30 Days Wild is now in its last week. With just five more days of June to go, that’s just five more days of #RandomActsofWildness. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from carrying on and going #365DaysWild if you’ve got hooked. However, if you’ve enjoyed it but are finding daily nature fixes too demanding to commit to fitting them into every day of your life (in which case, try one of these) or too tiring (in which case try one of these) then make the last five days of 30 Days Wild really count by helping the Wildlife Trusts raise money as well as getting out in nature.
I figure it’s only fair to give something back. Last year, #30DaysWild brought great people into my Twitter timeline and filled me with so much joy – as well as sending me a wallchart and sticker pack that possibly excited me more than it should given my age – that I wanted to thank them. Before 30 Days Wild 2017 got started, I wrote an ebook inspired by my 30 Days Wild adventures last year, called Go Wild! Over 200 Ways to Connect With Nature.
I included details of the fascinating research coming out of 30 Days Wild, along with money-saving tips and recipes, because both are a big part of going wild for me (along with loving nature, of course). I hate the idea of anyone missing out on 30 Days Wild because they think they can’t afford it: in reality, connecting with nature opens the door to a ‘champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget’ – as long as you don’t mind elderflower champagne. It also helps you connect with other people.
At the start of June, I gave Go Wild! away for free, to give people who were new to 30 Days Wild some ideas to help get them started (I deliberately wrote it to allow for the addictive nature of 30 Days Wild, with nature ideas for every time of year.)
I’d intended to give Go Wild! away for free all month but Amazon doesn’t allow for that, so instead, I decided to donate all June profits to The Wildlife Trusts. I’m a member of Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trusts but don’t have vast amounts of cash to spare beyond that. However, I do have vast amounts of words, which is why I chose an ebook (along with social media support) as my way to give something back.
Everyone has a skill of some kind. Why not use the last five days of #30DaysWild to raise money for The Wildlife Trusts using whatever skill you have – or by buying products from companies that support The Wildlife Trusts. Here are a few ideas.
- Make nature themed jewellery to sell on Etsy, Folksy, eBay or similar, and donate profits to The Wildlife Trusts.
- Have a cake sales in your garden and donate the profits.
- Have a pop-up supper club with foraged food (as long as you know what to forage – you don’t want to poison guests!) or locally sourced food. Charge a ticket price and donate this to The Wildlife Trusts.
- Knit or crochet a creature to sell, and donate the profits.
- If you’re a musician, write a nature-themed song and donate royalties to The Wildlife Trusts.
- Make clay models of animals – or miniature toadstools for fairy gardens – and sell them online, then donate profits.
- Press flowers you collect on nature walks, package the best ones into envelopes, and sell them online. Donate the profits. Do make sure they’re fully dried before posting – and pack between sheets of (recycled) cardboard to protect their integrity.
- If you have a holiday rental, donate a week to The Wildlife Trusts, and give all proceeds from that week to The Wildlife Trusts in perpetuity. If it’s during ‘off season’, it needn’t be too much of an expense for you as you’re more likely to sell it if people know the funds are going to charity, and it means that more people get to see your holiday home so are likely to tell their friends, or come back in the future (assuming it’s nice, of course.)
- Buy a bat habitat, binoculars or some other nature-lover’s treat from Simon King Wildlife: The Wildlife Trusts are one of the charities the site supports.
- Make greetings cards from pressed flowers or leaf prints and donate the profits.
- Adopt an otter, dormouse, barn owl or other wild animal (NB: this does not mean it will come and live at your house, but it does mean that more of them will thrive, so increases your odds of seeing one in the wild).
- Sell your nature photos on a stock photo site such as iStockPhoto and donate the profits.
- Go round your local eco shops and collect together prizes for a ‘nature hamper’, then sell tickets to people to win it (NB: make them answer a question involving some degree of skill before entering, so you don’t end up running an illegal lottery inadvertently).
- Draw, paint or collage a picture to sell on eBay or similar, and donate the profits to The Wildlife Trusts.
- Do a sponsored silence for The Wildlife Trusts.
- Do a sponsored digital detox for The Wildlife Trusts.
- Buy a Wildlife Trusts T-shirt.
- Run a creative competition and charge a fee to enter it: for example, a photo competition, or a writing competition. Ask someone respected in the field to judge your shortlisted entries to add gravitas. The prize can be something you’ve made if you’re a crafter; or perhaps something you’re re-gifting, such as unwanted natural toiletries or a nature book you have two copies of; or, if you’re famous, you could offer something that you’ve signed, or the opportunity to meet you. Donate all entry fees to The Wildlife Trusts.
- Buy a book from The Wildlife Trusts.
- Have a nature quiz in your local pub or community centre. Charge people to enter, and offer prizes such as home-grown tomato plants, bunches of flowers from your garden (if you have flower arranging skills) or other nature-themed goodies. If you have a local restaurant that prides itself on its locally-sourced food, they could be worth approaching to donate a meal for two as your prize.
- Join your local Wildlife Trust if you’re not already a member.
- Buy bird food from Vine House Farm (they donate 5% of their takings to The Wildlife Trusts – and you’ll make the birds happy too)
- Ask your boss to support The Wildlife Trusts as part of your company’s charitable initiatives (if you are the boss, have a word with yourself – and don’t argue!) Your company could join The Wildlife Trusts as a corporate member, or donate time or skills that they need.
- Make rag rugs, or some other items that can be made from your recycling. Sell them online and donate the profits.
- Add a legacy for The Wildlife Trusts in your will (if you’re an author, you could leave them the royalties to one of your books in perpetuity). That way, you can carry on connecting with nature from beyond the grave.
- Buy a gift ‘in memorium’ from The Wildlife Trusts, to remember a loved one who loved nature.
- Make pine cone hedgehogs or owls and sell them to friends. Donate profits to The Wildlife Trusts.
- Clear out your closets and sort out clothes you no longer wear. Have a clothes-swapping party with friends, charging everyone a small fee to take part, which is donated to The Wildlife Trusts; or sell your clothes online, or at a car boot sale, and donate your profits.
- Buy The Wildlife Trusts’ DVD.
- Write an ebook or create a picture book. I’ve read hundreds of brilliant blogs by people taking part in #30DaysWild, and seen thousands of beautiful pictures and wonderful illustrations. While only ten percent of a book can have been published online if you want to publish it through Kindle Direct Publishing and have it available as part of their Kindle Unlimited scheme, there’s nothing to stop you from using your blog posts to form the structure for your book, and writing fresh material around it.
You can put an ebook up that’s as short as 2,500 words, though I’d recommend a minimum of 10,000 words unless you price your book at the lowest level (99p) to ensure readers don’t feel disappointed. If it’s a children’s book, the word count is even lower. If you wrote 500 words every day this week, you could have a short ebook by the end of the week.
Then get a friend to edit it (an honest one with impeccable grammar, rather than a nice one who will tell you it’s brilliant and leave mistakes in it), upload it to Kindle (with a good cover image – Amazon does have some you can use: I’d recommend using one of the best photos you’ve taken from 30 Days Wild, along with simple typography, unless you know a designer who’d be happy to donate their time) and give it time to get approved. It took me a few days for my book to be approved, and can take a week or two but if you get started now, you could have a fundraising book on sale for the Wildlife Trusts by this time next month.
Of course, if you have lots of money, you could always just donate a hefty chunk of it to The Wildlife Trusts. You could help save dormice, protect Sherwood Forest, support beavers, badgers, hedgehogs and pine martens, and ensure that your local nature reserve has the funds to thrive. However you choose to help the Wildlife Trusts, you can feel good about the fact that you’re helping the world around you.