The UK's Charity Week runs from December 4th to December 10th and raises awareness for hundreds of charities and non-profit organizations around the globe. In honor of this annual event, we have chosen 10 travel-minded charities, big and small, that every globetrotter should be aware of. Each of the following organizations works to preserve and protect the cultures, communities and environments that inspire the wanderlust within us. Here is what they're all about and how you can get involved!
WWF - the World Wildlife Fund - is one of the most respected conservation organizations in the world. The international network operates on both local and global levels. The organization addresses issues that surround the climate, fresh water, forests, oceans, wildlife and food. The charity is perhaps most widely known for its conservation efforts with regards to protecting endangered species. To make a difference, join WWF's 5 million members worldwide or adopt an animal through the organization's website.
Surfers Against Sewage
Exhilarating activities like surfing and scuba diving feature on many travelers' bucket lists. But imagine if in years to come riding the waves or seeing coral reefs up close will no longer be possible because our oceans have become too polluted as a result of mankind's recklessness. Enter Surfers Against Sewage an organization that is determined to preserve our oceans and protect them from the ever greater threat of pollution. The UK registered charity is passionate about marine conservation and ensuring our seas, oceans and beaches stay protected and clean for marine life as well as people. You too can make a different by volunteering on a beach clean, supporting the charity's campaigns or simple signing a petition against plastic pollution.
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Cool Earth is a UK based charity which works in partnership with indigenous communities to preserve and maintain the world's rainforests. According to a shocking statistic on their website half of the world's rainforest territory has been destroyed over the past 40 years. Cool Earth works in all three of the world's rainforest biomes: the Congo Basin, Amazonia and Oceania, in specific locations such as Peru and Papa New Guinea. Not only does the charity strive to protect the rainforest environment and its biodiversity, but also the survival of the indigenous communities who rely on the rainforest for their livelihoods. If you are passionate about defending our rainforests and those who are dependent on its survival, then you can get involved through various fundraising initiatives found on Cool Earth's website!
TIES (The International Ecotourism Society)
The International Ecotourism Society is a nonprofit association which is dedicated to promoting safe and sustainable tourism. It forms a global network spanning 190 countries and territories, supported by 750 separate organizations with over 1,200 members. TIES aims to demonstrate how eco-tourism can greatly benefit the conservation efforts, biodiversity, and communities of destinations across the globe. You can become an active supporter of TIES and purchase a travel membership, which allows you access to lots of information about how you can make a difference and be a more responsible traveler.
Galapagos Conservation Trust
The Galapagos archipelago will forever be known as the location that inspired Charles Darwin's revolutionary 'Origins of Species' paper. It is also home to an array of species not present anywhere else on the planet, including the Giant Tortoise, Blue Footed Booby and Land Iguana. Thus the conservation of this site is inherently important, particularly as it currently faces various including mass tourism, pollution, climate change and overfishing. The Galapagos Conservation Trust is a charitable organization that aims to maintain and protect the Galapagos Islands, through conservation efforts as well as encouraging low impact tourism. Do your bit by becoming a charity member or by donating to the 'Endangered Galapagos Appeal'.