a debate in parliament. Following up on my palm oil campaign I have signed a petition calling for accurate labeling on foods.
Submit your sightings - Many organisations have online recording software that allows you to record your sightings, here are some of the best,
Birdtrack - the BTO's bird recording site
Mammal Tracker - The mammals society mammal recording site and app
iRecord - an app for recording butterflies
Start a Penny Jar - Put aside small change, tally it up and use that money to donate to the charity of your choice.
This is just a sample of the things you could try and I m sure many of you will have other ideas, feel free to add them to the comments list.