13 Charities to Consider Giving to on Earth Day

It's time to give back to the place we call home.

13 Charities to Consider Giving to on Earth Day
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Every Earth Day, you probably find yourself wondering how you can help our planet. The good news is, there are countless ways to give back. You could plant some trees. You could pick up litter. Or you can do what do-gooders have done forever: You could whip out your checkbook. By donating to the world’s best environmental charities, you’ll help curb greenhouse gas emissions, save the forests, and create a lasting, safe environment for people and animals alike. After all, we all call this planet home—and it’s the only one we’ve got.

1
The Conservation Fund

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Founded in 1985, The Conservation Fund is a non-profit organization with one simple, albeit expansive, task: protecting more than seven million acres of land in the United States, including parks, forests, deserts, waterways, and more. In 2005, the group launched Go Zero, an initiative dedicated to offsetting climate change by planting trees. Ever since, they’ve planted more than 10 million trees and restored more than 32,000 acres of land.

By donating to The Conservation Fund, you’ll be happy to know your money is being put to good use: A whopping 97 percent of their funds are allocated toward the stated mission—the highest rate out of any charity in the field. As a result, The Conservation Fund received top marks from Charity Navigator.

You can make your donation here.

2
Earthjustice

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Earthjustice is the United States’ largest non-profit environmental law organization. They’re dedicated to leveraging unrivaled legal expertise toward litigating environmental issues. The organization was founded in 1971 to combat Walt Disney’s plans to develop a ski resort in Mineral King Valley, which just so happened to be in Sequoia National Park. With their landmark lawsuit, Earthjustice not only blocked any future developments on the land, but also set a precedent granting citizens the right to sue for environmental damages.

You can make your donation here.

3
350.org

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International environmental organization 350.org is dedicated to combating climate change by reducing the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration to the safe level of 350 parts per million. (We currently sit at 400 parts per million.)

Founded in 2007, 350.org’s main mission is to take the fight to the fossil fuel industry. One of their biggest victories happened in 2015, when they helped persuade former President Barack Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

You can make your donation here.

4
Alliance for the Great Lakes

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The Alliance for the Great Lakes is the oldest environmental organization fighting to restore and protect the world’s largest freshwater resource: the American Great Lakes. (Together, the five lakes account for 21 percent of fresh water on the planet’s surface.)

Formed in 1970 as the Lake Michigan Federation, the organization rebranded in 2006 to further their fight to include all the Great Lakes. One of their biggest accomplishments came in 2003, when the organization formed the Adopt-a-Beach program, which facilitates volunteer beach clean-up around the Great Lakes every year.

You can make your donation here.

5
Earth Day Network

Planet Earth Scientific Discoveries

Every year, Earth Day events are coordinated in more than 190 countries by the Earth Day Network. Spawned from the first Earth Day celebrations in 1970, the network is an environmental movement dedicated to educating and inspiring citizens across the world. Through their efforts, Earth Day Network has registered more than one million environmental voters, created the Green Ribbon Schools Program (to recognize schools that reduce environmental impact and costs), and has even been honored by Pope Francis.

You can make your donation here.

6
Pure Earth

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Based in New York City, Pure Earth is a not-for-profit organization working to solve pollution problems in lower income countries. In poor communities, there are more than nine million deaths globally attributed to disease-causing pollution. Since 1999, Pure Earth has cleaned up more than 120 locations and they need our help to make that number grow.

You can make your donation here.

7
The National Park Foundation

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The National Park Foundation is the official non-profit partner and charity for the entire United States National Park Service. Charted by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation has been dedicated to funding the protection and upkeep of 418 national park sites across the country. But that’s not all this foundation has done.

Beyond those preservation efforts, the National Park Foundation has created a program called Every Kid in a Park, which helps remove cost barriers in connecting all children to America’s public lands and waters by offering transportation grants.

You can make your donation here.

8
Panthera

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Looking beyond land and water conservation efforts, Panthera is the only organization on the planet solely dedicated to protecting the world’s 40 wild cat species. With 16 wild cat species considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically-endangered, Panthera’s efforts are not in vain. The organization has created worldwide programs including Tigers Forever, Journey of the Jaguar, and the Snow Leopard Program. They’ve also funded the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University.

You can make your donation here.

9
Oceana

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Oceana is a non-profit dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. The organization was created after a 1999 study showed that less than 0.5 percent of resources used by United States environmental groups were put toward ocean advocacy—a small amount for something that covers 71 percent of the globe.

Some of Oceana’s campaigns include ending the shark fin trade, halting the use of seismic airguns to find oil and gas (which damages the ocean floor), and reducing the accidental catch of non-target fish and wildlife within commercial fishing.

You can make your donation here.

10
The Union of Concerned Scientists

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Formed in 1969 by faculty and students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Union of Concerned Scientists is a non-profit science advocacy organization dedicated to the lofty goal of making the planet a healthier and safer world. The organization is a mix of members from the private sector, as well as professional government scientists. To ensure its independence, the Union of Concerned Scientists does not accept corporate or government grants. Instead, it’s funded solely by foundations and individuals like us.

You can make your donation here.

11
The Rainforest Alliance

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With operations in more than 70 countries, the Rainforest Alliance is an organization that works to conserve biodiversity. One of their biggest pushes has been transforming land-use practices via their sustainable certification programs. Rainforest Alliance’s sustainable agriculture program hosts training programs for farmers. Then, they award the Rainforest Alliance Certified Seal to products—coffee, tea, bananas, chocolate, and, really, anything else you’ll find in the rainforest—that meet their sustainable crop standards.

You can make your donation here.

12
The Natural Resources Defense Council

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Named “one of the nation’s most powerful environmental groups” by the New York Times, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) works as a “safeguard” for planet Earth. The non-profit was founded in 1970 and is United States-based, but internationally focused.

They oversee various environmental programs including the Climate and Clean Air Program, the Save the Bees Initiative, and the Latino Outreach Program, which works to inform and involve Spanish speakers in environmental issues. The NRDC has also helped implement and enforce environmental litigation in the United States, like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

You can make your donation here.

13
Trees for the Future

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Trees for the Future marries conservation efforts with improving the livelihoods of impoverished farmers. Since its inception in 1989, the non-profit charity has planted more than 115 million trees in more than a dozen countries, revitalizing thousands of acres of soil. Trees for the Future also offers a carbon footprint calculator and program for you to offset your own footprint. And for more eco-friendly habits to adopt, Here’s How to Help the Earth if You’re in Your 50s.

You can make your donation here.

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