In case you missed Lil Dicky’s smash hit “Earth” featuring 25 celebs, our beautiful planet is in need of a little (okay, a lot) of TLC. From cleaning up the oceans to reducing food waste, we rounded up 10 campaigns on a mission to support, protect, and nurture the environment.
It’s easy to get involved, too. Read on for the intel on the groups doing their part to take care of the planet and how you can support their efforts with just a click, like, download, or share.
While the name may be a bit ominous, the message is spot on: we don’t have time to mess around with climate change — and the time to act is now. Like, right now. This movement is a social network for “anyone who wants to be a part of the solution,” according to their website.
There are more than 280 active campaigns and 700,000 global members. They support everything from a coal-free Nigeria to asking IKEA to put climate-friendly labels on their products. It’s designed so you can vote on whatever floats your boat.
How to help: Now you can fight climate change from your own couch in between Netflix shows. Just download the app and start agreeing with campaigns. The more “agrees” there are, the more pressure it puts on companies, organizations, and public figures to make sustainable changes.
Our food systems have drastically changed in recent times — for better and for worse. While smaller-scale farms provide healthy local food throughout the United States, they’re rapidly disappearing.
The slogan of the Farmland Trust is: “No Farms No Food.” Its message is simple: Supporting local food is crucial. This campaign uses donations to protect local farmland, educate communities about the importance of farms, and push legislation to support local food.
Eating locally grown, seasonal produce can be a better choice for the environment, and for your health, too. Most of the time, choosing produce grown at local farms — as in, within a 100-mile radius — can be the greener (and more nutritious) choice.
How to help: Consider buying more locally grown produce, and shop at a farmers’ market near where you live. If you need to find one, consult the United States Department of Agriculture National Farmers Market Directory.
You’ll be helping to eliminate the environmental cost of shipping fruits and veggies across the country, and often around the world. You’ll also be getting fresher, nutritious food for yourself.
Ever tossed a bunch of bananas because they ripened too fast, or dumped a package of expired chicken in the trash? Think.Eat.Save is on a mission to help people become more aware of food waste.
Using initiatives already in place, including the Save Food initiative and Feeding the 5000, plus tons of tips to cut down on food waste, this campaign is about changing people’s habits to spark lifelong change.
Wasted food means wasted water, energy, and land used to produce that food. Plus, there’s increased greenhouse gas emissions from both the production and disposal of that food.
According to Move for Hunger, throwing out one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of beef means also wasting about 50,000 liters (13,200 gallons) of water used to produce that meat.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, every year one-third of the food produced for human consumption in the world — about 1.3 billion tons — gets lost or wasted.
How to help: Ready to think, eat, and save? Try starting a food drive, contacting elected officials, and encouraging your friends and family to conserve food. Get advice from Think.Eat.Serve on how to get started.
4. Slow Food
Slow Food isn’t just a campaign, it’s a way of life. Putting a priority on sustainability by focusing on local food, Slow Food is a global organization, spanning more than 160 countries.
Slow Food teaches people how to make smart choices in food selection. It celebrates food traditions and taking the time to enjoy eating. It tackles tough topics like genetically modified organisms and animal welfare.
UK-based Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) aims to improve the quality of the world’s oceans, beaches, and wildlife. Their contributions range from cleaning up marine litter and sewage pollution to increasing awareness about toxic chemicals and climate change.
SAS educates the public about conserving and protecting the marine environment, with separate campaigns to combat marine litter, improve water quality, and advocate about climate change. SAS also works to change government policy and industry practices for the better.
How to help: Organize a beach cleanup or become a community SAS volunteer here. And no, you don’t have to be a surfer to lend a hand.
Polar-Ice (Polar Interdisciplinary Coordinated Education, that is) connects scientists, educators, and students as they use data and research from the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Its goal is to connect polar scientists with a broader audience to increase the impact of their work.
Polar-Ice gives students in grades 6 to 12 access to polar research. Every year, students participate in Polar-Ice’s Sci-I Project. Using online polar data, they present the results of their polar science research investigations to polar scientists and to fellow students.
Polar-Ice partners with a number of governmental and educational organizations, including Rutgers University, the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences (DMCS), and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.
How to help:Interested in learning about the dwindling sea ice in our world? Getting educated is the first step in tackling threats against our earth. Take a look at Polar-Ice’s Polar Literacy Initiative and learn all about it.
This campaign is a cinch to participate in: For 30 days (and, hopefully longer than that), campaigners pledge to ditch disposable plastic water bottles in favor of regular tap water (served up in reusable bottles or plain ole glasses).
Tap water is far more cost-efficient and earth-friendly than bottled water. According to the watchdog group Food & Water Watch, bottled water is on average 2,000 times more expensive than tap water.
Bottled water also damages the environment far more than tap water. In 2016, the United States used 4 billion pounds of plastic for bottled water production. That equates to 54 million barrels of oil.
One person going disposable-free for a month saves an average of 18 bottles from entering landfills. Purchasing your own reusable bottle and tossing it in a work or gym bag takes no time. Best of all, it’s free to fill up.
8. I Want to Be
It’s time to give trash a new life. In partnership with Keep America Beautiful and the Ad Council, this campaign turns things like water bottles and aluminum cans into new, inventive, and useful objects like park benches, bikes, and siding for sports stadiums.
With short videos that put a theatrical spin on recycling, I Want to Be helps us rethink our garbage and how to repurpose it in the best and most creative way possible.
How to help: Become a recycling expert here and spread the word on social media. You can also find out local recycling information by entering in your zip code.
From Nairobi to New York City, this London-born organization aims to strengthen communities, beautify cities, and improve urban environments worldwide by developing beautiful, utilitarian urban green spaces.
Trees not only bring nature to metropolitan areas, they also help clean the air by absorbing pollutants, providing oxygen, saving water, and growing food.
How to help: You can support Trees for Cities by helping with fundraising events or joining in on a planting day. If you’re interested in participating in a project, you can find out more information here.
10. Charity: Water
Charity: Water is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries. Though it sets out to help people more than the environment, in so doing it gives new life to one of the planet’s most essential natural resources: water.
According to Charity: Water, 1 in 10 people in the world don’t have access to clean water. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that unsafe water (and lack of basic sanitation) can lead to diseases such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, and symptoms such as diarrhea.
In 2019, the United Nations World Water Development Report declared safe drinking water and sanitation to be “basic human rights.”
Charity: Water chooses locations in need around the world to build water and sanitation services. The best part about this charity? One hundred percent of public donations go to funding projects. You can be sure any money you donate will go straight to where it’s needed.
How to help: If you want to help out with one of the Charity: Water’s 44,007 water projects to support more than 10 million people in 27 countries, find out where you can pitch in here. You’ll see where every donated dollar goes, with photos and GPS coordinates of the projects.