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8 Nonprofits Championing Environmental Sustainability on Earth Day


By Jess Woloszyn

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Reading Time: 7 minutes

Environmental sustainability is an ongoing movement, and Earth Day is an excellent reminder of our role. We’re acknowledging eight nonprofits leading the charge with dedicated fundraising campaigns as communities unite to support a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable planet.

You’ll find their mission statements, creative fundraising examples, and how to connect with each of them below.

But first, let’s level-set on this international day of action’s importance.

When Is Earth Day?

Earth Day 2021 falls on Thursday, April 22, for most countries around the world. We celebrate Earth Day just as winter is transitioning to spring, a tradition dating back to 1970. In recent years, Earth Day has evolved into Earth Month to continue the celebrations for a span of 30 days.

Why Do We Celebrate Earth Day?

Earth Day brings together 1 billion individuals across 190 countries to support the modern environmental sustainability movement. Each year, individuals worldwide take the opportunity to do better for our planet with actions such as planting trees, cleaning local communities, and raising awareness for environmental causes through peer-to-peer fundraising pages.

The global COVID-19 pandemic didn’t slow the momentum one bit. When our lives shifted around social distancing rules, our appreciation for the environment bloomed. The outdoors became our main source of activity and entertainment, reminding us that we’re surrounded by life even in isolation.

ICYMI: There’s been a lot of environmental milestones recently.

The Current State of Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is our collective responsibility to protect our ecosystems and preserve our natural resources. The actions we take today will support and protect the well-being of future generations.

Snapshot: Today’s Environmental Sustainability Stats

  • About 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste was produced globally in 2019 alone, but only 11.4 percent gets recycled
  • Around 37% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food production, while the U.S. wastes 40% of all food produced
  • Annually, 154 million pounds of plastic is incinerated and releases toxins that end up in our food and water supply

Actions that support environmental sustainability include setting new environmental regulations, developing technology through renewable energy, and leaning into eco-friendly living. Earth Day is a great time to support these initiatives, in addition to the year-round work that nonprofit organizations commit their mission to achieve for us all.

Environmental Sustainability in Action on Earth Day

1. Clean Energy Leadership Institute

Organization Mission: The Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) believes in creating a diverse community of change-makers across sectors and disciplines to drive an equitable, decarbonized, and resilient energy ecosystem. CELI does this work by equipping emerging leaders and professionals with the skills and expertise to lead the transition to a clean energy economy.

How CELI Takes Action on Earth Day

Stretch with CELI: Yoga for Clean Energy is a one-hour, virtual Hatha yoga session taught by CELI alum and staff members as a free event. The event gives passionate supporters a way to breathe and reflect. That time to recharge is needed to continue to do the important work of driving a resilient, decarbonized, and equitable energy ecosystem. CELI also hosts an annual 5K Run for Clean Energy every spring to support their mission.


Connect with CELI:

Hashtags to follow: #EnergyLeaders

Twitter: @Energy_Leaders

Facebook: @CleanEnergyLeaders

Instagram: @energyleaders

2. California State Parks Foundation

Organization Mission: The California State Parks Foundation delivers innovative solutions for an excellent park system by facilitating park improvements, inspiring stewardship, supporting partners, advocating for sound policies, and connecting people to 280 state parks to enjoy now and for generations to come.

How California State Parks Foundation Takes Action on Earth Day

Earth Day Climate Action encourages everyone and anyone to celebrate Earth Day by becoming a steward of their local state park. The organization calls on passionate park champions across the state to visit their local parks, playgrounds, neighborhoods, and backyards to clean up.

All participants receive a virtual Earth Day kit with a face mask, trash bags, information to clean up litter in the local community, and some fun stickers. California State Park’s Virtual Earth Day Report helps them track their progress and record their impact for prizes.


Connect with California State Park Foundation:

Hashtags to follow: #CalParksEarthDay, #OptOutside

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @calparks and @REI

3. SF Parks Alliance

Organization Mission: SF Parks Alliance champions, transforms, and activates parks and public spaces as the only 501(c)3 citywide nonprofit dedicated to this work in San Francisco. They believe everyone deserves access to safe and welcoming public spaces, regardless of where they live. That’s because they’ve seen the difference that community-focused public spaces can make.

How SF Parks Alliance Takes Action on Earth Day

Park usage reached an all-time high in 2020. That’s why SF Parks Alliance raises money for the parks, playgrounds, and public spaces that San Francisco residents and visitors rely on. Gifts donated through the organization’s dedicated donation page celebrate parks on Earth Day 2021 and well beyond it. All donors have an option to give to the cause all year through regular and recurring donations.


Connect with SF Parks Alliance on social media:

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @SFParksAlliance

4. WildAid

Organization Mission: WildAid is committed to reducing global consumption of wildlife products and increasing local support for conservation efforts. The organization’s unique approach fights against illegal wildlife trade by reducing demand for wildlife products with world-class communications campaigns. Each campaign supports stronger policies and improves enforcement while also inspiring public support for stronger conservation, including sustainable choices to protect wildlife habitats.

How WildAid Takes Action on Earth Day:

WildAid’s Protect Wildlife, Prevent Pandemics campaign is their way of accelerating the efforts around permanent bushmeat bans in the midst of the growing attention on wildlife trade health risks. WildAid uses a proven track record of success with a unique model that will support anti-wildlife consumption and anti-poaching in Asia and Africa, with the support of donations and awareness. The fundraising campaign allows anyone in the world to partner in this mission and saves millions of animals in the process.


Connect with WildAid:

Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Youtube: @wildaid

5. I Love a Clean San Diego County

Organization Mission: I Love A Clean San Diego County leads and inspires the community to conserve and enhance the environment. The organization leads by example, outreach, and local involvement to help residents and businesses build a zero waste, litter-free, and environmentally engaged lifestyle.

How I Love a Clean San Diego Takes Action on Earth Day

Because We Love Where We Live allows donors to play a vital role in the fundraising efforts that provide environmental education to thousands of students. Over 30,000 volunteers remove 400,000 pounds of pollution from communities around San Diego County, waterways, and coastline annually with the donations this campaign contributes. Donors can give once or provide an ongoing gift to I Love a Clean San Diego on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis.


Connect with I Love a Clean San Diego:

Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram: @ilovecleansd

6. National Forest Foundation

Organization Mission: The National Forest Foundation aims to engage Americans in promoting our National Forests and Grasslands’ health and public enjoyment. They are the leading organization inspiring personal and meaningful connections to our environment through forest conservation efforts and responsible recreation.

How National Forest Foundation Takes Action on Earth Day

The National Forest Foundation matches every donation made through the month of April with newly planted trees, up to 75,000 trees. Each dollar donated will result in two trees planted on a National Forest when the donation is matched. This is only one portion of their greater commitment to plant 50 million trees on National Forests in need of reforestation.


Connect with National Forest Foundation:

Facebook: @nationalforestfoundation

Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram: @nationalforests

Youtube: @natlforests

7. Southern Environmental Law Center

Organization Mission: The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) believes in everyone’s basic right to clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment. More than 30 years of legal expertise, community connections, and deep appreciation of the region’s natural resources are what makes SELC ready to tackle our country’s greatest environmental challenges, starting in our own backyard.

How Southern Environmental Law Center Takes Action on Earth Day

The Southern Environmental Law Center is leading the fight for a healthy environment for all by using its Earth Day donation to confront climate change. The organization’s actions help move the South toward a cleaner, more sustainable future. Any donor can contribute to Earth Day’s effort or spread their contributions throughout the year for an even more significant impact. Additionally, SELC offers year-long learning with a podcast where people can learn from women fighting environmental injustices.


Connect with Southern Environmental Law Center:

Podcast: Broken Ground

Hashtags to follow: #BrokenGround

Instagram: @southernenvironment

Twitter: @selc_org

8. Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Organization Mission: The Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) supports our right to a clean and healthy environment to live, work, learn, play, and thrive in. The organization serves as a collective voice to develop an alternative agenda for environmental, social, and economic justice that brings fundamental changes to economic and social institutions. Their work prioritizes public good over profit and promotes our right to a decent, safe, affordable quality of life, specifically within Asian immigrant and refugee communities.

How Asian Pacific Environmental Network Takes Action on Earth Day:

This Earth Day, the Asian Pacific Environmental Network is raising money to support grassroots leadership in immigrant communities on the frontlines of fighting climate change. All donations support a world in which no one has to live in fear of eviction or climate pollution from Big Oil. This environmental justice movement calls on the support of donors everywhere to stand up for environmental justice together.


Connect with Asian Pacific Environmental Network:

Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook: @apen4ej

The work of environmental sustainability is never done, which we see from many of these organizations that offer a recurring giving option. To learn more about how you can create the same year-long impact for your cause, download your free copy of the Ultimate Guide to Recurring Giving.

The Ultimate Guide to Recurring Giving

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