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40+ Green Gift Ideas for Greenies!

Fa-la-la, y’all! The holidays are coming. Mention this factoid in a mixed group right now, and one is liable to elicit reactions ranging from gleeful excitement to naked terror—with an individual’s feelings largely contingent on how much progress they’ve made on their holiday shopping. Now’s the time, however, to start at least planning the best green gift […]

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Where to Volunteer Locally in New York & New Jersey

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, people across the northeast were united by in the aftermath of the storm’s wrath—many were not lucky in being spared the full effects of this storm. Displaced New York and New Jersey residents were huddled in gas lines or bus lines with just about every aspect of […]

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How to Clean Up Ocean Trash While Traveling (And Why You Should!)

Thailand: Pristine white beaches and crystal clear waters on secluded tropical islands. It is perfect image for a holiday relaxing in the sun. Right? The reality is a far cry different in many places around the country, and in touristy beaches around the world. Thai beaches are not always as pristine as you may imagine. […]

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How One Organization is Working with Orphanages in India for Long-Term Solutions

Orphanages are a controversial subject in the international volunteering industry. Over the past decade, stories and reports have highlighted poor practices in the industry, sketchy volunteer programs, and enough issues to give anyone pause. The fervor started over the orphanage scene in Cambodia, but spread to questionable tours in Africa and now fears grow for how expanding tourism […]

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New Social Enterprise Opens in Bagan, Myanmar

The Myanmar Youth Development Institute is bringing vocational training opportunities to the youth of Bagan, Myanmar with the creation of Sanon Restaurant, Bagan’s first socially responsible restaurant. Social enterprise is fairly new to Myanmar despite being well developed in nearby Thailand and Vietnam, so it’s exciting to see how every year brings new opportunities for […]

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50+ Inspiring Quotes About Volunteering & Service

A good quote can serve as a handy reminder for why you’ve set out on a course in life. The ideas contained within it can also serve as a gentle nudge to reconsider and reframe how you see the world. There are many reasons to serve others, whether you are traveling or volunteering in your local […]

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How Responsible Travel Impacts Fairtrade Tea in Kenya

Few activities are older and more deeply rooted in tradition than tea. Thousands of years ago, tea was an auspicious and expensive treat — royalty sipped tea over important discussions. Over time, as it became more accessible, new variations arose. Tea is now an essential part of almost every culture across the globe. Tea has become an international symbol of […]

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Giving Helps You Feel More Connected, Here’s How

Through my work in the travel industry, I’ve seen many travelers draw clear lines in the sand around the nature of their vacation. Some plan for only luxurious beach getaways, others a backpacking trip, and some embark on a specifically designed volunteer vacation. Travel, however, is more deeply nuanced than any of these bold delineations. […]

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Good for Community: Service Offered Abroad Can Be Just As Powerful at Home

“Community service” is an interesting term. Technically, it is simply another phrase synonymous with volunteering. The word’s connotation, however, implies a style of volunteering with a much more tangible and direct impact, often on underserved populations and projects within a community. Let us therefore look at community-driven volunteering and how it plays out in your […]

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The Art of Giving and Travel

Giving is good for you. It’s a statement many have heard before, but the concrete benefits of giving are one of those more airy concepts difficult to research. Over the past year though, I’ve seen this idea take flight in mainstream media as the giving mindset doesn’t just lift your spirits for a day, but […]