I made a difference to that one!
I'm sure you've heard the story about the stranded starfish - but just in case:
One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.
Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”.
The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”
The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!”
Today is a day for throwing starfish back into the water, it's World Kindness Day a nationally recognised day for the celebration of kindness in society and day to day life. Organised by Kindness UK is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with the goal of making kindness a greater part of everyone’s daily lives and increasing the awareness of the positive benefits of kindness to health and the overall wellbeing of society.
A day to put a smile on someone's face and give yourself a warm glow for knowing that you made a difference in a very small way.
The organisation has a range of suggestions, many of them environment and nature related, ranging from making a hedgehog house or putting out birdseed to dropping your change into collecting tins or donating old towels and blankets to an animal shelter (and clearing up the clutter in the process - double win there); also some things a little bigger such as taking part in wildlife recording and surveys or volunteering your time. Many charities are often in need of people to keep an eye on those collecting tins and badge boxes, contact local groups or see here what's currently needed - RSPB pretty much always need helpers in this area. The website has a whole section dedicated to surveys, wildlife recording and citizen science have a look to see if there's anything you can assist with, or why not download an app, like the mammal mapper from Mammal Society and record what you see as you follow another one of Kindness UK's suggestions and take the dog for an extra long walk and clear your head with a dose of nature.
It's not often you find thousands of washed up starfish on the beach but it's rare to see a shoreline that's not littered with mostly plastic rubbish so perhaps instead of throwing starfish back into the sea you could collect the litter from the sand?
More acts of kindness can be found here.
See what micro-volunteering is currently needed by conservation charities.
Citizen science, surveys and sightings records required can be found here.