It’s official – oil has been spewing into our Gulf for a month now.
I have been keeping pretty up-to-date with the news, from domes and top hats to siphoning and the Gulf Loop current. But I haven’t really done anything except worry, something that I do often and that is less than productive.
On the radio this morning, the hosts were saying that the oil spill is even worse than disasters like hurricanes and bombs because the world feels helpless – we can’t stop the leak ourselves, not all of us have the resources to make a trip to the coast to help in cleaning efforts and we can’t just flat-out stop using gas. (Although we CAN stop using gas from BP. It may not be a permanent fix but it sure makes me feel great when I pass a BP station that is completely empty.)
So I researched some ways that people like me (poor and too far away to help with clean-up) can help with the efforts going on along the Gulf coast.
Here’s what I came up with:
- There is a program called Matter of Trust that is collecting hair and pantyhose to make oil booms. So maybe get a hair cut! (It’s free if you do it at home.) You can talk to hair salons and barbers near your home or workplace to see if they will get involved with the program. Schools, businesses and organizations are also great places to get people involved with this program.
***Update: STOP sending hair booms — unfortunately they’re ineffective.***
- Another program I read about is Dawn’s Saving Wildlife program. It’s pretty easy and convenient if you need some dish soap. Just buy a bottle of Dawn and go online with the barcode. Enter it online and $1 will be donated to clean-up. Dawn has a goal of $500,000 and are less than $100,000 away from achieving it. I also like this because Dawn regularly donates bottles of soap to wildlife conservation programs to help clean animals.
- Even if you don’t have much money, small donations to organizations that are directly helping with clean-up, like Greenpeace or the Audubon Institute, will really make a difference.