nonprofits to know about
There are many different kinds of nonprofit organizations that support different environmental needs. Some have local chapters you can join where you can meet like minded people and volunteer together. Others support changes towards legislation, consumer buying habits and more. Check out our list below of 11 nonprofits we chose to highlight. Did yours not make this list? Share and comment below which organization is your favorite!
Established in 1892, the Sierra Club has been part of many campaigns and legislation to protect wild lands. Specifically, they helped pass the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act. One of their major initiatives is retiring America’s coal plants and moving the country toward clean energy sources. The Sierra Club also offers outings that give people the chance to experience environment-friendly travel. The website makes it easy to find a local chapter near you.
Wildlife Conservation Society
More commonly known, protecting wildlife and its habitats is the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) mission. The organization funds scientists who study ecosystems in the environment. These scientists find out what threats they face and what we can do to preserve them. WCS has four zoos and one aquarium in New York (which is where we are based). These operate with the goal of saving endangered species and learning more about wildlife. The nonprofit works with governments, communities, businesses, and indigenous people to protect wildlife all over the world. It also fights to pass and protect legislation that conserves animal habitats.
Environmental Defense Club
Also known as EDF, they focus on environmental issues that affect people. These issues include climate change, pollution, and the need for sustainable food production and ocean conservation. The EDF helps shape economic markets, partners with businesses, creates government policies, and uses scientific research to work on solutions to our current problems. For example, the EDF worked with politicians from both parties to create the Lautenberg Act, which President Obama signed in 2016. The act reforms old chemical safety law. This helps make sure products we buy are safer for us and the environment.
Defenders of Wildlife
The Defenders of Wildlife is a voice for wild animals against big oil and other corporations with agendas. Defenders keeps a close eye on government policies that may cause harm to the environment these animals depend on to survive. Right now, the nonprofit is watching the HELP for Wildlife Act. This act takes wolves in the Great Lakes region and Wyoming off the endangered wildlife list. It also attempts to weaken the Endangered Species Act. The Defenders of Wildlife also help promote coexistence strategies for humans and wildlife. The nonprofit looks for ways to fight climate change, too.
World Wildlife Fund
The WWF works in about 100 countries to conserve forests, fresh water, oceans, wildlife, food, and climate for both animals and humans. One of the WWF’s main goals is to educate people about the impact we have on our environment and what we can do to conserve it. The WWF also offers a fellowship to students getting graduate degrees in conservation-related fields. There are chapters in local communities and in the global marketplace.
Each day, 123,000 acres of forest get destroyed. The Rainforest Alliance aims to preserve forests and their ecosystems and help people find sustainable ways to use land and produce food. The nonprofit recognizes that people rely on land and forests to grow food and make a living. But it also believes we can do that without causing harm to the environment. Rainforest Alliance works with the agriculture, forestry, and tourism industries to change their practices. The nonprofit also offers sustainability training around the world.
World Resources Institute
We all depend on the planet’s natural resources to survive, but humans have been draining them at a rate that’s not sustainable. The World Resources Institute (WRI) conducts its own research to collect data to help us move toward sustainability. The nonprofit then uses this information to educate and influence governments, businesses, and the community. The WRI has projects all over the world. These projects help countries use clean energy sources, conserve forests and water, reduce waste, and lessen our impact on climate change.
(CI) works to protect nature for wildlife and humans. CI believes that nature doesn’t need people — but we need its ecosystems for food, jobs, fresh water and air, and our health. If we want to have a future, we need to learn to be sustainable. The organization thinks long term and proposes solutions across government and private sectors. Some issues CI focuses on include making coffee production more sustainable and keeping an eye on sharks in the oceans.
International Institute of Sustainable Development
Often, calls for economic development can conflict with sustainability goals. The goal of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is to bring the two together without sacrificing one in favor of the other. The organization uses its research to work with policymakers and private businesses to reform policies and build sustainable solutions. IISD also works on international trade. One example is North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations.
Rocky Mountain Institute
Our collection and burning of fossil fuels is one of the main contributors to the climate change we’re seeing today. RMI works to move the world away from fossil fuel demand and toward sustainable, low-carbon energy sources instead. The RMI provides information and resources that help businesses and other institutions around the world save energy and reduce pollution. For example, its programs in China and on islands with small economies guide both toward clean energy.
Believes sustainable solutions can be put into action by using economies as a driving force behind them. The nonprofit encourages consumers to spend on green products and services. It also encourages businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices. Some of Green America’s successful initiatives include ending True Value and Walmart’s use of bee-killing pesticides, getting a handful of food companies to end the use of GMOs in products, and helping magazines switch to recycled paper.