Micro-volunteering: What is it and how can it support nature?

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Volunteering can take many forms, from a long-term, regular commitment to one day out of a year. For both charity and individual, either of these options can have a huge impact.

Any time you can offer, even if that’s a small chunk of time, is a positive contribution, and that’s what the concept of micro-volunteering is all about. Microvolunteering Day every 15th April is all about bringing awareness to volunteering in ‘small segments’ and encourages us to get involved in worthy causes with easy bite-sized actions.

Micro-volunteering formats

You can do many micro-volunteering actions at home from the comfort of your couch and some can take less than a minute to complete! Perfect for those of us who are pushed for time or for those of us with mobility challenges or difficulties accessing volunteering sites directly. This way it’s your location and your schedule.

Flowers and a jug sitting on a window sill with light coming through

So what type of micro-volunteering opportunities are there? Well, the activities are very far ranging across all different charity sectors. So it could be anything from writing a letter to an elderly patient to signing a petition online or tagging a photo. About 80% of micro-volunteering opportunities take place online but they can extend to practical actions too such as visiting someone in need, delivering some food to someone, or of course, joining a TCV volunteering day.

In many instances, you ‘turn up and go’ without lengthy application processes. If it sounds simple it’s because it is, but that doesn’t stop it from being incredibly effective too.

Many people doing one task makes a huge overall impact.

Micro-volunteering for nature

One thing we know micro-volunteering and micro actions can support is nature. Use Microvolunteering Day to get involved with helping the environment and improving your local area in some way. Check out our Citizen Science resources here, including links to various wildlife recording activities and a comprehensive list of surveys with online support, identification guides and resources.

An example is TCV’s project with the Brennan Lab at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, What Makes Viruses Tick?, where you can submit sightings of ticks while learning best practice to avoid tick bites.

A group of mask-wearing people including a child walking through woodland

Also consider micro actions such as doing your own litter collection while out and about or a spot of gardening to make your back garden or front garden more bee or bird friendly. These small actions can make a massive difference.

You can also have a lot of fun turning environmental micro-volunteering into a family-friendly activity. Why not try a bug hunt and tick off what you find on our recording sheet, create a den for a woodland creature or hang some seeds up in the trees in orange halves or apples to feed the birds? All of these activities can be found at our Activity Resources page here.

Take the opportunity of Microvolunteering Day to be part of making a change. Find a project you want to get involved with, environmental or other, and help make the world a better place with one small step.

A child collecting tree seeds

Keep up to date with the latest news and activities from The Conservation Volunteers by following us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram. You can also sign up to receive our Greenzine newsletter for more ways to get involved – including more ideas for micro-volunteering in your own time.

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