Eco-tourism Volunteer Activities You Can Do This Summer

Travel responsibly by doing these exciting yet meaningful volunteer programs to give back to Mother Earth.

1. Conserve the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reef stretches over 1,800 miles along the Queensland coast and houses over 400 types of corals as well as other types of marine animals. Unfortunately, the reef is being adversely affected by climate change, pollution, invasive plant life and damage from water crafts. Go! Volunteer Abroad volunteers help to collect, analyze and monitor the health of the reef.

2. Protect the South African Bush
Most people go on safari adventures to see the ‘Big Five’: the lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros. It’s no doubt a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to witness these wild animals up close in their natural habitat. Up your vacation by helping to protect and conserve them and their environment. Go on a volunteering trip with Enkosini Eco Experience to South Africa to learn about practical bush survival skills, such as animal tracking and plant identification. Then, take your skills out into the wilderness while collecting data on the majestic creatures of Africa.

3. Repair Hiking Trails in the States
Here’s a volunteering activity for those who love hiking and have a passion for preserving nature. The American Hiking Society organizes trips that span across the U.S., from San Francisco’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Maine. Expect a thrilling yet fulfilling trip with like-minded people. You’ll get to work on trail maintenance, signage and constructing new trail features.
Pro tip: Since you’ll be hiking and traveling around the States, you should equip yourself with a reliable bag to store your belongings. Take the Pacsafe Vibe 30 anti-theft 30L Backpack with you on the journey. It has the perfect size to keep your passport, wallet, keys and even a seven-inch tablet, making it the ideal hip bag for those constantly on-the-go.

4. Study Climate Change in the Arctic
Go on an expedition to study and observe climate change in the Arctic with EarthWatch. You will be stationed near Canada’s Churchill river and help researchers learn more about the fragile environment by measuring evidence of global warming. The best time to experience the power of the North is to join the winter team that focuses on accessing snowpacks and taking snow samples. You’ll travel between research sites on a sledge and might even get the chance to build and sleep in an igloo.

5. Save Sea Turtles in Indonesia
For your next visit to Bali, consider taking a 45-minute speed boat ride from Sanur to the smaller island, Nusa Penida. Here, volunteers work together with a local team to protect the endangered sea turtles of Indonesia. You will get to assist with proactive conservation efforts, which include the improvement of the surrounding environment via beach cleanups, waste management improvement and most importantly, educate the locals about the issues faced by Indonesian sea turtles, and what can be done to help.