Working in the environmental space, all too often, the conversation is all negative. Sure, our current earthly predicament isn’t ideal, but when we focus only on the neg, we detract from the wonderful actions that everyday heroes are taking to reduce our impact on the environment and reverse the damage already done. The blame gaming and finger pointing have to stop: “people bad, blah blah, poisoning the earth, blah blah”. This narrative is counterproductive; it makes people feel that their efforts are futile, so why bother trying?
People aren’t inherently bad. Most of us do the best that we can, with the knowledge and resources we have. We little guys needn’t shoulder the blame for sustained poor political and corporate decision-making, which guide the actions of the many. But, once we know better, we can do our best to implement change in our own lives and gently educate others – leading by example with small yet mighty efforts, rather than lecturing people until their eyes glaze over in defiance.
We can also throw our support behind the big wavemakers – the eco-charities raising money and awareness and rolling up their sleeves to effect major environmental change. We, at Little Eco Shop, feel that it’s important for businesses, especially, to contribute to environmental health. As an eco-store, we see our role as going well beyond reducing plastic consumption and encouraging sustainability. We need to put our money where our mouths are and support the organisations supporting our world in a profound way. Now that our business is more established and we are financially able to make ongoing financial contributions, we have chosen to donate one percent of our pre-salary profits to One Tree Planted.
It can be tricky choosing a charity to support – there is always the worry that too few of your funds will go to the cause that matters to you. We have no hesitation in supporting One Tree Planted because their efforts have a meaningful impact on environmental health in the here and now, protecting the countless animals, plants and people whose livelihoods depend on trees! We also love their straightforward approach - “one dollar; one tree” – so you know exactly what you are getting for your donation. We’ve featured the following organisations, based on their stellar record for transparency and financial management, as well as their profound positive impact in their respective areas, so you can have confidence in giving them your time and donations.
One Tree Planted
Deforestation is one of the most pertinent environmental issues of our time – almost half of the world’s forests have already been destroyed and fifteen percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are a direct product of deforestation. The humble tree is of life-giving importance – emitting oxygen, absorbing harmful pollutants from our air and water and homing eighty percent of the world’s terrestrial plants and animals. Without enough trees, unchecked greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, warming our climate. Since 2014, One Tree Planted have doubled the number of trees planted, year upon year, with fifteen million planted so far in 2020 (wow!). You can aid their efforts with a fundraiser or donation, or become a Tree Ambassador, leading tree-planting efforts in your local community.
Bush Heritage Australia
This Aussie eco-charity buys and manages land and partners with Aboriginal people to conserve our magnificent landscapes and irreplaceable native species. To date, they’ve protected more than eleven million hectares of Aussie land from logging and pillaging, and 6,700 native species, preserving over forty-five million tonnes of carbon stock. While they’re currently not accepting new volunteers, due to CV19, you might consider making a once-off or monthly tax deductible donation, or asking friends and family to donate in lieu of birthday and Christmas gifts. If you’re a sucker for punishment in the name of a good cause, join me in the Groundwork Challenge by pledging to walk, run or ride 100km between now and 16 December to raise funds for the land you love.
Australian Marine Conservation Society
Join these legends in defending the health of Australian oceans and marine life, under siege by pollution, plastics, overfishing, dredging and the effects of climate change. For the past fifty years, AMCS has been the only Aussie-wide charity dedicated to protecting our oceans – conserving critical ocean ecosystems with marine reserves, in Ningaloo and the Great Barrier Reef; leading the movement to ban whaling; stopping supertrawlers; and safeguarding endangered species, like the Australian Sea Lion. If you’d like to lend your support, consider joining their email campaign to stop Adani’s coal port; check out their current volunteer positions in Brisbane and Cairns; or become a Sea Guardian with a one-time or recurring tax deductible donation.
The Wilderness Society
Last on our list but by no means the least, the Wilderness Society is a major shaker in the environmental space. They campaign for stronger environmental protections and climate action under the law; agitate for an independent, apolitical National Environment Commission and National Environmental Protection Authority; and illuminate Australia’s environmental crises and weak political action through research and media features, to make activists of us all. You might wish to sign their petition in support of stronger environmental laws or join your local Movement for Life community group and lend support to campaigns, tree plantings, political engagement, community gatherings, clean up days and the like. You can also make a purchase in their online store or become a member. Every little bit counts!We want to shine a spotlight on the for-purpose organisations and ordinary Aussies taking action for the earth. If you know of any who deserve more support and appreciation, please shout them out in the comments below. When we highlight the amazing work people are doing, we keep the conversation positive and inspire proactivity in others. Don’t forget to share this piece on your socials to get the word out about the feelgood efforts happening around Australia and abroad!