It’s April 22nd - Earth Day!
For 24 hours Facebook profile photos will become breathtaking shots of Earth, countless people will bike to work and thousands of donations will be made to environmental organizations. But, what about the other 364 days of the year? Do advocates put Planet Earth on the backburner starting April 23rd?
Of course not. The list of environmental causes is just seemingly endless. It can be overwhelming for a single person to navigate which issues to focus on. Even the most seasoned advocates need a little direction.
So, we want to dedicate this Earth Day to the organizations that are helping advocates focus on the most pertinent issues affecting our planet. Over 700 organizations use Change.org to drive their year-round work to keep our oceans clean, our forests verdant and our skies blue.
Here are 9 organizations that inspire us to celebrate Earth Day year-round:
World Wildlife Fund has successfully kept Soco International from conducting oil exploration in the century-old Virunga National Park. With over 290,000 signatures, WWF and their supporters were able to urge US Congress and the State Department to condemn Soco and leave Virunga unscathed. Virunga has been a National Park since 1925, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1979 and will continue to be free of oil development.
Pew Charitable Trusts is a nonprofit dedicated to informing the public and improving policy. With a wing dedicated to environmental protection, Pew Charitable Trusts set their sights on Wyoming's gorgeous open grasslands, home to over 350 unique species including the majestic Sage-Grouse. The bird’s population has been drastically plummeting as more than half of the grassland has been lost to development. Pew Charitable Trusts and over 150 thousand singers convinced the Bureau of Land Management to protect millions of remaining acres from development.
The Edison Wetlands Association is New Jersey’s leader in toxic waste site cleanup, restoration and conservation of environmental resources. Recently, along with more than 4,000 supporters they were able to bring the US EPA to dedicate $79 million to remove all toxic slag and sediment from Raritan Bay. It will take time, but this is the first of many important steps to returning the beautiful Raritan Bay into a natural haven for all.
As an outdoor footwear company, Keen Inc gets a special mention in this list of organizations. They have taken it upon themselves to convince the US Department of the Interior to designate 3 million acres of America’s parkland as National Monuments for protection. Five parklands have been identified as worthy candidates for this status, and with Castle Mountains and Mojave Trails officially granted status in February of this year, Keen and their 10,000 supporters are almost halfway to victory.
As an organization dedicated to clean energy and conservation, the Union of Concerned Scientists is deeply involved in climate change advocacy. Part of this is protecting communities at higher risk of floods, storms and other natural disasters as a result of increasing temperatures. Many effects of climate change are now irreversible and the Union of Concerned Scientists and their 11,000 supporters are petitioning the US Department of Housing and Department of Urban Development to get ahead of the ball and protect would-be victims all over the United States.
The United States is dotted with thousands of historic landmarks and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s mission is to protect them. Currently the National Trust for Historic Preservation are working to save the James River from electrification by Virginia Dominion Power. Over 300 years of American History are at stake to 17 transmission lines measured at 295 feet each. But with known alternative solutions that wouldn’t put the James at risk, NTHP is gathering support from the community to force Virginia Dominion Power to seek other means of power.
Obviously our list wouldn’t be complete without the Earth Day Network, a direct product of the first Earth Day and the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement. The Earth Day Network is concerned that President Obama won’t sign the historic Paris Climate Agreement, a necessary step if the accords are to receive 55 countries representing 55% of global emissions. Country leaders are meeting at the UN this Earth Day and with 14,000 supporters behind them, the Earth Day Network is calling for the United States to set an example and commit to adopting an environmental treaty for the future.
Save Stanford Steelhead’s sole mission is to save the endangered steelhead trout by removing the Searsville Dam in San Francisquito watershed. The 125-year old dam diverts water from to Stanford University’s golf course, and as a result cuts steelhead trout off from miles of usable habitat and deprives downhill areas of sediment and natural debris. Over 3,000 advocates have backed Save Stanford Steelhead in calling for the removal of the dam.
With Brookline, Cambridge and 14 other cities in Massachusetts banning plastic bags, Ban the Bag Boston are calling on Bostonians to do the same. The benefits of a city ordinance are clear: fewer bags in places other than the recycling.
And this list isn’t exhaustive. Every day environmental organizations are rallying the support of dedicated environmentalists. To them, every day is Earth Day.
Learn about how we can work together to save the planet.