The oil spill and what you can do
You’ve no doubt heard your fair share of news about the BP oil spill, but what seems to be missing in many of the reports is what we can do to help. I found this resource via The Huffington Post and it seems to offer some good options, from reporting injured wildlife if you’re in the affected area to volunteering or donating. Here are some of the suggestions (check out the full list here):
Volunteer and Cleanup Actions
•Oxfam America is working to help affected communities with financial assistance, as well as protect local wetlands and marshes. Make a tax-deductible donation to Oxfam America.
•You can register through OilSpillVolunteers.comto volunteer or join a cleanup organization.
•The BP Volunteer Hotline has set up numbers if you need to report injured wildlife or damage related to the spill. You can also request volunteer information at 866-448-5816.
•The International Bird Rescue Research Center is coordinating a professional rescue team to help birds covered in oil. You can help by reporting wildlife affected by the oil spill to the organization by calling 866-557-1401. You can also make a donation to support their work.
•Oceana’s goal is to reach 500,000 names on a petition to stop offshore drilling permanently. A tracker on their website displays how many gallons of oil have been spilled in real time. As of May 24, it’s drawing close to eight million.
•Petition sites are packed with letters to politicians that you can sign on to. This one from Care2’s The Petition Site aims to encourage President Obama to reconsider his plan to expand offshore drilling and invest in clean energy resources. A similar petition can be found on TrueMajority.org.
•boycott BP products.
The EPA also offers these phone numbers to report damage:
- Report oiled shoreline: 1-866-448-5816
- Report oiled wildlife: 1-866-557-1401
- Discuss spill related damage: 1-800-440-0858
These are some short-term options, but to avoid oil spills in the future, we can make changes in our daily habits. We need to think about our methods of transportation, energy and reliance on oil. Changing our habits around the consumption of oil will be the biggest thing we can do.