It’s November and Black Friday deals are beginning to cloud our feeds again. At Campspace, we’ve decided to give it a rest this year and spend our money elsewhere.
Black Friday 2021 comes to us in the aftermath of a mammoth surge in interest during the height of the pandemic, forcing us to take another look at how we consume not only products, but travel too.
If mindful consumerism and mindful travel are on your mind at this time of year, or you’re looking for your own way to renounce Black Friday, why not check out some of our favourite charities and consider putting your money to good use this year?
At Campspace, we’re planning on making a small donation to support Beoes, a small local initiative in Belgium working to turn a former industrial farmland into a food forest. If we want to keep bringing people closer to nature, we have to first make sure our flora and fauna are thriving!
Since we like to keep things local at Campspace, we’ve gathered a list of our favourite charities operating in Europe, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK. Let us know if you’d like your favourite nature-oriented charity added to this list!
Rewilding Europe is an organisation that adopts a particular approach to restoring nature and wildlife populations – essentially leaving nature to take care of itself. Rewilding encourages natural processes to repair or rebuild damaged ecosystems with little to no human intervention. Rewilding will result in more biodiversity and healthier landscapes – but just like in truly wild habitats, the journey to reach this goal can be rocky. If this approach speaks to you and you want to support it in some way, Rewilding Europe is asking for support for specific rewilding initiatives, such as the return of the Eurasian Lynx. You can also donate to the Young Rewilders Community, which unites a new generation of rewilders. Rewilding results in greater biodiversity across the continent will benefit our experience of nature on the whole.
EuroNatur is an institution that combats everything from deforestation and habitat loss to destructive policies in the European Parliament. Key initiatives include protecting the Carpathian forests, countering the negative effects of dams on Balkan rivers and maintaining the Green Belt, a series of ancient forests and bogs that exist along what was once the Iron Curtain. This is another organisation working to keep natural wonders of the world thriving for future generations to witness.
Trees provide much more than lovely views on your camping trip or afternoon walk. Among other things, they’re essential organisms for water management, cooling cities and CO2 absorption.
Bomenstichting is the Netherlands’ national organisation for the protection of trees in the country’s cities and countryside. They provide support and advice to the public at large around issues such as the maintenance of monumental trees, tree disease and unnecessary tree felling. They helped to develop the National Tree Plan, lobbying for legal protection for monumental trees and the creation of tree lists for municipalities. It is a foundation run mostly by volunteers, so donation or volunteer support would certainly make a difference.
Natuurmonumenten is responsible for over 100,000 hectares of nature in the Netherlands and work to ensure plants and animals that have lived in this country for thousands of years continue to thrive. They focus on the intersection of nature and cultural heritage and take man-made nature into consideration, such as pine forests, flower gardens and water mills.
According to the organisation, the country is roughly 15% nature, with the rest containing housing, infrastructure and industry. In order for nature in the Netherlands to sustain itself, this proportion needs to reach 30%. Donating to this organisation will help us maintain and improve the current landscape of the Netherlands and make it a place that both visitors and locals can enjoy.
Beoes is a small community initiative run by three neighbours in Western Belgium, which aims to turn what was once industrial farmland into a food forest or ‘voedselbos’ in Flemish/Dutch. The community driving this mission are working together to build a self-sustaining food system that promotes soil fertility, water quality and air quality. They also want to use the plot to promote education on the subjects of permaculture and regenerative, organic farming systems. You can support Beoes by contributing towards a hazel bush, berry bush or specific soil mixes, donate money, or volunteer
NABU works to protect biological diversity, habitats and non-renewable resources in Germany and beyond. Founded in 1899, it is one of the oldest and largest environment associations in Germany. The NABU Foundation for National Natural Heritage adopts valuable nature reserves across the country to preserve them as habitat for rare and endangered species of plants and animals. Current local donation projects include creating a feeding ground on the Lake Günzer See for migrating cranes and stopping the destruction of moorlands which provide species and climate protection.
Wildnis in Deutschland focuses on the mountains, coastlines, rivers and especially forests of Germany. Since a quarter of the world’s common beech forests grow in Germany, Wildnis in Deutschland has taken on Germany’s international responsibility to preserve this unique forest type by revitalising forests on former military training ground and mining areas. Your donation can help them improve habitats for rare species of animals, plants and mushrooms!
The Conservation Volunteers bring people together from across the UK to create, improve and care for green spaces that are a vital part of healthy and happy communities. Whether man-made or natural, these volunteers attend to all green spaces including local parks and nature reserves, community gardens and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, waterways, wetlands and woodlands. A unique part of their initiative is Green Gyms, free outdoor sessions where local residents are guided in practical activities such as planting trees, sowing meadows and establishing wildlife ponds. Their community network has active volunteer groups working year round across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Bees are a vital part of nature and have been under increasing threat as a species. The British Bee Charity works to educate and raise awareness on the plight of bees and their importance to our ecosystems, among both adults and children. The charity is run by volunteers and all received donations go towards the welfare of bees.
If you’d like to support these charities but can’t donate money, why not explore volunteering or donating other resources? Knowledge is power, so spreading the word and raising awareness about your chosen charity will never go amiss. Search for local charities to get involved with and get a chance to learn about natural process, indigenous species and important issues affecting your immediate surroundings. It's likely that this volunteer work will get you outside and reconnecting with nature like never before!
Would you like to see your favourite local charity featured on this list? Get in touch with your nomination so we can support your mission!
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