We’ve all seen the heartbreaking videos of laughing pelicans drenched in black oil and heard about the disastrous environmental impact of the oil spreading through the Gulf. And luckily, for those of us who are sick of watching and listening, there are plenty of ways to do something.
Of course, there are the traditional ways to help. The phone marketing company Mad Mobile has launched a campaign where you can donate $10 to the Waterkeeper Alliance and SaveOurGulf.org by texting GULF to 50555.
Using less oil is another way to show your support, or, if you’re really passionate and you live near the Gulf Coast, you could always volunteer to help with the clean-up crew.
But there are also non-traditional ways to help out the Gulf Coast, and a lot of them involve items that are probably sitting around your house. We’ve compiled a round-up of simple ways for homeowners to help out with the Gulf relief efforts—simple ways that will make a big difference.
Does your dog shed his weight in hair during the summer months? Do you vacuum mounds of fur off your rugs every day? Don’t throw away that vacuum bag—donate it. MatterofTrust.org is asking for donations of pet fur, human hair, and nylon stockings to use to make booms, or stockings filled with fur, hair, fleece, and other natural, absorbent clippings. The booms are used by clean-up crews to soak up oil. MatterofTrust.org’s warehouses are currently full, but to donate, sign up and they’ll send you alerts when they need more materials.
Look under your kitchen sink and pull out any old bottles of Dawn Soap. Dawn has been involved in environmental clean-up efforts for years, and each bottle you have can be used to donate $1 to the Marine Mammal Center and the International Bird Rescue Research Center. Just find the donation code on the bottle, then go to your computer and enter it at DawnDish.com.
Do you have old coolers or laptops sitting around your house, or perhaps some extra trash bags or latex gloves? Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, a non-profit organization based in Florida, updates their list of needed supplies every week. So check the list and scour your home for stuff that you don’t need.
If you’re searching for the perfect housewarming gift or looking for a small decoration to spice up your own home, skip the mall. Instead, browse through the Etsy.com shop Help the Gulf Coast, where sellers donate 100% of their profits to Oxfam America and the National Wildlife Federation. From lighthouse pillows to dishwasher magnets to wooden wall hangings, you’re sure to find something on here that will add flair to your home and help the Gulf in the process.
Do you know any simple, home-oriented ways to donate to the Gulf? Please tell us about it!