With all the craziness going on in the news lately, there hasn't been a lot of talk about climate change. But it's still there, and it's still having a huge effect on the health of the planet and those living on it. From extreme weather events to animals losing their habitats, climate change is slowly and progressively getting worse and becoming more dangerous. As a teenager, it may be daunting to think about. However, no matter how insignificant you think your contribution will be, every little bit we can do to heal the planet helps. Here are five amazing organizations you can get involved with or donate to in order to help fight against global warming and climate change. (At the end of this post, you'll also find a list of Daily Do's, which are small everyday things you can do to help save the planet.)
1. OneTreePlanted- OneTreePlanted is an amazing organization that plants millions of trees around the world to combat climate change and world hunger. To get involved you can become a tree ambassador, shop from them, donate, subscribe to their newsletter, start a fundraiser to plant trees, or even get your school involved to help them out. They have done amazing work- you can learn more about it here.
2. Oceana- Oceana is, as you might imagine, an organization devoted to protecting our oceans and marine wildlife. They've been involved in numerous initiatives and have gotten lots of legislation that directly benefits the oceans and marine animals passed. They do work all around the world, so if you're international, you can easily get involved. Support them by donating, subscribing to their mailing list, promoting their campaigns on social media, adopting a marine animal through their website, and much more! You can find more information about this great organization here.
3. 350.org- 350.org is an organization that works to build renewable energy and lessen our dependency on fossil fuels for cleaner air and a healthier planet. They started in 2009 in the US as a tiny organization, and have grown into a worldwide movement, becoming one of the most influential climate change organizations in the world. You can help them by organizing, promoting them on social media, joining or starting one of their local groups, learning about their campaigns in your area, or simply donating to help fund the cause. Learn more about this wonderful group here.
4. The Coalition for Rainforest Nations- The Coalition for Rainforest Nations, or CFRN, is made up of a group of developing countries, which have come together in an incredible way to help promote the health of rainforests and decrease CO2 emissions. They work with local people as well as donors to help keep rainforests healthy and thriving. When you visit their website, you'll see that they have achieved remarkable results, and have greatly decreased CO2 emissions in certain areas. To help, you can shop, donate, and promote their initiatives through social media or other means. To learn more about this hugely successful and admirable organization, click here.
5. Clean Air Fund- The Clean Air Fund works to combat air pollution in specific regions across the world. As emissions from factories are increasing, many people in developing countries have been suffering from diseases that can be traced back to polluted air. The Clean Air Fund believes that clean air is a basic human right. They've been supporting clean air solutions, helping to pass clean air legislation, raising funds, and much more. To help them out, you can promote their mission to help them spread the word about their clean air movement. To get more information about this awesome cause, click here.
The Little Things:
Now that we've covered a few amazing organizations you can support to make a difference, it's time to go over a few of the smaller things you can do to make an impact and help combat climate change.
Visit the Greater Good website and click to donate and preserve rainforests, help animals in need, or help our oceans.
Make one of the aforementioned climate change organizations the beneficiary from your purchases on Amazon Smile.
When you order something online, ask for less plastic packaging. If you're ordering multiple things, you can ask websites like Amazon to deliver all of your items in the same box on the same day to save cardboard and energy.
When you go to a store or grocery store, bring your own reusable bags with you.
Try challenging yourself to take a shorter shower. Don't leave taps running unnecessarily, and use appliances that consume huge amounts of water (dishwasher, washing machine, etc.) a bit less often.
Stay away from store-bought artificial fertilizers for your lawn. When they get into rainwater runoff and get into bays and oceans, they cause algae blooms, which are detrimental to marine life.
RECYCLE. It's not that difficult and it makes a huge impact if you do it right.
Instead of turning the heat up, wear extra layers.
If nobody is in a room, don't leave the light on. The same goes for the TV or any other household electronic appliances.
If you ever light a bonfire indoors or outdoors, put it out and be responsible. If you smoke, make sure your cigarettes are completely crushed/snuffed out before throwing them away. One small mistake or miscalculation when it comes to a fire can be deadly.
Don't litter! 99% of the time, there's a trash can or recycling bin nearby.
Whenever you go to a park or a natural area, take a bag with you to collect litter. (Of course, if the item looks dangerous or unhygienic, don't touch it with your bare hands! Wear gloves or carry a trashpicker.)
Try walking places instead of driving everywhere. It's healthier for yourself and the environment. If you need to get somewhere far away, try carpooling or taking public transportation. (Of course, this is not recommended during the pandemic.)
Educate people! Promote climate change initiatives on social media, tell your friends and peers about the effect climate change is having, donate to causes, join causes, contact politicians to get legislation passed, and never stop working for a healthier planet! Change starts from within.