Lauren is one of 19 people heading to Sumatra on the Greenpeace Jungle Challenge this October. Taking the challenge was all part of her New Year’s Resolution to get off her butt and help save one of the world’s most incredible forests. She explains her motivation, and invites us all to her fundraising ‘Jungle Party’ in Sydney.

By Lauren Liesk

So many of us want to make a difference towards a greener planet, but don’t know how or where to start – I mean, we all recycle, but what more can be done?

I love nature, and who doesn’t? Nothing makes me happier than watching a David Attenborough nature series. But like most self absorbed consumers, I work full time. I have a professional career and a busy schedule. Between my work, family life, social life and trying to stay fit, I feel largely incapacitated when it comes to the environment. I simply don’t have time to save the world. Still, there are only so many documentaries you can watch about our dying planet before the guilt of purely being human ignites your motivation to actually DO something.

My new years resolution for 2011 was to take action

So I signed up to be a Greenpeace activist, volunteer and eco-warrior. This October, I’m embarking on the Sumatran Jungle Challenge; a 12 day trek through the wild Sumatran Jungle, 10kms a day with a backpack on and camping out, in the sweltering heat & humidity of the Indonesian forest.

WHY? – To see first hand the devastation caused by deforestation in this region, and the effect that palm oil & paper tree plantations are having on the forest, its local people, and its endangered wild animals.

WHAT? – I’ll be getting up close and personal with orangutans, tigers & elephants, helping out at animal sanctuaries, meeting the locals and assisting with their conservation efforts. I’m hoping I’ll also be lucky enough to see some waterfalls, pass through wild jungle, and climb a live volcano – all the while knowing the money I raise goes directly towards the conservation & preservation of these beautiful places.

HOW? – I’m raising $10,000 for Greenpeace! And I have pledged to dye my hair ORANGE (ranga!) as soon I hit the $5,000 mark. I’m paying for my own travel costs, so the $10,000 I’m trying to raise goes directly towards conservation efforts in Sumatra.

Did you say PARTY? – If you live in Sydney and you’d like to show your support, join me from 6pm on Friday the 17th June at the FUNdraising party. Keystone Hospitality have been kind enough to support this cause and provide their venue: the Kit&Kaboodle Supper Club in King Cross. With cocktails, sweet beats, food, lucky door prizes, raffles, bongo drums, face paint, dance, sweat… you can let your inner animal run wild!

For ticketing details, drop me an email at [email protected].

Tax deductible donations towards the cause can also be made directly to Greenpeace via my fundraising page:

Hope to see you at the Jungle Party!