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How to Travel and Save the Planet

Have you ever considered volunteering abroad? It is a really great way to travel, whilst learning about and helping the environment. This week we are continuing our ECO Travel series, by sharing volunteer opportunities across the world as part of an environmental organisation.

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Travel and Volunteer with Animals

As a result of plastic pollution, deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels for industry, animals have experienced many problems, such as losing their natural habitat, lack of food and being caught in manmade materials. By wanting to help the small and big animals of the World, you can travel to places like South Africa, Thailand and Zimbabwe.

Here are some volunteer programmes to check out with Oyster Worldwide:

  • During a 1-4 week programme in Romania, you can work at a bear sanctuary, learning about animal welfare and visiting the home of Dracula, Transylvania.
  • Support the growth of the sea turtle population in Costa Rica, for 1-12 weeks. Some species of sea turtle are endangered due to human pollution both at sea and on land. So, its imperative that the nest and hatchlings are cared for so that they can flourish in the ocean.
  • For 2-4 weeks you can volunteer with Orangutans in Borneo. Their habitats have been destroyed due to deforestation.

We think you’ll like this: How to Prevent, Minimise and Fight Jet Lag!

animal conservation

When you travel you can also help the environment by following a few easy travel hacks. Read: How to Be An Eco-Traveller.

Environmental Protection Volunteer

If animals aren’t your thing, then perhaps you would prefer environmental protection that focuses on land preservation. This can include studying local ecology, sustainability and being part of an education programme. Do you want to help save the rainforest? Because you can!

Projects Abroad has rainforest programmes all over the world and they need your help. Combine travel and environment protection by taking part in a rainforest conservation project in Peru and/or Madagascar. You’ll have a memorable experience that will include living in a new culture and environment.

Related: How to Be An Eco-Traveller


Marine Conservation Volunteer

Have you seen the many disturbing images online about all the plastic in the ocean? Or perhaps when someone helps a swimming turtle escape from a plastic container? These heart-breaking videos are a sad truth which will help can be reversed. When you are ready and willing to travel to the beautiful destinations of Mexico, Mozambique and Seychelles, you can combine your travel dreams with volunteer work.

If you are serious about marine conservation then take a look at BUNAC’s 24-week internship in Mexico. The time is divided between researching marine life and conservation and improving your diving skills.


Volunteer to Build a Community

Building houses, wells and schools to benefit a community is a great way to spend your summer. The valuable skills you learn are totally transferable and you’ll be using local resources to take advantage of renewable resources and energy. This building skills can be useful when you return home, if you want to build your own off grid tiny house, that relies on solar power and rain water.

BUNAC offers an interesting programme to Nepal, which includes teaching English and helping the community to build and repair schools. To find out more click here.

A must read for anyone traveller: Epic Travel Games to Prevent Boredom on Long Journey’s


Whatever destination you choose, you can reduce your carbon footprint by taking as much public transport as possible and by donating money to an environmental charity. For more tips read: Carbon Offset your Next Flight: How and Why?

Teach Abroad To Promote the Environment

One of the most popular ways to volunteer abroad is to teach English as a second language. This may not automatically appear to be beneficial to the environment, but you have the opportunity to teach children from China, Japan, Morocco, Spain and many more countries about the effects of climate change and the dangers the environment faces. Not only can you pass on knowledge but maybe you can implement a recycling programme and introduce a ban on single use plastic in the school. Who knows what amazing differences you can make!

If this interests you check out Study Abroad, GoECO and Gaba.


Other Options

Alternatively, you can travel around almost any country as a member of a WWOOFing foundation. It stands for ‘willing workers on organic farms.’ Basically, you work on a farm, usually organic, doing odd jobs like construction, fruit picking and animal care and in return you get fed, have a roof over your head and learn new skills and make friends.

This option is particularly great if you want to travel across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America, as there are plenty of hosts to choose from.

Check out the Federation of WWOOF Organisations.

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