Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gulf oil spill: how to help.

I rarely bring outside topics to this blog, but for weeks, I've had a very hard time watching and reading everything about the Gulf oil spill, and getting into (occasionally heated) debates about it. Unless you live in a cave, you've surely heard about this too, and I am making this post to encourage you to do a little research on the devastating environmental impacts the spill has had (and will continue to have), and offer some ways that you can lend a hand, if you are feeling as helpless as I do.

[photo credit]

How can you help? Here's a list of 10 things you can do, including:

Volunteer. You can register online in Louisiana or Florida or sign up on Oil Spill Volunteers to be matched with a group that needs volunteers. Any and all help is needed, including wildlife cleanup.

Trigger a donation. Buy a bottle of Dawn dishwashing detergent, then visit the Dawn website to activate a $1 donation by Dawn to the Marine Mammal Center and the International Bird Rescue Research Center.

Report animals in distress. If you're in one of the affected areas and see an animal in trouble, don't approach it -- call the hotline for injured-animal sightings at 1-866-557-1401 and leave a message with the animal's exact location.

Give money. If you live outside the coastal region, you can still make a big difference for wildlife by supporting the groups on site. The National Wildlife Federation is one of many organizations accepting donations for coastal relief.

Send hair (yours and your pet's). Have you brushed your dog or cat recently? Matter of Trust is collecting donations of hair, fur and nylons that it uses to soak up the oil.


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