7 Ways to Support the Environment in 2018

With the Arctic refuge open for drilling, climate change snowballing, our public lands being stripped of their natural resources and the Arctic past the point of no return, it is an overwhelming time to be an environmentalist. No one person can support every environmental cause—that way lies madness. There is just too much to keep track of, so choose just one or two causes for 2018 where you can wholly direct your efforts. So where should you direct your environmental support? The sheer number of options can be overwhelming, so here are a few big ones:

Help clean our increasingly plastic oceans.

The buildup of plastic pollution is a huge problem. It is killing our sea life, increasing ocean acidity and tainting our seafood. It is unsettling to note that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. In 2018, stop using ‘disposable’ plastics and support causes who are working hard to clean our waterways, like Plastic Oceans. If you want to focus on supporting the life in our oceans, check out the Ocean Conservancy as well.

Join the fight to save our public lands.

The Arctic refuge is newly open for drilling. Bear’s Ears National Monument has been stripped and shrunk. No land is safe anymore. If you think our public lands are our national heritage and should not be sold to the highest bidder, make your voice heard by contacting your local and state government about the security of the natural resources in your area. Support the Trust for Public Land and the Nature Conservancy to help causes that are actively fighting for public land. And be sure to write, email, and generally bother Secretary Zinke at the Office of the Interior to remind him to work for the American people, not corporations.

Destroyed tropical rainforest in Amazon, Brazil.

Help save the rainforests.

Are you worried about our planet’s respectively sudden loss of biodiversity? We are losing over 80,000 acres of rainforest every single day. In fact, over 20 percent of the great Amazon rainforest has already been destroyed. Not only are rainforests an incredibly rich home for thousands of unique plant and animal species , but they also act as powerful carbon sinks, absorbing vast quantities of excess CO2 from the atmosphere. That means saving the rainforests and their inhabitants is a smart choice in the fight against climate change. Support the Rainforest Alliance and keep on the lookout for the Rainforest Alliance frog seal of approval when shopping to ensure that your purchases meet their rigorous social and environmental standards.

Rally for our rights to clean air and clean water.

Every being on Earth deserves access to clean air and clean water. But these rights are being violated every single day right here in the US. Methane gases leak out of the earth in areas of fracking, increasing incidences of asthma and lung-related ailments. Undrinkable water is coming out of the taps in towns like Flint across the nation. And we cannot overlook the rights of native Americans, who have had their clean water and clean air rights violated time and time again. The government needs to step up and do more than the bare minimum to ensure that all Americans have free access to clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Support the powerful work of the Natural Resource Defense Council as well as Waterkeeper Alliance, a growing nonprofit focused solely on clean water.

Drain

Protect wild rivers and their ecosystems.

A truly wild river is incredibly rare in the US. The overwhelming majority have been dammed or developed, harming wildlife and altering the natural ecosystem. And let’s not even begin to mention the pollution companies have been dumping into our waterways for decades. If you want to keep our rivers clean, wild and free, support the Sierra Club Foundation as well as American Rivers, a charity responsible for river restoration, federal river management and clean water supply.

Fight climate change and support renewable energy.

Climate change—the big one. One of the most powerful ways we can slow down or reverse climate change is through switching over to clean, renewable energy, like solar. No, you don’t need to buy a new Tesla to be a supporter of sustainable energy and less carbon pollution (although do it if you can). You can make more modest contributions like switching your house over to renewable energy, reducing household energy waste, and carpooling or biking to work. And support the Environmental Defense Fund, a loud voice in the fight for clean energy and the reversal of climate change. To keep up on the latest climate change science and tactics, also check out the book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming to get a realistic handle on what changes we need to make to save our planet.

Close-up of a honeybee pollinating a flower

Support a healthier food system.

There are plenty of things wrong with our food system. The toxic chemicals we spray on our food may or may not be killing us, but they are definitely killing our environment and the bees. Roundabout food transportation is a massive waste of natural resources. Vast monocultures are making our lands more diseased than ever. But luckily there are plenty of nonprofits out there trying to fix it. Kiss the Ground is working to raise awareness about the impact of regenerative farming on soil health and climate change. Beyond Pesticides is working to get toxic chemicals out of our food system. And nonprofits like the Honeybee Conservancy are working to save the most integral critters to our food system. Growing your own food (in your kitchen or in a garden) and buying local and/or organic whenever possible will go a long way, too.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of environmental causes to work towards, but it’s a decent place to start. As climate change looms overhead, we all need to pick up a little slack and do our part.

What causes are you going to direct your efforts towards? Share your cause below.   

Related on Care2:

155 comments

Maria P
Maria Pabout a month ago

thank you

SEND
Henry M
Henry M3 months ago

If you really want to reduce your input of ocean plastics, a better way to do it is by not eating fish. Much of the plastic in the ocean (20%) was dumped there by boats, mainly fishing boats.

SEND
Peggy B
Peggy B3 months ago

TYFS

SEND
David C
David C3 months ago

thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks, thanks.

SEND
Kelsey S
Kelsey S4 months ago

Thanks

SEND
Danuta W
Danuta W5 months ago

thank you for sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis W5 months ago

Great info and help Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis W5 months ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis W5 months ago

Great information and advice Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND
Glennis W
Glennis W5 months ago

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

SEND