Save The Planet – Win a Prize

TogetherGreen Competition Rewards Volunteer Conservation Action

Volunteering to benefit the environment delivers all kinds of rewards, from personal pride to the promise of a healthier future. Now, it offers environmentally friendly prizes too.

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Beginning April 30, 2009, TogetherGreen will help individuals nationwide track their community volunteer hours and qualify to win great prizes. All it takes is signing up at for a free Community Passport, then getting involved in as many different unpaid conservation volunteer activities as possible between April 22, 2009 and July 22, 2009, so you still go a couple of weeks to do something and maybe get a nice rewarded for it too, aside from feeling good about what you have done.

Participants need to be over the age of 18 and log participation in a variety of conservation categories, called Pursuits. After that, it just comes down to who has the most volunteer hours logged!

The most committed volunteer will win a grand prize of two LL Bean bicycles for emission-free traveling fun. Other environmentally friendly prizes include a Sierra Designs Tent, a REI Trail Pack and water bottles, and TogetherGreen t-shirts.

The Community Passport contest is part of the five-year TogetherGreen alliance between Audubon and Toyota, created to help individuals act now to cause a positive impact in their homes, their communities, and the world. True to the goals of TogetherGreen program, the Passport emphasizes what individual actions can accomplish for the environment – and how much they can add up. “The real winners in this contest will be our environment and all life that depends on it,” said Audubon President John Flicker. “Volunteering is its own reward, but hopefully the Community Passport will inspire more people to give it a try, to do more, and to expand their efforts to include new and different activities. They can see their volunteer log grow online and their results add up in the impact they can make in their communities and beyond.”

To get started, visit and register to begin tracking your volunteer hours. Participants need to take part in at least three out of six Community Passport Pursuit categories, which include activities such as removing invasive plants or cleaning up waterways, writing a pro-conservation letter to community leaders, and organizing green initiatives in the workplace. Community Passport participants will be required to write about their volunteering experiences in a Trip Diary to be eligible for the prizes. To win, simply have the highest number of combined volunteer hours in at least three Pursuit categories!

Future Community Passport contests will offer further rewards in the months and years to come. So stay tuned to this publication and others.

Audubon and Toyota launched the five-year TogetherGreen initiative in 2008 to fund conservation projects, train environmental leaders, and offer volunteer and individual action opportunities that significantly benefit the environment. To date, 5,850 TogetherGreen volunteers have contributed more than 28,000 hours to community conservation efforts. The TogetherGreen initiative is funded by a $20 million Toyota gift to Audubon, the largest in the conservation group’s long history. For more information, to take individual conservation action and share and celebrate conservation success stories, visit

Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. Visit Audubon online at

Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $464 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S. For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit

There is lots to do out there to help the environment and I am sure each and every one can find a corner where he or she can do something and make a difference. You have to be the change that you want to see in the world, said Gandhi and that is exactly how the cookie crumbles.

Only you, all of us, can make the change that we would like to see happening. It is no good to just sit on one's backside and complain about the state of this or that; we have to take the bull by the horns and do our bit, however small.

Some, like myself, who is also not in the same country, do their bit by writing and agitating, though I also work directly in the field too, while other tackle things in another way. All of us can play and have to play our part. Let's go and do it.

© 2009