Giving Green in 2019: A Guide to Earth-Friendly Charities

A fresh year is upon us, and with it come the inevitable New Year’s Resolutions. And while it’s great to make some of these resolutions about your own health and self-improvement, it’s also a great time to think about the health and improvement of our plant Earth as well.

Why is Green Giving so important in 2019?

Environmental health has always been an important cause, but the recent United Nations report on climate change has really helped to open the world’s eyes to the risks we face if we don’t start prioritizing more eco-friendly practices. It’s more urgent than ever to understand the huge environmental footprints our modern lives leave behind, and that every contribution — be it financial or volunteer time — towards environmental causes can make a difference towards progress.

If you care about the future of the world we live in and are hoping to make a financial donation or volunteer your time in 2019, here are 6 earth-friendly organizations and charities who could use your help.

Sierra Club

From city parks to forests of redwoods, from the air we breathe to the water we drink, everyone depends on a vibrant and healthy world.

Founded in 1892, the Sierra Club is one of the biggest (+3.5 million members) and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the United States. Organized on both a national and local level, Sierra Club has played significant roles in passing some critical acts, like the Clean Air Act, Wilderness Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and have helped to retire 276 coal plants and established 439 parks and monuments.

You can join as a Member (your membership fee is classified as a donation), or you can volunteer through your local chapter to really impact the environmental issues specific to where you live.

David Suzuki Foundation

The David Suzuki Foundation is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada and “empowers people to take action in their communities on the environmental challenges we collectively face”. They collaborate with various non-profit and community organizations through individual donors, foundation grants and corporate support, and they are currently focusing on key sustainability projects in the topics of Climate Solutions, Biodiversity, Environmental Rights, Oceans and Cities.

The foundation is looking for both financial and volunteer support, as well as petition support on some of their active campaigns.

Kiva

Kiva is an international nonprofit organization, headquartered in San Francisco, with a mission to “connect people through lending to alleviate poverty”. Individuals can search through active fundraising campaigns and lend money to borrowers worldwide who are starting or growing their own businesses, access clean energy, or further their education.

100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors.

You can search through Kiva’s “eco-friendly” category to find loan opportunities that will give people access to products that reduce pollution and provide sustainable energy, and support businesses that promote recycling.

Rainforest Alliance

From fighting deforestation and climate change to building economic opportunities and better working conditions for rural people, the Rainforest Alliance’s mission is to solve urgent environmental and social challenges. Over the past 30 years, the Rainforest Alliance has worked around the world to bring measurable benefits to forests, communities and wildlife: they have trained over 1.3 million people in earth-friendly land management practices, have contributed to over 95 million acres being under sustainable management and there are over 1.3 million farms using the Rainforest Alliance’s methods, designed to protect ecosystems, workers and local communities.

In order for farmed products to be certified by the Rainforest Alliance, producers must meet strict criteria and sustainability standards. You can search their products database to find these “Rainforest Alliance Certified” rainforest products, such as chocolate, coffee, tea, or bananas.

You can support the Rainforest Alliance’s many causes through charitable donations.

Ocean Conservatory

The Ocean Conservatory creates “science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it”. For over 30 years, Ocean Conservatory works with millions of volunteers around the world, and of all ages, on the International Coastal Cleanup — in fact, since 1985, over 12 million volunteers have collected and cleaned up over 249 million pounds of trash from the world’s coastlines.

Tackling the problem of plastic in the ocean begins on land. Reduction in plastics use, especially of single-use disposable products, and the collection and recycling of plastics in developing countries can help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that enters the ocean.

Ocean Conservancy is taking action, working to stop the flow of trash at the source before it has a chance to reach the water and harm our marine life or ruin our beaches and depress our local economies.

You can help take action too, in a number of ways: joining their Skip the Straw pledge, making a financial contribution to the cause, or by volunteering for one of the annual International Ocean Cleanup events.

Earthjustice

We’re here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Outspoken as the “lawyers of the environment”, Earthjustice has 133 full-time lawyers working on 616+ currently active cases — free of charge. As the nation’s largest nonprofit environmental law organization, Earthjustice leverages their expertise and commitment to fight for justice and advance the promise of a healthy world for all. They represent every client free of charge, pursing three key goals:

The Wild: Our nation’s laws protect the magnificent natural spaces and wildlife we have inherited from previous generations. Earthjustice enforces those laws to protect what we know to be irreplaceable wildlife and wild places, for this and future generations.

Healthy Communities: We fight for a future where children can breathe clean air, no matter where they live; where products in our homes are free of toxic chemicals; and where all communities are safer, healthier places to live and work.

Clean Energy & a Healthy Climate: Earthjustice’s legal victories strengthen the rise of clean energy, laying the groundwork for the systemic change we must see. At stake is nothing less than our children’s — and our planet’s — future.

Supporting Earthjustice with a financial donation means you’re helping their attorneys hold accountable those who break and endanger environmental laws.

Hopefully some of these charities appeal to your passions and you can find an opportunity to contribute to the health of our planet — via online activism, volunteer time or financial contributions — in 2019 and going forward.

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