People are uniting around the world to protect the environment and work to mitigate the effects of climate change. One of the best ways to get involved is to donate to or join environmental nonprofits.
There are so many organizations to support that it can feel overwhelming to know where to begin. Many small, local charities and large corporations ask for your time, skills, and donations.
Why are Environmental Organizations Important?
The planet is experiencing a dramatic change in its climate. This is happening at a pace that has not been seen in the earth’s history.
2021 was the 6th warmest year on record, with all previous years since 2013 also being the warmest. This is because of an increase in greenhouse gases which has been increasing in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.
We have witnessed the impact of this rise in temperature first-hand. In 2021, there was a sharp increase in extreme weather events worldwide. Ice sheets in the Arctic and Antarctica decrease by billions of tons yearly. Sea levels are rising twice as fast in the last 20 years than in the previous century.
This is why it is essential to support nonprofit organizations that are protecting the environment. They are working to change human behavior so that we can limit the harmful effects of climate change.
The 10 Best Nonprofit Environmental Organizations:
When you support these charities, you are helping to protect the environment, enforce change, and create a better future.
1. Rainforest Alliance
This innovative nonprofit works in 70 countries to protect rainforests through sustainable farming. They protect land and make sure it is farmed using ethical techniques. The products grown on this land are given a certification to let buyers know that they are choosing a product that protects the rainforest.
Rainforest Alliance is working to find solutions to the problems caused by farming that drive climate change. They collaborate with farmers, local communities, companies, and consumers. They focus on finding long-term solutions to agriculture that help Indigenous people and local communities.
They have supported and trained over 4 million farm workers for the last 35 years. This is an excellent organization to help; they are driven by data and focused on equality.
This US company, formed in 2008, began as a small organization promoting clean energy. They want the world to move away from using fossil fuels and instead focus on renewable alternatives like wind or solar. The 350 parts of their name relate to the “safe” amount of carbon dioxide that we can have in our atmosphere.
They promote activism for the environment by connecting local people. They provide opportunities to connect with other people in your area who are also interested in protecting the environment. You can donate to this organization and join their work on projects.
3. Sierra Club
This organization started with a small group wanting to protect the Sierra Nevada mountains. It now works worldwide to protect ecosystems, wild places, and resources.
Sierra Club has been successful in protecting 439 parks and monuments in the US. They also campaign for changes to laws that protect the environment and have helped 281 coal power plants to work towards using clean energy.
This group aims to connect a diverse range of people with nature and create a healthy, connected community. This is another organization that you can donate to and join to meet like-minded people.
4. Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth is an international network of organizations. They are working to change political and economic systems across the world to protect the environment.
This nonprofit is committed to helping the planet by promoting clean energy in a way that empowers local communities. This includes advocacy work to change public perception in the media and influence policymakers.
Friends of the Earth provide ways to donate to the causes they support. They have also created a system to connect people to act locally.
This nonprofit environmental law organization is dedicated to helping the planet. They are working to promote clean energy techniques and combat climate change.
The organization has 200 attorneys working at every level of the judicial system. They represent clients for free and are always in support of the environment. Recently they helped to protect grizzly bears in Yellowstone by overturning a decision in court. This has saved the delicate ecosystem and important biodiversity of the park.
Earthjustice is rated as a very ethical, committed, and transparent organization.
6. Sea Shepherd
Sea Shepherd enforces marine conservation laws through direct action like surveillance. They provide boats to patrol seas with crews, fuel, and the necessary expertise.
They help governments to arrest people who break marine laws. This includes detaining illegal trawling vessels and managing ocean areas to protect endangered species.
Sea Shepherd aims to encourage governments to take control of their own ocean patrols and law enforcement.
7. The Nature Conservancy
This nonprofit focuses on limiting the effects of climate change and reducing biodiversity loss worldwide. They work to protect the environment by collaborating with local and Indigenous people.
They have bold ambitions, including conserving 1.6 billion acres of land and 10 billion acres of the ocean by 2030.
The Nature Conservancy has a network of protected preserves that you can visit and donate to. They also have programs where they plant trees to store carbon and work directly with companies to find renewable energy solutions.
8. Evergreen Action
This leading organization aims to protect the environment in the US by influencing and advancing environmental policy. The team includes top-level scientists, community leaders, and policymakers.
They are committed to protecting the environment and want to create millions of jobs in environment-focused industries, like renewable energy.
Donations go directly towards creating a blueprint for a US policy that fights climate change.
9. 5 Gyres Institute
This nonprofit is a leader in the fight against plastic pollution. 5 Gyres Institute is dedicated to promoting individual and collective action against plastic waste.
A group of scientists formed the organization. Their work focuses on scientific research about plastic pollution and how best to engage with local people to drive change.
They co-published the first global research paper about the amount of plastic pollution in our oceans and are campaigning for sustainable and realistic solutions.
10. Earth Guardians
An essential part of protecting the environment is ensuring this will continue with future generations. Earth Guardians encourage young people across the world to create solutions for the biggest environmental problems.
They help to connect leaders and activists worldwide to drive climate action and promote a protected future. The organization promotes local environmental projects and fights legal battles for the planet. They also work to engage with young people by supporting environmental art, music, and storytelling.
Donations are essential to help, but you can also join their action events through peaceful activism.
Final Thoughts on Nonprofit Environmental Organizations
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are many more organizations you can support. An excellent way to help is to choose organizations or projects that are close to home. This could include joining grassroots work in your local neighborhood or campaigning to change policies in your country.
Donating and supporting a range of charities that you feel connected to is essential. Whoever you choose to support, make sure you have a passionate interest in their work.
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