The Gaia Movement USA: Providing Environmental Education and Services
The Gaia Movement USA is a non-profit group dedicated to educating the public about key environmental issues. The charity is devoted to taking action to help solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental problems. Some of the issues the team at the Gaia Movement tackles include dealing with textile waste, adapting to and handling global warming and climate change, and making a difference for the less fortunate in the world.
The organization was founded in Illinois in 1999 and has since expanded its operations to Indiana, California, Kentucky and Tennessee. While the Gaia Movement’s works are numerous and reach all over the world, the goal is simple: to promote environmental awareness, to educate the public about these issues, and to provide support for environmental programs on both a local and a global scale.
What does The Gaia Movement USA do?
The organization strives to make the world better through its many programs and services. These benefit people from all over and include:
- “Rewear, Reuse, Recycle Used Clothes”: Landfills are quickly becoming overrun with used and/or unwanted clothes, shoes, books and toys, and other items. This amount of waste decays and emits greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Gaia aims to divert this trash from area landfills while simultaneously giving it a new lease of life and giving back to the community. Instead of letting gently used materials take up space at local landfills, Gaia sets up drop off bins throughout communities. These bins are placed in high-traffic spots that people frequent on a daily basis. Seeing these bins encourages and reminds people to drop off their items instead of simply throwing them away. Now, instead of sitting in the dump, these items are donated and can get used by people who can benefit from them. Space is freed in landfills and needy people are getting the benefit of gently used books, toys, shoes, clothes, and other handy items. Gaia believes the benefit of these bins is enormous. By reusing all these items, less items needs to be produced in the other end. This means again that less water, pesticides and chemicals to produce cotton for example is used. So this means a double positive effect on our environment.
- The International Projects: The Gaia Movement USA is proud to support The International Projects. These programs help to offer citizens of developing countries a sustainable and bright future. This happens through partnerships with other charitable organizations, as well as with the assistance of government groups. Gaia helps to build sustainable projects that help to improve the living conditions for people residing in rural areas. Many of these citizens don’t normally have access to clean drinking water, an abundance of energy sources, or proper sanitation.
While Gaia values helping people in developing nations improve their quality of life, the members of the organization want to bring about these changes in a specific way. Entering a nation and creating technologically advanced solutions may seem helpful, but many times these new systems simply fall apart when the volunteers leave a community. With no knowledge about operating these new systems, and no means to continue maintaining equipment, the machinery falls by the wayside and the citizens are no better off than they were before the charity offered assistance.
To prevent this situation from occurring, The Gaia Movement USA makes a conscious effort to bring about sustainable solutions that fit in with that society’s culture. Solutions are meant to provide long-lasting results that work with the community’s needs and abilities. The group works with that village’s leader to ensure that new practices are in line with the society’s standards and beliefs. Once new technology is installed, the volunteers help teach community members how to care for the new system. This ensures that the system will get cared for even after the group has left the area.
For example, when Gaia comes in and installs a water pump, they don’t simply just arrive on the scene, install a water pump, and leave. They consult with community leaders, explain their ideas, and get permission. Once they’re granted access, they install the equipment, and teach a handful of community members about the technology. This encourages citizens to take ownership over the equipment and feel responsibility for maintaining it.
The projects presented to developing nations always involve basic and inexpensive technology. Volunteers leave guidebooks written in that country’s native language as they depart, so that individuals have references should they need to repair the machinery. These manuals, combined with training that occurs during the volunteers’ time in the nation, help residents care for the equipment for years to come.
The Gaia Movement USA: Raising the Standard of Living Worldwide
The Gaia Movement USA is helping to improve quality of life for people all over the world. Thanks to the International Projects that the organization actively participates in, schools have built restrooms and hand washing stations, communities have set up solar panel powered charging stations, and villages have learned how to purify water for drinking. In addition to this work, families have learned about health and nutrition, and women have teamed up to harvest vegetables and collect rainwater. The group has also helped local farmers learn to preserve the soil they’re already working with. This helps to prevent soil erosion, as they learn about composting, crop rotation, water conservation, and other important farming techniques.
Gaia’s efforts aren’t solely focused in other parts of the world, however. The organization believes in improving the lives of people in the United States of America. The charity creates programs to help public school students across America. In the city of Chicago, Gaia helps to raise funds through the use of collection bins. In addition, many public schools send groups to Gaia to learn about environmental issues and to receive training. The city of Chicago also benefits from the group’s donation of toys and books for needy kids, as well as winter coats for the homeless. In Indiana, the group collects winter coats to distribute to the less fortunate.
The Gaia Movement USA is a charitable organization devoted to educating people from all over about the importance of environmental issues and sustainability. The Gaia Movement USA sends volunteers across the globe to improve citizens’ quality of life in developing regions. The Gaia Movement USA helps equip these people with the capabilities to continue improving their own communities once volunteers leave, making the efforts sustainable on a long-term basis.
There are many organizations today collecting used and unwanted clothes, shoes and other items. Still only 15-20% of all used an unwanted clothing is reused or recycled. All organizations are selling the used clothes inexpensively so that less fortunate people can buy good and fashionable clothes and shoes for less.
The combination that Gaia is doing is tripple benefit: diverting the clothes from the landfills, giving less fortunate people the possibility to own good, fashionable clothes for less,and donating the surplus funds from that program to communities and projects in the developing world.
This is a formidable combination!
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